The Wood Stork is one of Florida's signature wading birds, a long-legged, awkward-looking bird on land that soars like a raptor in the air. Like many Florida birds associated with wetlands, the Wood Stork has suffered from the destruction and degradation of our state's wetlands. Today, the Wood Stork is classed "Endangered" by the State of Florida and the federal government.
It feeds in shallow water, stirring the bottom with its unlikely pink feet and snapping up small prey that are unlucky enough to encounter the bird's sensitive bill. They nest in early spring, just in time for the traditional season of lowest water when prey items will be concentrated in shrunken wetlands, providing good hunting so the storks can feed their young.
Now, we have altered the natural cycle of high and low water in our wetlands and Wood Storks often can't find enough food for their young, who eventually succumb to starvation.
How Audubon is Helping
- Everglades Restoration: the Everglades is a historical feeding and nesting ground for Wood Storks. By restoring the river of grass, we will ensure there will always be places for storks to feed, nest and raise their young.
- Lake Okeechobee Recovery: Wood Storks forage in and nest around this beleagured big lake. Cleaning up the lake will help storks and a suite of other animals, as well as the Everglades itself.
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: This Audubon Sanctuary in Southwest Florida protects one of the state's largest Wood Stork rookeries. Audubon actively manages the sanctuary for the storks' benefit, and we advocate for their feeding grounds downstream.