Wood Storks at Nest & A Cute Preen

Wood Stork Pair Nesting 9301

While gathering some images for my stock photo page at Alamy I came across these two previously unattended to images and thought I’d share them here. They are from a shoot at the rookery in March of 2015. Generally, when I take pictures I start out attracted to certain ones (in this case it was some nesting egrets)  which I work on but then I’ve done another shoot before long and neglect to review all of what I already have for the current excitement of a new venture out.  Terrible I know. The stock photo effort is getting me back into the older files to sort out items which could be useful to someone else whether a nature calendar or something along those lines. This may or may not be a productive exercise but it is still fun to rediscover a shoot.

The top picture is rather sweet of presumably the male bringing the faithful nest sitting female a twig to arrange in the nest. This bringing of twigs and arranging them goes on a long time into the process even after chicks are hatched. I guess it is universal in the animal kingdom, or at least some, that the male secures the furniture and the female does the arranging and decorating. Rightfully so I would say!! She looks up ready to take the twig he is presenting.

The second image is of a single wood stork at the nesting colony in the process of preening his cute little rump with its black tail feathers. The image offers a great view of the head of the wood with all of its marvelous textures. Easy to see how it earns one of its nicknames, Old Flinthead, with the flinty strike- a- match- on- it texture of the neck. I find wood storks most interesting to look at and observe.

Wood Stork Tail Preen-9417


As Ever,


~ by Judy on September 4, 2016.

19 Responses to “Wood Storks at Nest & A Cute Preen”

  1. Two beautiful images, Judy!

    • Thanks and I enjoyed very much your seascapes and the gloomy but beautiful colors of sky and seas you caught! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

  2. Gorgeous shots, Judy!

  3. The ritualistic bringing of the twigs is so endearing, and your capture has a lovely, touching mood. And the stork preening is a study of contrasts – beautifully done. Good luck with your Alamay projects. It’s fun going through the archives, isn’t it? I “lost” all of 2011 when restoring my laptop, and spent some time a few days ago going back to the original CF cards. That was quite a walk down memory lane, in terms of long-forgotten photos! Best, Babsje

    • Wow, you save the CF cards? Always? I had a crash once and lost some early favourite work. I am still not the best at protecting everything, but try to put files in two places and have redundancy. I do have a couple of CF cards I never did take images off of. But, mostly I clear them for the next shoot. Going through archives can be fun but also frustrating. Sometimes I pull up an image and realize why I didn’t use it the first time around. But, there are always more things useful than I ever had time to work on. And, yes it is a trip down memory lane. Funny how you can see a picture and with all the trips still remember watching that bird and where you were standing when you took it and what you were thinking about it at the time. Thanks for the great comment on the preening wood stork. And the twig bringing..yeah that always has a tender team work amoung mates sense to me..Sweet really.

      • Thanks Judy – and yeah i save the CF cards, they’re pretty cheap these days. I also have an external drive or four for backups. Call me a hoarder, but my laptop’s unexpected demise last January showed me the wisdom of my ways this time. And what you wrote here is SO true – it is exactly like this for me Funny how you can see a picture and with all the trips still remember watching that bird and where you were standing when you took it and what you were thinking about it at the time. ” I wonder what it will be like when we’re in our 80s – will we still remember those moments? Best, Babsje

      • Ain’t it the truth!! Our biological CF cards might get filled up at some point and all the info won’t fit…CF card FULL!!

      • What a great thought – our biological CF cards, love it. Some days that’s my problem – my CF card is too full to onboard new info.

        My Canon was a gift from my daughter. She was shocked that I’m not reusing the circa 2006 card that came with. I once left my entire set of cards on a Boston MBTA bus en route to the office. Thanks to a very honest bus driver they made their way to the lost & found in Cambridge, and I was reunited with 5 years of my work. I was resigned to their loss, to starting over – this was pre-blogging days – and I am so grateful for their recovery. Best, Babsje

      • It is interesting you store that way. Sometimes when I delete a CF card for reuse I have a twinge of guilt. You were SOOO lucky to get your set of cards back….close one.

      • Indeed very lucky. I also store on external hard drives and USB sticks plus my computers, but all of those can fail over time. They don’t have unlimited life-spans and all it takes is one bit of malware nastiness, so it seems safe and easy to just keep the original cards. Happy weekend to you!

  4. Wonderful photos Judy ~ the second one such a perfect capture.

    • Thank you very much for the comment. It is always nice to hear when something worked out perfectly. I like to go for interesting poses and great lighting whenever I can. Guess I really love the textures and details of the big birds…from the beautiful eye colors many have, the beak coloration, feather detail and all those neat changes during the breeding season courtesy of hormones!! Now if all my pictures could be as good as the most perfect ones!!!

  5. What lens were you using for that second photo, Judy? It’s such an absolute treasure, and so crisp and clear. Oh — and how far away were you? Sometimes, I get frustrated with my results, but this morning I thought, “Well, perhaps in a rookery you get much closer than I do, even in a wildlife refuge.”

    The stick-bringing is wonderful. Now that you’ve mentioned it, you may have solved the dove-mystery I’ve often pondered. Once the mourning doves build their nests, it’s seemed to me that construction just goes on and on, even when the eggs are being incubated. Perhaps it’s the same behavior.

    Nature is more complicated than we often realize, and more interesting than many people think.

    • Yes the arranging of the nest does go on quite awhile. Even when no new twig is being inserted you will see a bird get up from the eggs for a moment, stretch, grab an existing twig in the nest and give it a good shake for security. I am not sure exactly how tightly woven the nests are sometimes. They can look like a pile of twigs or a loose platform at times. So maybe they always check for security until the chicks don’t need that safety anymore. Many of the big birds can fledge at 8 weeks so the nests don’t have to last forever. Plus after a nest is vacated you might see other birds come over and harvest a few twigs for their own nest building. Yeah a rookery is very fun to watch all the activity, tenderness, territoriality , rambunctious young …all of it.

      On the lens for the preening wood stork, I used my Canon 7D camera with the EF300mm F4L IS USM lens. I think the posted image is a full file or nearly so, so I was close with the 300mm. Although with the 7D the effective mm is 480mm with the conversion factor. When I put the 300mm on the 5D then it is 300mm…so the 5D allows me more room when I am close. Next time I go to Wako I will take a picture of how close the closest nesting island is to the boardwalk where I stand. The rookery allows a unique opportunity to be close enough for anyone to fill their viewfinder. Other rookeries in Florida like the one in Venice I have never visited, you really need more telephoto I have heard. So I am extremely lucky to have a nice place only 40minutes drive from my house.

  6. Judy it must be amazing to sit and watch them building their nests. I would be in my element. Beautiful display of nature at its finest. Have a great day.

    • So happy to hear from you from down under!! Hope the book is coming along great!! Can’t wait to see it when you are published. Yeah, you would love hanging out at the rookery I go to…I mean it is such an experience every time no matter which birds are home or nesting or not.

      • Judy the illustrations are slow (about thirteen to go) as Im juggling art for markets and craft shop but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to be finished by the end of the year and start my next crazy idea. I have to raise the money for printing but we are getting there slowly. My plan sell art, to print book. Thanks for asking its been a long process of learning and hopefully the next book won’t take as long.

  7. Sigh…. Just lovely. They’re incredibly elegant for their size and bulk — so smooth. I love these close-ups of their nesting life; so rare!

    • I know, it is a treat that not too many people get to see. What great fortune!I liked that preen shot quite a bit for those cute tail feathers!!

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