We’re Living the Tweet Life: March

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Wood stork (Mycteria americana)

By Jan Baumgartner

This large, American wading bird is sometimes misnamed the wood ibis because its bill resembles that of the smaller and unrelated ibis. The wood stork is the only stork with permanent breeding colonies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Otherwise, they migrate to and from Central and South America.
Siesta Key is fortunate to see this stork transiting before and after foraging in the Key’s estuaries, mangroves, and canals, or on the mainland. Usually seen before being heard, the adults are very quiet — uttering only low croaks or hissing sounds.
Stork babies, on the other hand, are quite vociferous as they compete with one another for food and nest space — typical sibling rivalry!
Full grown, these twins will stand almost 4 feet tall and weigh nearly 6 pounds apiece. With a 6-foot wingspan, the wood stork may ride and glide on thermals as high as 2,000 feet overhead for a truly exceptional view of our gulf paradise.

Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at Sunshine & Sand Hidden Treasures, 6635 Midnight Pass Rd., in Crescent Plaza.

Jan Baumgartner
Author: Jan Baumgartner

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