Wood Stork

Mycteria americana

The Wood Stork is the only stork and the largest wading bird that breeds in the United States. Populations in the United States (Florida) have dropped from 20,000 pairs in the 1930s to 10,000 pairs by 1960 and 5,000 pairs in the 1970s. Researchers generally agree the drop in population is because of loss of habitat for feeding.

These bizarre looking birds primarily range year round in South America, east of the Andes Mountains and north of Argentina. They are also resident in coastal Equador, Venezuela, coastal Central America, Florida, and Cuba. Nonbreeding birds will wander widely, and we find them on either coast of Mexico, Southern California, the Gulf coast of the USA, and the southeast USA to the south Atlantic coast. Georgia and South Carolina host summer breeding birds too.

Despite such a wide and varied range, science does not recognise any subspecies of Wood Storks (i.e. they are monotypic).

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