Wood Stork Foraging in a Gulf Coast Lagoon

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Wood Storks/Wood Stork Foraging in a Gulf Coast Lagoon

Wood Stork feeding in the first light of the dayWood Stork feeding in the first light of the day – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.3, 1/800, ISO 640, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 330mm, natural light

Wood Storks were not an uncommon sight for me when I lived in Florida, I’d see them along the Gulf Coast and I would also see them inland in areas like Myakka State Park, swamps, lagoons, estuaries and sometimes I would even see them in flooded ditches as I zoomed along the interstates. I spent much of my time photographing birds along the coasts though so many of my better photos of them come from Fort De Soto County Park.

One morning in October of 2008 I was in a lagoon at the north beach of Fort De Soto when a couple of Wood Storks flew in at sun rise and they started to forage, one of the storks was close to me when the sun light lit it up its white plumage and it seemed to glow against the dark water of the lagoon. As the Wood Stork foraged for it breakfast it kept an eye on me as I sat low and very still in the lagoon. I kept my movements to a minimum because I didn’t want to disturb the large, white wading bird.

Wood Stork in a dark lagoonWood Stork in a dark lagoon – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/750, ISO 640, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

The dark water and out of focus mangroves behind the bird created such a nice contrast against the stork’s white plumage. I loved the water dripping from the stork’s bill in this photo.

The Wood Stork moved slowly as it used its long bill to forage which gave me plenty of time to photograph it and I went home that morning pleased with the images I took. I waited until the storks moved away and then I made my way out of the lagoon and started photographing the other birds I found on the north beach that morning.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte November 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

    What a great image. The contrasts are stunning. Looking at this wood storks gnarly head helps me make the epochal leap that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Terrific shots Mia. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Elephants Child November 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Echoing those who commented before me.
    Those feathers look almost luminous.

  3. Patty Chadwick November 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Two great photos. But there is something special about the first…although you can’t see much of the bird’s head, the behavior was caught and it’s almost like being there. The luminous white body agsins the dark water, and the bird’s reflection, create a very pleasing effect…

  4. Liz Cormack November 21, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Not the “prettiest” bird but your photos are outstanding. The white plumage almost shines in the early morning light.

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