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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wood storks!

During my Saturday afternoon sketching trip to Freedom Park I happened on two wood storks feeding in one of the middle lakes. Their industrious feeding activity allowed me to get some quick sketches done as they moved past. The storks ignored me while a nearby great egret kept its eye on me, certain I was up to no good.
The wood storks are large, almost as large as the great egret, but more solidly built. I read that they are monogamous, and I wondered how long this pair had been together. My bird book tells me that these are North America's only storks.

They moved through the water, stirring up the mud with one foot and then stabbing their beak into likely underwater spots. From a distance the heads looked evenly brown, but then I realized that some of that was from the muddy water. Although I simplified the heads in my direct observation drawing, I did a more careful drawing (the second sketch) from a photo I took in order to understand better how the head and bill looked.

You can click on either image above to view them larger on my Flickr photostream.