Blog Archive: Storks

Birdorable Wood Stork

Facts About Wood Storks

October 2nd, 2018 in Fun Facts, Storks No comments
Birdorable Wood Stork

There are 19 species of stork in the world. These birds are generally heavy and tall, with long, thick bills.

The Wood Stork is one of three New World species of stork (the others are the Maguari Stork and the Jabiru). The range of the Wood Stork extends the furthest north of these three species. Here are some interesting facts about this unique species.

Carnivores

Wood Storks frequently feed in and around water, where they find prey items like fish, frogs, and even small alligators. They will also eat insects, crabs, and other small animals. Wood Storks find food by feeling around with their bill in shallow water. They may use their feet to stir up potenial prey as they slowly move through the water.

Longevity

In the wild, it is believed that Wood Storks reach an average age of 11-18 years. From banding records, we know that the oldest wild bird lived at least 22 years and 4 months. The oldest captive Wood Stork lived to be just over 27 years of age.

Collective Noun
A group of storks is known as a "muster". A group of storks in flight is called a "phalanx". Have you ever seen a muster or phalanx of Wood Storks?

A group of Wood Storks in flight
Population Status

The Wood Stork has a large natural range, covering much of South America, coastal Central America, and extreme southern parts of North America. The international IUCN considers the Wood Stork's population threats to be of Least Concern. In the United States, however, loss and degradation of habitat cause its status to be considered Threatened.

Name Games

The Wood Stork superficially resembles an adult White Ibis and was formerly known as the Wood Ibis. This iconic bird has some interesting local nicknames, including Preacher, Ironhead, and Flinthead.

Do Wood Storks Deliver Babies?

No, you're thinking of White Storks.

The Wood Stork was added to Birdorable on Feburary 22, 2017.

Birdorable Painted Stork

2016 Bonanza Bird #8: Painted Stork

December 2nd, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Storks 2 comments
Birdorable Painted Stork

Today's new Bonanza bird is a species of stork found in parts of Asia: the Painted Stork!

Painted Storks live in wetlands across most of India, as well as coastal areas around parts of southeast Asia. Painted Storks remain on their territory all year and don't migrate seasonally.

Painted Storks are named for their plumage. Specifically, the pink tipped wing feathers (tertials) that hang over their backs and rumps gives them the name Painted Stork. These pretty birds can also be recognized by their heavy yellow beaks that curve downwards.

Painted Storks feed on small fish. They hunt by sweeping their partially opened beaks through shallow water; prey is detected by touch.

Painted Stork Photo
Photo by shankar s. (CC BY 2.0)



Tomorrow's new bird is native to parts of South America but is established in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere in the world. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Shoebill

Bonanza Bird #2: Shoebill

November 19th, 2011 in Storks, Birdorable Bonanza 2011 2 comments
Birdorable Shoebill

For 19 days we're adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2011. We're counting up to revealing our 350th species! Today's bird is the Shoebill.

Shoebill stork
Shoebill stork by belgianchocolate

The Shoebill is a remarkable-looking bird with an amazingly huge shoe-shaped bill. These large birds measure up to 59 inches (150 cm) tall and their bills average 12 inches (30 cm) in length, giving it the largest bill of all bird species! The edges of this large bill are very sharp, allowing the Shoebill to cut up its food before swallowing it. They feed mainly on aquatic animals like baby crocodiles and fish. Shoebills live in parts of east Africa, with most individuals living in the Sudan, and are considered vulnerable, mainly due to habitat loss.

Birdorable Shoebill Products

Tomorrow's bird is the largest 'true bird of prey' in the world. It breeds in high mountains and large forests across southern Europe and Asia. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Bonanza Preview
Birdorable Milky Stork

12 Days of Birdorable: Eight Milky Storks

December 8th, 2010 in Holidays, Storks, 12 Days of Birdorable No comments

On the eighth day of Birdorable, my true love gave to me… 8 Milky Storks! Our 12 Days of Birdorable continues today with yet another brand new bird species, this one from the stork family.

Eight Birdorable Milky Storks

The line Eight Maids-a-milking in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” of course refers to milkmaids, women who work at milking dairy cows. Milking cows actually used to be considered "women's work"! Since this is the second line in the Christmas carol that does not refer to birds (the first one was gold rings), we had to get creative again, and came up with the appropriately-named Milky Stork for the 8th day of Birdorable.

This is the eighth day of our 12 Days of Birdorable holiday event. Previously featured were:

Birdorable Marabou Stork

The Marabou Stork

December 16th, 2008 in Storks No comments
Birdorable Marabou Stork

The Marabou Stork is a peculiar-looking bird. It has a bald head, two inflatable air sacs around the neck and with 10.5 feet it has the largest wingspan in the world, sharing the record with the Andean Condor! These birds can be found throughout most of tropical Africa, south of the Sahara desert. They adjust very well to human activity and this has actually benefited the species. Populations have increased in some areas. They are so large they need to eat more than 1.6 lbs of food a day. They get most of their food through scavenging and will eat anything that they can get their beaks on. They are attracted to grass fires and will march in front of the advancing fire grabbing animals that are fleeing. How unscrupulous is that? We saw one Marabou Stork flying overhead on our trip to The Gambia last year. It was a magnificent sight to see the large bird fly above us. Here are some pictures of this stork:

Herzlich willcommen!
Photo by no1chrism
Marabou Stork
Photo by njchow82
Marabou Sentry
Photo by WOLD
Marabou Stork
Photo by bpark_42