Wood Storks

Wood Storks Pictures
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Wood Storks are the largest birds of Northern America. This gregarious species (scientific name Mycteria Americana) inhabits most of the United States and is considered the treasure of American wildlife. Its populations serve as an indicator of wetlands' condition, one of the most valuable land-based ecosystems. In fact, the Wood Stork is an endangered species. Factors that contribute to low population size, as well as species' lifestyle, have to be studied to successfully fulfill the task of preserving the Wood Stork.

Wood Storks - Description

 Wood Storks - Pictures
Picture source:
Wood Storks © 2001
Wood Storks are one of seventeen species of large birds belonging to the family Ciconiidae. These wading birds are confused sometimes with other species. For example, they are often referred to as "Jabirus." As a matter of fact, this name is totally wrong since it denotes a different species that is easily distinguishable from the Wood Stork. Unlike Jabirus, Wood Storks are slightly smaller in size and have a different coloration. An adult Wood Stork will reach the height of about 2-4 feet with weight approximating 7-10 pounds. Males and females do not differ in size. Wood Storks are basically white with some black feathering on the wings and the tail.

Since the main food source of the species is shallow water full of fish, it has to be well armed to provide itself with the appropriate amount of food. The Wood Stork has long legs that are black in color and a long beak. The color of the beak can give the idea of the age of a Wood Stork. Adult species usually have black bills, whereas the juvenile have yellow bills.

Another peculiar feature of the species is a bald head of grayish to black color. This trait has provided the Wood Stork with a few nicknames. A "flinthead" or an "iron head" is often used to denote the species. Besides the nickname, the Wood Stork has other specific traits, an undeveloped syrinx being one of them. Syrinx is a vocal organ that provides for a loud voice when fully developed. Wood Storks, like other related species, are rather quiet due to this phenomenon. Instead, they use bill clattering as the means of vocalization.

Wood Storks - Diet

Wood Storks are piscivorous species that feed mainly on fish, bugs, crabs, crayfish, and similar food found in their habitat, which includes marshes, ponds, and wetlands. Walking in shallow water in search of prey, these birds act solely by touch since they cannot see their "dinner." Delving into the bottom helps Wood Storks to locate fish, snakes, and even crocodile babies, and to use their long, slightly downward bill to catch the prey.

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A pet for sale may be born in aviary; it is common to see a photo of a baby in such a cage.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork
Wood Stork
Wood Stork
Wood Stork
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