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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Wood Stork, Birding

The two things we like best about Sanibel in winter are the great birding and photography opportunities, (especially at Ding Darling NWR), and meeting other birders.

Here's a Wood Stork in flight photo I took yesterday. Someone standing near me said "how can they be so pretty in flight, and so ugly close-up?" Well they are spectacular in flight, with those majestic white wings lined in black and pretty-in-pink feet. There are an unusually large number of Wood Storks that we are seeing at Ding and around Sanibel. That's a good sign, since they are listed as an endangered species in Florida. Wood Storks feed in shallow water on small fish they find by touch, then snap up with their bill. They're mainly a tropical and subtropical species and the only stork species that breeds in North America.

Hi Polly, Ann and Lynne!

We went to another birding location on Sanibel called Sanibel Gardens, because there were reports of a Smooth-billed Ani being seen there. We didn't find an Ani but when we came out the path these fun birding ladies called us over. They had just had a good time at the Space Coast Birding Festival in Titusville and now were birding on Sanibel. We loved that one of them had a very worn, underlined copy of our Stokes Beginner's Guide to Shorebirds that she said had helped her very much learn shorebirds. We told them about our new Stokes Field Guide To Birds of North America, which is coming out this year. We had a great time talking with them.
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

At our weekly City Hall staff meeting tomorrow am I look forward to sharing this handsome group making good use of our picnic table -also report on you smooth beak ani sighting - Judie Zimomra, Sanibel City Manager

warriormom said...

I am so enjoying your posts from Sanibel. Honeymooned there and went back for our 25th anniversary - much had changed - we found the Ding to be so very changed as well. Enjoyed the wood storks and especially the antics of the heron who "dances!" Name escapes me but what a delight to watch.

Kevin said...

Great shot of the Wood Stork! I suppose it is too late to include in your field guide... How much do Wood Stork numbers on Sanibel vary from year to year? My wife and I didn't see any there last February, but we made up for it with some great views at Corkscrew Swamp.