Bird Watching: Wood Stork

The Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the “Wood Ibis”, though it is not really an ibis.

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The adult is a large bird which stands 83–115 cm (33–45 in) tall and spans 140–180 cm (58–71 in) across the wings. Males typically weigh 2.5–3.3 kg (5.5-7.3 lbs); females weigh 2.0–2.8 kg (4.4-6.2 lbs), although large males can weigh up to 4.5 kg (10 lbs).It appears all white on the ground, with blackish-gray legs and pink feet. In flight, the trailing edge of the wings is black. The head is dark brown with a bald, black face, and the thick downcurved bill is dusky yellow. Juvenile birds are a duller version of the adult, generally browner on the neck, and with a paler bill. The bare head and the long bill, which can measure up to 25.5 cm (10.0 in) in length, render the Wood Stork distinctive from other large waders in its range. The standard scientific measurements of the Wood stork are as follows: the wing is 42–49 cm (17–19 in), the culmen is 19–25 cm (7.5–9.8 in) and the tarsus is 17.5–21.5 cm (6.9–8.5 in).