Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wood Storks Nesting

Ever since I saw my first Wood Stork I've wanted to observe, sketch and photograph them throughout their nesting cycle.

This year I got my wish :)

For the first time ever recorded, Wood Storks chose to nest on Spring Island! Yeah! They're relatively close by and I have access!

My first trip to check out the rookery was back in June. I saw a few hatchlings and some Storks were still sitting on eggs.

click to enlarge
I had just purchased a Platinum brush pen from JetPens and tried it out in my Aqua Bee sketchbook. I'm not used to sketching with such a bold stroke and felt a bit timid with my line work. I'm still playing with the pen... but that's for another post :)

Yesterday, Rob and I arrived at the rookery around 8:30 a.m. The day promised to be steamy. We walked past black vultures that were standing on the ground.  We were ho hums to them. That's what I love about Spring Island. Wildlife is revered there and everything/one lives in harmony. The rookery was teaming with activity. Snowy egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Anhinga and Wood Storks were in the trees. Most of the sounds, or should I say the loudest, came from the juvi Wood Storks. Music to my ears :)

During my June visit, I sat close to a sand trap and suffered many a red ant bite. This time I set up my chair and scope well away from from the sand. I dowsed my self in sunscreen proir to leaving the house and now bug spray. Yuck, but necessary.

Here are my on-location sketches. The ants found me anyway and they paid no attention to bug spray! I was so warm I kept fogging up the eyepiece of my scope. I managed to get a few good digi-scope images early on.
Not real sharp but good enough for my reference purposes. I used the begging juvi to fill a spot on the right side of the journal page.

If you look real close at the photo you will notice a juvi with it's beak
pointed straight up to the adult's head. The beak blends with the dead tree.


  1. Nicely animated Pam. And a pleasure to have them nesting I'm sure.

    I had been wanting to drop a note anyway before you posted this. Every once in awhile I check my blog statistics to see where my visitors come from. I was surprised once again today to see how many come from your link here!

    Steamy here today with temps headed for 100. But I'm sure it's still better than there. I don't envy anyone steamy weather.

  2. What a wonderful treat for you to have these - and what a treat for you to share them with us. The baby birds of all kinds are always saying, FEED ME FEED ME FEED ME NOW, and I marvel at the total dedication of their parents :)

  3. What an experience! Neat sketches.

  4. What lovely sketches of such fascinating birds!

  5. What a great experience and that you were able to chronicle it! Love the page.

  6. Beautiful birds!
    Kind regards

  7. Love this post and the story. Except for the ant bites. Ow! Great drawings and entries!

  8. Love the sketches! And thank you for reminding me not to take anything for granted -- I see wood storks almost every day in my subdivision, and because of that I have been failing to appreciate their size, their appearance, their rarity in America as a whole, etc. I won't make that mistake again.

  9. Wow!, thank you everyone for commenting. I had to be away from the computer for longer than usual and what a nice surprise to see 8 comments!

    Ken, thanks so for stopping by and I'm thrilled that my blog is sending folks your way! Keep cool :)

    Hi Rhonda! Thanks and yes, watching the care and trials and tribulations that adult birds give and go through is amazing.

    Thanks, Barbara. I'm still smiling :)

    Thanks, Sarah. I'm a fan of all birds but expecially long legged wading birds and raptors.

    Thanks, Laure. 'Twas great!

    Thanks for stopping by Matte0. Yes, the are beautiful.

    Hi Suzanne! Thanks! Silly ants love picnics and anyone who dawdles on their turf - I had enough when one crawled all the way up to my neck to bite!

    Thanks for stopping by John and for your comment. Happy to shake up your senses. As adults, it so easy to get absorbed in duties, etc. and forget to see with childlike wonder. It's a fight to keep that wonder but so worth it :)

  10. Pam...I love this page. You captured their movements so well. I saw storks two summers ago on Pinckeny Island. They were there roosting one day while I was there. I fell in love with them...

  11. Thanks, Kelly! This the rookery I was telling you about. Thank goodness for having a scope, though as they were a good piece away. Not like in your face at Pinckney :)