Wood storks at Indian Riverside Park

Wood Stork.

I was quite close to this three-and-a-half foot tall wading bird yesterday at the big freshwater pond at Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach.

Portrait of one of the weirdest-looking birds in Florida.

The wood stork is a large, long-legged wading bird that is a member of the stork family (Ciconiidae). It is distantly related to herons, egrets, and ibises (Order: Ciconiiformes). However, recent genetic studies suggest storks are more closely related to the new world vultures (Family: Carthartidae).https://myfwc.com/research/wildlife/birds/wood-storks/introduction/

I can see that.

There were two of them, on a slow hunt around the pond edge.

Their long bills dip in deeper than other wading birds. And they can wade in deeper water thanks to those long legs.

A Tricolored Heron was keeping close to nab fish that were stirred up by the big stork feet.

Big pink feet.

I wonder if this is a pair. Nesting season should be happening soon.

Nice pose.

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