Landing Wood StorkLanding Wood Stork – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) are the largest wading bird in North America and the only stork that breeds in the U.S.. Wood Storks are considered endangered primarily due to loss of habitat. These huge wading birds can live up to 25 years.

Their diet consists of aquatic prey which includes fish, crabs and insects, they swish their bills in the water to locate prey as well as using their feet to stir up the water.

Wood Storks have been known to fly at altitudes of 6000 feet and will fly as far as 50 miles to eat.

This sub-adult Wood Stork was photographed at Fort De Soto’s north beach as the bird came in for a landing in a tidal lagoon edged by mangroves.