Wood Stork: Large, odd wading bird, mostly white except for black flight feathers and tail. Upper neck and head are featherless and dark gray. The bill is thick, long, and curved downward. Legs and feet are gray black. Alternates between strong wing beats and gliding. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Range and Habitat
Wood Stork: Breeds in Florida and Georgia; very rarely elsewhere along the coast from South Carolina to Texas. Wanders as far as California and Massachusetts, though very rarely. Breeding habitat is chiefly in cypress swamps; also in mangroves.
The Wood Stork has a very large range reaching up to roughly 14 million square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout all of North America and much of the Carribean and Central America. There are many areas of South America in its range including Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil, and Bolivia and a vagrant population in Jamaica and Dominica. This species prefers a range of habitat including subtropical forests and grasslands, wetlands, marine intertidal location and even man-made locations such as canals or drainage ditches. The global population of this species has not been quantified, but it is referred to as “frequent” in portions of its range. Due to this, population trends for the Wood Stork have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.
Wood Storks have been known to fly as high as 6000 feet. They will fly as much as 50 miles in search of food.
In Florida, the Wood Stork breeds during the late winter dry season when its fish prey are concentrated in shrinking pools.
They nest above water to prevent predators such as raccoons from feeding on their eggs and young.
A group of storks has many collective nouns, including "a clatter of storks", "a filth of storks", "a muster of storks", "a phalanx of storks", and a "swoop of storks."