PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Wood Storks

Storks are large, somewhat heron-like birds that spend a lot of time feeding and standing or sitting around – sometimes in small groups. Like herons and egrets, they feed on fish, crayfish and other small animals that they capture in aquatic environments. They are unique birds that may be most closely, but still distantly, related to pelicans. The Wood Stork is North America’s only native stork and is easily recognized by its primarily white plumage with black wing tips, a long heavy bill, long legs, pink feet, and a relatively bare head with wrinkled neck skin. A Wood Stork’s bill is not designed for spearing prey, but for deftly grabbing it. Among a Wood Storks unusual behaviors, a Wood Stork will often rest on its “heels” while sitting on the ground with its feet lifted above the ground. It will also sometimes stand on one leg with its other foot lifted and propped against the leg it is standing on.