Thriving Wood Stork Colony


As a follow up to Friday’s little exhausted wood stork chick, I’ve gathered a few other images from the rookery visit to show a little more of this amazingly thriving colony! Wood storks have been downlisted on the Endangered Species list here in Florida, something we can be grateful for as it means this interesting and elegant species is doing very well. I can remember when I did not know what a wood stork was and any view of one when I finally did know was very distant and few in number. I’d stop the car on a roadside swale if I ever spied one of these large wading birds fishing in a canal. To be able to watch them raise their families is a treat!!

The image above is yesterday’s chick with it parent at the nest. There is a sibling there as well.

Another wood stork nest with three siblings. I particularly
liked the leg foot hold on the chick to the upper right.

I admit I am fascinated with bird's feet. This just
a closer up view of that foot hold pose.

Here we see yet another nest and this shot demonstrates
the reverse knee bend of the wading birds (at least
as compared to humans). The white streaks you see
down the legs of wood storks are urates, a combination of
urine and feces which they squirt upon themselves for
cooling. This habit starts right away.

I often say that if I could paint the birds I would and not having that
talent...I take pictures. This is just a little bit of play
with some photoshop water color brushes to give a painterly
feel. The image was converted to black and white first and masked.
Color was added back in selectively on the face of the bird,
 the leaves, branches and the water color brushes were used to 
splotch the blue sky back in with a painterly look. This is only
for what it is worth as I have lot to learn if I want
a photograph to actually look like a painting.



~ by Judy on April 29, 2017.

7 Responses to “Thriving Wood Stork Colony”

  1. I really like your approach with that last image, Judy. Of course all the photos are cute/interesting/funny, but that last one does have a bit of an artistic flair.

    I’ve never noticed it before, but these wood storks remind me a good bit of Plato. I suppose it’s the long bill, and that gaze — so impassive, and yet responsive. And, there’s a bit of a “Don’t mess with me” attitude lurking around!

    • You are absolutely right about the attitude! Yet despite that confident bearing, when you look them in the face, there is a pleasant expression too. Some call them Wood Ibises but the are not related to either the Ibis or the Pelican. In fact both the Ibis and Pelican are in the same taxonomic Order: Pelecaniformes. Whereas, the Wood Stork is in Order: Ciconiiformes. But, the direct gaze is soooo Plato!! And the curves of the bill is reminiscent of the White Ibis.

      Thanks for the input on the artistic effort. Originally I had thought to crop tightly down on that for a face portrait, but then liked the lower positioning of the bird and the oriental feel of the vertical branches and the leaves. Seemed to have that simplicity. I found some great water color brushes and tried a couple to put back the sky. I didn’t dab color, I dabbed color back in on the black and white with masking from the underneath color layer. Well I did dab a little bit of green on the top. I haven’t really played with the artistic things in a long time but am drawn (NPI) to the idea.

  2. Such majestic looking birds, yet with a cast to them, especially around the head and bill, that makes them look like survivors from the Age of Dinosaur. And you’ve captured that look so well.

    • I always thought they looked a little sci fi like a StarTrek ‘Borg’ bird with that head plate and attitude. But, I agree that they do harken back to a prehistoric appearance too…seeming very ancient and wise. Well, they do call them Preacher birds, for their sometimes contemplative look.

  3. I agree with the “don’t mess with me” attitude. Even though I’ve owned birds before, I still marvel at how they sleep on one foot. More than that, they sleep on one foot WITH their heads/beaks turned 180 degrees and tucked behind their wings. And they don’t fall. Amazing.

    • Good Morning!! Wood storks do have that confident, don’t tread on me gaze. But, then they are the biggest bird in the rookery!! Adds to their regal bearing I think.

      I know what you mean by the birds sleeping in the most precarious looking positions. Herons do it too! HERE is a post link to a sleepy Louisiana heron trying to nap on a rainy Florida day at the rookery.

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