Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Justin: Just in Time for Wood Storks...

J Man hit the mother load this time! Look at these babies! How would you like to have a visit from one of these guys? In fact, I know Dave over at Dave’s Bird Watching Blog had a visit just this month. Congrats to Dave and family. The Wood Storks have been the highlight of my year for bird watching. I hope you enjoy them as well. Especially since Justin made his older sister take him to the park again this morning so he could get some more shots for his Uncle. Thank you Kayla! I have had at least a dozen sightings this year but only captured a few with my camera. Justin blew past me in two outings!


Did you know: Wood storks are tall, white denizens of freshwater or brackish wetlands and swamps. They can be identified by their long legs, featherless heads, and prominent bills.

These waders feed on minnows in shallow water by using their bills to perform a rare and effective fishing technique. The stork opens its bill and sticks it into the water, then waits for the touch of an unfortunate fish that wanders too close. When it feels a fish, the stork can snap its bill shut in as little as 25 milliseconds—an incredibly quick reaction time matched by few other vertebrates.
The storks prefer to employ this technique in isolated pools created by tides or falling freshwater levels, where fish congregate en masse. In some areas, such as Florida, breeding begins with the dry season that produces these optimal fishing conditions.

Though wood storks eat small fish, they eat a lot of them. An average nesting pair, with two fledglings, may eat over 400 pounds (181 kilograms) of fish during a single breeding season.

Wood storks are social animals. They feed in flocks and nest in large rookeries—sometimes several pairs to a single tree. Females lay two to five eggs, which both sexes incubate for about one month. Young fledge about two months after hatching.
Wood storks breed in the southeastern United States and are the only stork to breed in the U.S. They also breed in Central and South America from Mexico to Argentina. Though U.S. populations are endangered—probably because of the loss of optimal feeding habitat—the South American stork populations are in better shape.

Did you know research from NationalGeographic. com

Thanks again Justin.

Uncle Craig

7 comments:

Leedra said...

Just think how many you will be able to see during breeding season this spring. We will be wanting to see all the babies. Justin did great, thanks for posting so we could see them. The St Augustine Alligater Farm has a rookery that you can see the wild Wood Stork,Egrets and Heron with their babies in the nest. the birds are not caged they just come there. Do have to pay to go in to see them though.

Leedra said...

Oh, almost forgot the Jacksonville Zoo also has a Wood Stork rookery, but it is not as large as the one at the alligater farm. Plus I think you are closer to St Augustine than Jacksonville. Aren't you?

dAwN said...

Well done again Justin! Get your blog already..let your uncle take his own pictures...tee hee...
Thanks for all the great information...

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Some pretty fantastic pictures.

Bird Girl said...

Gee...I just can't imagine finding a FLOCK of wood storks! Awesome! I love the shot with the wings up!! Way to go - Justin - you're gonna give Uncle Craig a complex;-)

Tina said...

Craig,
These are great pictures...a whole flock..how lucky is that! Love this post and thanks for all the great wood stork info..love to learn..:)

Shellmo said...

How great to see so many of these pretty storks all together!