Friday, February 22, 2008

Wooden Trees Equals Wood In Trees

Sir Walter Raleigh peering at us as we drifted below him.
This stork reminded me of an Elizabethan era aristocrat with a high ruffled collar.
We saw a number of wood storks on the Santa Fe Canoe trip last Saturday. None were feeding, mostly they were high in sunlit riverside trees preening and resting.
Actually, wood storks would probably have a tough time feeding along much of the Santa Fe river bank as it was steep in places.
These guys need shallow water where they can wade and swish their open beak around until it contacts some unlucky fish, frog, or crayfish. I imagine they work the riverside swamps when it's time to dine. They can actually benefit from droughts as it exposes the shallow feeding grounds that they require, although too much of a dry thing is not good for them either.

That's the spot.
We were canoeing into the sun, so everytime we got to one, they were backlit a bit, making exposure tricky. This guy's cheek and the log are too dark for my tastes, but I still like the pic enough to share it with you. What I really like is the frame of twigs arching over the stork.
Storks are just downright beautiful in flight where you can see their disinct black and white plumage and their impressive wingspan. That's when they shine.
Other birds along the Santa Fe Saturday were egrets, limpkins,kingfishers, cooper's hawk, vultures, blue herons, and heard, but not seen, sandhill cranes.
I nailed the limpkin and the hawk ... all others are just memories.
Soon come.


dani813 said...

Picking up the little one from school one day in the pouring rain we passed our little pond that we always like to scope out.I'm not sure what the occasion was but there was close to 20 storks and some ibis and spoonbills.They were all dancing around in the rain.Standing out there getting soaked,laughing with her over their antics was just a wonderful thing.We just love those goofy storks.

Rurality said...

Whoa. Just when I get so busy I can't visit everybody like I want, you come up with a gaggle of good posts. Well, not that they aren't always good. You know what I mean. Anyway, I haven't even been catching all the news so wasn't aware of any gunmen anywhere near your kids either - how scary!

As usual, I'm jealous of your good birds, your shorts-already weather, and your ability to sneak close to turtles.

tsiya said...

Fine shots, FC.
I can remember when the storks were really scarce, it is good to see them coming back to safe numbers again

Sharon said...

LOL, that's exactly what he looks like! Great shots. :)

Paintsmh said...

Those birds are just too cool!!!

robin andrea said...

Beautiful bird, wonderful commentary. We've haven't gotten out much, storms rolling in, one after the other. Delighted to see your Florida birds and remember the great outdoors.

Suze said...

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were driving north on US 27 around the Broward/Palm Beach line and we saw literally hundreds of wood storks wheeling and circling in the sky over the countryside. I've never seen so many, nor have I seen them fly in such large groups, so high and circling. We weren't sure at first if they were wood storks, but upon closer inpection, they were.

Last weekend, at Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach, I was able to watch a wood stork kick and drag his claw along the bottom of the swampy area where he was feeding, stirring up goodies, while he kept his bill open in the water. It was cool to watch his careful actions designed to direct food toward his beak.

Laura said...

Dang it, I 'm almost sure I left a commment here earlier. Blogger has been eating up my comments all day long.

After reading this, I realized I haven't been to the Santa Fe River in almost 20 years. Seems like just yesterday, too. Sure could use a trip down the river for a change!

There's a few wood storks that hang around a house near us, because the owner is always feeding them. They sit up on the roof, on the cars, everywhere!

Keep your camera handy this weekend for the Sign Around Town Meme!
(well of course, I know you always have it handy, LOL!)
And if your readers want to play along, by all means, join us!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Any of those storks in delivery mode?

Deb said...

That stork looks so unreal...I mean, around here we have great blue herons, and that's it. I need to come to Florida some time and see some of these fantastic birds!

Floridacracker said...

I'll say it again ... your little one is so lucky!

Thanks, but YOU set the bar high.
It's really shorts weather here now, 71 degrees at 10:40 pm.

Me too and I'm glad they are back.
Heck, I remember when gators were scarce.

I think I see Black Adder.

We do have some coolio birds down here. Glad you liked them!

I think our weekend will be kind'a stormy too.

That view of stork feeding technique makes me envious. Nice to see large flocks of these beauties too!

Baaaad Blogger, Bad!!
That must be quite a sight to see Wood Storks sitting in suburbia.
I'll be looking for signs this weekend...
Note: PF readers check out Vitaminsea for Laura's sign meme ... and for clever humor and wisdom.

I scare them away if they are carrying babes in blankets. Been there done that. The storks have been warned ...

There is a pretty neat variety of oddballs, but this is the south after all.

Meems said...

love your woodstorks photos and that blue sky is fabulous. Just the other day I was standing outside with a friend after a luncheon and caught sight of those beautiful birds in my periphery and totally got distracted from my conversation. I've just gotten to where I apologize and gawk anyway. I am loving the weather these days- getting all my gardening in while I can stand it.

Floridacracker said...

I know what you mean about that kind of distraction.
We had great rains here last night, I hope they make it too your beautiful garden.

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

My daughter went to the wildlife park with me today...I did not know that these were wood storks...she did...who is going to homeschool whom????

Floridacracker said...

It is hard to keep up with them.