I am seeing a lot more Wood Storks right now here in The Villages, Florida. They prefer wading in marshy areas like the edges of ponds lakes. Wood Storks are aquatic meat-eating (small fish are preferred) birds and rarely will dine on seeds.
Wood Storks are terrific flyers and roost in tall trees in colonies. These birds generally live about 11-13 years. The juveniles are the ones with the bony plated head with light brown fuzzy feathering and light-colored big bills. Wood Storks remain a threatened species here in the USA.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
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!
Wood Stork at Paradise Lake on 8/6/17
Wood Storks have been spotted here in The Villages, FL at several small park and golf course lakes. I have seen these amazing big birds at Lake Mira-mar near Spanish Springs; at the Lago El Santiago (Santiago Golf Pond on Enrique Dr.); and also at Paradise Lake at Paradise Park, and also at Boone Park. Happily to note, Paradise Lake is full of water! Hooray! The birds are enjoying it and for the first time in nearly a year, the ornamental waterfalls have been once again turned on!
The younger Wood Storks have a brighter and lighter bill and look a lot less weathered and aged. Old Wood Storks have a huge craggy darker bill – nearly a light charcoal grey. Wood Storks are on the “Threatened” list of birds here in the United States. A few years ago, these birds were considered as “Endangered”. I enjoy watching these unusual-looking exotic wild birds and are always on the look-out for them. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the image. Enjoy!
Wood Storks at Paradise Lake on 8/6/17
Wood Stork at Lake Mira-mar, 8/3/17
Wood Stork at Lago El Santiago, 8/2/17