Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wood Stork

Wood Storks are conspicuous waders of the Southeast. Their populations have suffered from water mismanagement in the Everglades, but numbers have increased in northern Florida, South Carolina and Georgia (Coulter et al. 1995). The species also breeds from Mexico through northern South America.

In the Everglades National Park, where, in April, Erika and I took these photographs, Wood Storks soar in thermals, often to heights over 3000 feet. They then glide as far as 30 miles to feeding areas. Birds return in the same fashion to their nesting colonies, occasionally waiting for the next day’s thermals to develop. Birds descend from the thermals either with long, downward, circular glides (like the bird in these photos) or in steep, high-speed dives (Coulter et al. 1995).

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