Range/Geographical Distribution: Predominately along the coasts of Georgia and Florida but may be found from South Carolina to Texas.
Habitat: On or near the coast, mangroves, and swamps.
Similar Species: Great egret, snowy egret, and white ibis.
Description: A very large white bird with black legs, head, and heavy bill. Has large black patches on its wings and a black tail visible during flight.
Size: Length: 33-45” Wingspan: 59-69” Weight: 2050-2640g
Food: Fish and invertebrates.
Breeding: Nests in colonies and lays two or three white eggs on a huge stick platform in a tree. Wood storks are monogamous and considered a low productive species, only mating when conditions are right (i.e. enough food, right weather conditions, and appropriate nesting conditions).
Predators: Raccoons and alligators will prey upon eggs and young wood storks.
Conservation Status: The USFWS names the wood stork as an endangered species in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and North and South Carolina. There is an estimated 11,000 wood Storks in North America. Populations have increased since 1984 when they were first placed on the Federal Endangered Species List. Wood Storks’ main threat is habitat destruction.
Interesting Facts: Woods stork young are very fragile at birth. Both parents care for the young, often feeding them up to 12 times per day. Parents will travel up to 50 miles to search for adequate food for their young.
On the Coast: Wood storks are non-migrant birds who live along Georgia’s coast. They can been seen shuffling their feet to stir up food or swinging their open bill through the water until it comes in contact with prey, then snaps shut.