Bird #337 — Wood Stork

mycteria (nose or snout) americana (of America)

Saturday, July 21, 1990 — 4:50 pm

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina — Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive

I drove the entire length of the wildlife drive and only found the one flock of waders.  It was about 100 yards off the road, but it was the best the refuge had to offer.  I still had time before I told Sally I’d be back to the hotel, so I went around again.  When I got back to my old spot, I pulled over again to take another look.  This time I got a better view by standing on the door step and putting my scope on the roof of the car.

An immature Wood Stork was standing in the shallow flats in the middle of the flock.  It stood with its bill pointed downward, resting it against its neck.  It occasionally preened its feathers.  On two occasions I saw it open its massive yellowish bill and take half-hearted swipes at egrets that flew over too close for its comfort.

For a short time, the Wood Stork, a Great Egret and a Snowy Egret were standing in line in order of height.  The stork towered over the other birds.

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