Help Biologists by Reporting Wood Stork Colonies
The wood stork is the only species of stork that breeds in the U.S. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the wood stork as threatened because of declines in its range and numbers. It is important to determine the location of wood stork nesting colonies so scientists can accurately gauge the current nesting population and its distribution. This will help them evaluate the status of the species in Florida. But FWC biologists cannot locate every wood stork nesting colony by themselves, especially small, isolated colonies and those on private lands. That’s why they rely on the public to report sightings of wood stork nesting colonies. We recommend remaining a minimum of 100 yards away from a wood stork colony and using binoculars for observation. Approaching a colony can cause the adults to abandon their nests, which can expose the eggs and baby birds to temperature stress, predators and falls from the nest.
In addition, if you see a banded wood stork (an individual with a plastic band or bands around one or both upper legs), we also ask that you report it. It’s important to note which leg and in which order (top to bottom) the bands are in. Some bands may have a unique code of letters and numbers which identify the individual stork. If you can see this through binoculars, scope or camera lens we encourage you to write it down and send it to us (we also accept photos). A stork’s color combination and/or unique code help researchers to identify where the stork was banded, where it’s been since, and how long it’s been alive. We do not recommend approaching storks closely or harassing them to get this information, so if a bird starts reacting to your presence (walking toward or away from you, raising its head to watch you, flapping wings, etc.) just back up and enjoy the birds!
Report a Wood Stork colony
To report a wood stork colony, please email the date of the sighting, the location of the colony, a general habitat description and your contact information to FWC biologists at Storks@MyFWC.com.
Questions about the Wood Storks
Email your questions about wood stork behavior and conservation to Storks@MyFWC.com.
Report a Wildlife Violation
If you suspect a wildlife law violation, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Program at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or visit the Wildlife Alert Program Web page for more information.