A Foraging Wood Stork

Yesterday’s post featured some Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) in flight. Today’s post is contains some images of foraging wood storks that I captured in Myakka River State Park.

Wood Storks feed by moving their bills back and forth in the water. The feeding habits of the wood stork are particularly interesting. Small fish from 1 to 6 inches long, especially topminnows and sunfish, provide the primary diet.  Wood storks capture their prey by a specialized technique known as grope-feeding or tacto-location. Feeding often occurs in water 6 to 10 inches deep, where a stork probes with the bill partly open.  When a fish touches the bill it quickly snaps shut.  The average response time of this reflex is 25 milliseconds, making it one of the fastest reflexes known in vertebrates.

Wood Stork foraging in the Myakka River

Wood Stork foraging in the Myakka River

Wood Stork foraging in the Myakka River

Wood Stork foraging in the Myakka River

Wood Stork foraging in the Myakka River

Wood Stork foraging in the Myakka River

As you can see from these photos, these birds are very unique. A body kinda like an egret … a head kinda like a vulture … but truly a fabulous bird!

Photo Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 235mm to  400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6 to f/8 (increased a bit to assure entire bird was in sharp focus)
  • Shutter 1/125 sec. to 1/640 sec.

 

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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