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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Two Amigos

Just after completing the last entry, I decided to take the camera out and see what I might find. I headed to my neighbors house, since she was out gardening, and when I turned around there was a big old Wood Stork and a beautiful Great Egret, along with several small Cattle Egrets and an Ibis or two all in my yard with the bigger two right close to the screen room begging, it looked like. They eat live fish! For WHAT were they begging? I could not believe how close the stork let me come. I was the one who backed off, not him. I was within 6 feet when I decided that was close enough. Not that he was the least bit aggressive.

I took photos earlier this winter of a young Wood Stork with still some feathers on his head.
A week or two later I snapped two much younger storks who were still all spotty and brown.

Now, keep in mind all of this is in just one backyard, but it IS on a small lake with a mile-long island-wildlife preserve in the lake. Still, to this Northern Gal this is a thrill. I will never take these beautiful birds for granted. I don't know if it is their size or the sparkling white of their feathers. They are quite comfortable with my coming close with a camera.

WOOD STORK (From All About Birds - Cornell University All About Birds
large, white, bald-headed wading bird of the southeastern swamps, the Wood Stork is the only stork breeding in the United States. Its late winter breeding season is timed to the Florida dry season when its fish prey become concentrated in shrinking pools.
  • Huge, long-legged white bird.
  • Long, thick, down-curved bill.
  • Head black and bald.
  • Wings white with extensive black flight feathers.
  • Size: 85-115 cm (33-45 in)
  • Wingspan: 150-175 cm (59-69 in)
  • Weight: 2050-2640 g (72.37-93.19 ounces)
  • Sexes look alike.
  • Usually silent. Nasal barking calls at nest.

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Laura Lou
Michigan/Florida, United States
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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