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.