Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away! (Sing it, Frank.)
Today was a Wood Stork Day here in Sewall’s Point, with so many of these large white and black birds wheeling overhead on thermals.
That’s quite a wingspan, 60 to 65 inches.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
Wood storks use thermals to soar as far as 80 miles from nesting to feeding areas. Since thermals do not form in early morning, wood storks may arrive at feeding areas later than other wading bird species such as herons. Energy requirements for a pair of nesting wood storks and their young is estimated at 443 pounds of fish for the breeding season (based on an average production of 2.25 fledglings per nest).
Florida Audubon says…
The Wood Stork is one of Florida’s signature wading birds, a long-legged, awkward-looking bird on land that soars like a raptor in the air.
These social storks nest colonially, with up to 25 nests in one tree. Pairs often mate for life.
In Florida, Wood Storks breed during the late winter dry season, when their fish prey are concentrated in shrinking pools. They regularly fly up to 12 miles from the nesting colony while foraging and will go much farther during droughts in search of food.