Facts About Wood Storks

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.


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.


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.

Cute Wood Stork Gifts


Christy LaGasse on August 14, 2020 at 4:06 PM wrote:
Hello! I have a LOT of crows, ibis, and and now recently Wood Storks that show up each morning for breakfast! (And lunch, and dinner...lol.) I would like to learn more about Wood Storks so that I encourage the species to thrive, especially after reading that they are considered somewhat endangered. I live in Sarasota, Florida, and I had never seen one until 3 showed up one day and WOWZA! Hahaha! They are pretty amazing up close! I don't want to let them eat anything that might be bad for them, but all of the other critters cost a lot for me anyway. Honestly, I don't even know what I'm asking... Is there a good website for what food I can allow that won't hurt them, etc...? They are just SO incredible! Any expertise you can share would be great! Thank you!
Susie on October 20, 2020 at 3:36 PM wrote:
We have about a dozen of them by our pond in Englewood. They too, come here for breakfast and dinner. I give them bologne cut up into tiny wee pieces and it seems to satisfy them as they seem very healthy. We call our pond Woodstork Pond and my home Woodstork Pond Cottage as it is an Airbnb. You are right they are fascinating birds.
Izzy on December 1, 2020 at 8:35 AM wrote:
Thank you for writing this! I feed a bunch of them by my house in Fort Myers. They like left over Publix rotisserie chicken. They look quite scary but they are very innocent, friendly, and curious little birds! I love them as well as the local Muscovy duck population. I am glad I am not the only one who cares about these little puffy flying cloud babies.
Lenora on September 1, 2021 at 1:38 AM wrote:
I live in Ponte Vedra Beach and have been feeding a wood stork for 2 years, on and off. It loves meats of almost all kinds. I have named it Woody. He taps on my back door 2-3 times a day when he is around. He even comes when I call his name. I, my neighbors, and guests are quite taken with Woody!!
Colleen A. Pikos on February 8, 2022 at 3:55 PM wrote:
Such loving comments on woodstork adoptees! I’ve got one in my yard, so polite, always one leg lifted, so poised! I’m an old hippie so I’ve named him Woodstock! He can eat me out of house & home, but I feed him well as hell perch on my roof til I open my door then fly down or just stand close to my front door. Lol I feed him chicken, lunch meat, salmon, hamburger, etc. Some of my Greek food too! (I live in Tarpon). I luv him he’s so polite! He needs manners though as he chases my white egrets away. Lol
Andrea on February 19, 2022 at 12:47 PM wrote:
I have recently been blessed with about five Woodstorks off and on. At first they just seemed to spectate me feeding my "flock" every morning, noon and night! Lol! But, one stayed behind and has become my resident stalker. I have named him Storkey. I am quite taken with him and he is a pleasure to have around. I will try that rotisserie chicken that someone mentioned. Thank you for sharing.
Bernardine Reinholt on March 2, 2022 at 6:48 PM wrote:
I live in New Port Richey Fl. Gulf Harbors. My home is on the water, Wood Head Storks showed up 2 yr ago. There have been over 10 at a time . I put out big tubs of fresh water which they love. My neighbor called Fish and Wild Life on me for feeding them. 3 times I was told if they come back again it will be a $1,000. fine. I have come to love these birds when they hear my voice they come flying. When it's cold food is scarce for them. FISH & WILD LIFE told me to take away the fresh water and to not put Wild bird seed out for the other birds which I feed. They said the Storks are attracted to it. Which they are not. It's unthinkable that a neighbor would be such a monster. And does fish & Wild life have the authority to tell me to put bird feeders up so the seed isn't on the ground. Any help would be appreciated
Selina on March 21, 2022 at 1:43 PM wrote:
I’ve been feeding a small family of Wood storks for about 5 years. The original is Gert, about a year later she brought what I think may be her kids. Harvey and Ester. Gert knocks on my back door when she’s here. Now we have a new baby. Still has a fuzzy head. My neighbor also called Florida fish and wildlife on me. He was actually very nice and didn’t tell me I couldn’t feed them.. but I think Gert is going to have to start paying some child support.. Love my bird family
Selina on March 21, 2022 at 1:44 PM wrote:
Oh I forgot to say I live in Sebastian Florida
lomiri8 on April 2, 2022 at 1:36 AM wrote:
I am in n.p.r. as well and thought I was the only one naming my wood stork (Henry) & having him respond when I call! he knows which places I like to go so if he doesn't find me at one he goes looking for me at the others. tonight was the first time I found him looking for me after dark. had anyone else seen them out after dark?
Thom Pavlichek on April 6, 2022 at 6:35 PM wrote:
I have a picture of one dumpster diving in a parking lot near Venice Florida. (would love to submit)
Michelle on May 2, 2022 at 10:31 PM wrote:
We have one who frequents our 7/11 in the Tampa Bay area. He's so friendly and awesome and it hurts watching people try to feed him bread. We've been looking for healthy alternatives to give him.
Joylynn Iglesias on December 17, 2022 at 4:00 PM wrote:
About 2 weeks ago while standing in my driveway a wood stork landed right next to me, I fed him some boiled chicken and shrimp and also gave him some fresh water. I named him Woody ( of course ). He came back today - right up on my front porch. When I talk to him he clicks his beak and comes very close to me. They're beautiful birds.
Lynn Role on March 7, 2023 at 2:05 AM wrote:
one came up to me today in Venice Gardens Florida and wasn’t scared of me at all, he posed for lots of pics!!

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