Dean M. Chriss
Wood Stork, One Point Landing

Wood Stork, One Point Landing

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Wood storks are large birds, measuring 33 to 45 inches (83–115 cm) tall with a wingspan of 58 to 71 inches (140–180 cm). Storks are tropical and subtropical birds, and this is the only stork that currently breeds in North America. There is a small and endangered breeding population in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with a recently discovered rookery in southeastern North Carolina.

Wood storks catch fish by feel. They walk slowly with their long bill in the water and their eyes above the surface, moving their bill from side to side. When they feel a fish touch their bill, the wood stork can snap it shut in just 25 milliseconds. That is one of the fastest reaction times recorded among all vertebrates, and about twice as fast as a fish can react.