Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wood Stork

On 24 March 2016, we began driving northeast, towards New York and Martha’s Vineyard. This first day started out as planned.  We visited Savannah for two days in the rain. Rain fell for the next week, until, in Massachusetts, the rain changed to heavy snow. None of this weather was conducive to birding or dragonflying. We did take backroads. I managed to avoid I-95 until northern New Jersey, a feat that added hours to our days. Our schedule was also hampered by a cracked windshield and an oil change.

As we drove through Madison, Florida, Erika said, “Turn around, good bird in the city park!” Around Lake Frances, loafed six Wood Storks. They appeared like sullen teenagers. Wood Storks are known to beed in the area, presumably along the nearby Suwannee River. Local kayakers suggest the storks’ presence in this urban park is due to regional drought. Coulter et al. (1999) write that “declines of the Wood Stork in south Florida have been balanced to some extent by movement into…northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina."

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