When you’ve got an itch…it’s nice to have someone around to scratch it for you.
This is a pair of wood storks I photographed last week at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Florida. For my Florida friends, it is west of Boynton Beach on Jog Road. It is a great place to see birds, and babies, but beware, it is popular. We had to wait in line to park the car, on a Friday morning!
This is a 50-acre, man-made wetland, designed for recycling waste water (the name is derived from a Seminole Indian phrase meaning “created waters”). It was full of nesting wood storks the day we were there, and we also saw some very young anhinga and blue heron babies in nests. So it will be a good baby spotting destination for the next few weeks.
The wood stork is the only stork that breeds in North America and is limited to Florida, Georgia, and parts of the Carolinas. It was removed from the endangered list and upgraded to threatened in 2014.
For my younger readers: Do storks bring babies? Yes, but only their own.
The stork as baby deliverer myth has been around a long time. Even back in Roman times a stork on one’s roof was seen as a blessing. All that good fortune eventually included claims of fertility and babies. Hans Christian Anderson pushed the lore into greater popularity with his 1938 fairy tale, “The Storks.”
But from what I have read, the stork of the baby myths was always one of the nice white-headed kind found in Europe, not the ugly-headed wood storks that we have in the US. That would be a very hard myth to swallow, even for a desperate parent wanting to avoid the birds and bees talk with the children. They aren’t pretty.
Below are more photos from my Wakodahatchee visit. If you want to see the other ‘itches,’ start here.
A slide show of anhingas and babies:
And a few blue herons and babies:
Below are a tri-colored heron, a grebe, a gallinule, an egret and an alligator: