In a previous life I led birding tours for the South Florida Water Management District and was always in awe of this species. Also known as “Wood Ibis”, “Ironhead”, or “Flinthead” the woodstork is a character all unto its own. Here are 5 fun facts about the goofy looking bird.
- The woodstork is the only stork native to North America.
- They are very colonial birds and prefer to nest in the company of other storks.
- Even though they might look like they would be awkward in the air they are particularly graceful in flight.
- The time it takes for the woodstork to grab a fish and take it in its beak once is it detected is one of the quickest in the animal kingdom.
- The woodstork has earned the nickname “Preacherbird” because they insist on the practice of standing around, as if contemplating life, after eating.
And, this is not necessarily a fact, but the population of the woodstock in North America is in trouble with continuous droughts in Florida. One part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP), the Stormwater Treatment Areas, are very incredibly beneficial to reinvigorating the species.
I ask you, what is more adorable: a baby woodstork or a baby giraffe?
Image (c) top – gatorland.com, bottom – blog.catandturtle.net