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Doug J | all galleries >> Birds of Florida > Wood Stork
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Wood Stork
11-OCT-2017

Wood Stork

Sarasota, Florida

Scientific name: Mycteria americana

The wood stork is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "wood ibis", though it is not an ibis.

This is a subtropical and tropical species which breeds in much of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The wood stork is the only stork that presently breeds in North America. In the United States there is a small breeding population in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with a recently discovered rookery in southeastern North Carolina.

The wood stork is a broad-winged soaring bird that flies with its neck outstretched and legs extended. It forages usually where lowering water levels concentrate fish in open wetlands; it also frequents paddy fields. Walking slowly and steadily in shallow water up to its belly, it seeks prey, which, like that of most of its relatives, consists of fish, frogs and large insects. It catches fish by holding its bill open in the water until a fish is detected

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