Wood Stork

wood stork walking through the jungle of the big thicket
Trail camera photo of a wood stork in the Big Thicket

NPS Photo

Mycteria americana

Wood storks are rarely seen in Big Thicket, but can sometimes be seen along the Texas coast during the summer. Wood storks are wading birds that are typically found near water sources. They live primarily off of fish. They find their food by wading slowly through the water with their bills open and submerged in the water. When they feel a fish touch their bill they snap it up, catching a meal.

Wood storks breed in nesting colonies in winter and spring. They usually nest in mangrove or cypress trees on horizontal limbs. Males will bring materials for the nest while females will build it. Sometimes parents will continue adding nesting materials even after the eggs have hatched. Both parents will help feed the newly hatched chicks. Parents continue to feed their chicks until they are about 11 weeks old.

Bancroft, G. T., Hoffman, W., Sawicki, R. J., & Ogden, J. C. (1992). The importance of the water conservation areas in the Everglades to the endangered Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). Conservation Biology, 6(3), 392-398.

Herring, H. K., & Gawlik, D. E. (2011). Resource selection functions for Wood Stork foraging habitat in the southern Everglades. Waterbirds, 34(2), 133-142.

Kaufman, K. (2001). Lives of North American Birds. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Last updated: May 4, 2021

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