Storks’ size, serial monogamy, and faithfulness to an established nesting site contribute to their prominence in mythology and culture. The Stork has many stories surrounding it, like in Aesop's (6th century BCE) fables The Farmer and the Stork and The Fox and the Stork.The first fable begins with a farmer plowing his fields, sowing his seeds and spreading his nets, these nets caught several cranes who hopped behind him picking up the seed. Flies with slow wingbeats, and flocks often soar very high on warm days. They fledge 60 to 65 days after hatching, and reach sexual maturity at four years of age, although they usually do not successfully fledge chicks until their fifth year of age. In flight, these birds keep both their necks and legs outstretched, which can present a gangly, awkward silhouette. Wood storks achieve their adult plumage in three to four years. During a breeding season, it is estimated that a pair of wood storks and their young, eat about 440 pounds of food (from courtship to fledging, usually about 60 days). Second, mortality of adult storks also is due to a variety of causes. Our only native stork in North America, a very large, heavy-billed bird that wades in the shallows of southern swamps.
Ciconiiformes previously included a number of other families, such as herons and ibises, but those families have been moved to other orders.. Wood storks have been observed feeding 130 km (81 mi) from their breeding colony. Many species are migratory.  The head and neck of the adult are bare, and the scaly skin is a dark grey. The foraging method used by the generalists is to stalk or walk across grassland or shallow water, watching for prey. The weight is even more impressive and gives an even greater understanding to the size of the Wood Stork. Preferred habitats include flooded grasslands, light woodland, marshes and paddyfields, wet meadows, river backwaters and ponds. They belong to the family called Ciconiidae, and make up the order Ciconiiformes. Because of the long incubation and parental care periods, only one brood is raised each year. Why do wood storks have the word "wood" in their name?Wood storks have a variety of common names, hence the frequent use of the scientific or Latin name Mycteria americana to avoid confusion.
The body is white, with longer, scruffier feathers forming a thin ruff at the base of the neck. In the United States, on the other hand, it is considered to be threatened. They can be identified by their long legs, featherless heads, and prominent bills.
While the young birds are in the nest, adult birds will vigorously defend the immediate vicinity from any predators or perceived threats. In similar habitats, also be on the lookout for birds such as: Even if you don't see a wood stork, be sure to check out our other detailed bird fact sheets for more information about all your favorite species! , Openbills are specialists in freshwater molluscs, particularly apple snails. Storks are large to very large waterbirds. It is never a good idea to feed wildlife. Factors that have been identified to cause the death of adults include predators (such as alligators and bobcats), pesticide poisoning, collisions with power lines, and being struck by automobiles while taking off across the road. , A resident breeder in lowland wetlands with trees, the wood stork builds a large stick nest in a tree. The reaction is able to distinguish between prey items and inanimate objects like branches, although the exact mechanism is unknown. , The chicks hatch altricial, unable to move, and weigh an average of 62 grams (2.2 oz). Although this stork doesn't bring babies, it is a good flier, soaring on thermals with neck and legs outstretched. Bill snaps and rattles are also part of the sounds wood storks make. Just three species are present in the New World: wood stork, maguari stork and jabiru, which is the tallest flying bird of the Americas. There are two to five whitish, elliptical eggs in each wood stork brood. Be sure to brush up on your boat ramp etiquette before heading out to the water. While these birds are not considered threatened or endangered on a global scale, local designations can vary.  They are brooded for the first week after hatching, and after that when it is raining and at night.
Storks frequently seek out thermals (the upward convection of warm, rising air) during the summer months, which allows storks to attain great heights with little wing flapping.  In hot weather, breeding adults will also shade their chicks with their wings. While it may not win many beauty contests, it is always well worth watching, and this informative fact sheet can help birders better appreciate all that is unique and distinctive about wood storks.
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