The Ohio Birds List-serve is a-buzz with news of Wood Storks found in Coshocton Co. This is an incredible find, with a total of three birds now being seen.
Wood Storks are large birds usually found wading and foraging for frogs, and fish in southern-as in Florida- waters. Seeing one in Ohio was too good to be true! Seeing three... should be on everybody's "short" list.
These gangly birds have been species of concern as the Florida Everglades habitat have been in decline. Cornell's Birds of America does a better job of explaining the habits and haunts of these magnificent birds, and Jim McCormac has just posted some pretty amazing photos and directions to their location.
These beasts are a good example of why some birders "chase" birds. I would drive great distances in Florida to see Wood Storks in their normal habitat, why wouldn't I want to witness this incredible sight in my own "backyard"? Perhaps hurricane Fay had something to do with their dispersal- or perhaps these three juveniles wondered a bit north of the regular (wing) beaten path. Either way, this learning opportunity was well within my reach- and I am a better person for having spent time witnessing nature in action.
Global warming may put many of our least understood species at peril, and I intend to see as many as possible, before it is too late. I hope you get to enjoy this amazing sight in person as well.