This charming Wood Stork was hanging out with the Canada Geese and Egyptian Geese on the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages a few days ago in the early evening. I have been occasionally seeing Wood Storks here recently but they are not common in the area.
The Wood Storks reportedly will fly up to 80 miles from their roosting nests to find food. These birds nest in tall trees over shallow water in marshes and swamps. The water under the nests prevents raccoons from eating the chicks or eggs when nests are occupied with young birds. I have not seen any Wood Stork nests here in our area. These birds have recently been on the endangered species lists so they are protected by law.
Wood Storks scoop up small fish, frogs, baby turtles, aquatic snails and some vegetation and seeds with their sturdy big bills. They do best on natural food and should not be fed by visitors to the park lakes. Wood Storks are pleasant quiet and in my opinion, charming, wild exotic birds. They are a real treasure! Please see the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!