Wood Storks From St. Augustine Rookery

We found many Wood Storks at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery on our trip there last January. They seem to like nests more in the top of tall large trees and many times you see multiple nests in the same treetop. It is an interesting place to photograph a wide variety of birds, many nesting there. They are constantly coming & going and it can be quite noisy at times. For this post I am featuring some of the Wood Storks from the same general area around one treetop. Some think they are ugly birds, but I prefer to think of them as interesting photo subjects with character. They also seemed to interact with Spoonbills quite often. The featured image is a 2 image slight pano to not crop off it’s feet in the branches.

Wood Stork, 150-600mm @ 500mm, Canon R
Wood Stork TakeOff from Treetops, 150-600mm @ 500mm, Canon R. Multiple nests were in this area so there was a lot of activity here.
Wood Stork with Roseate Spoonbills in treetops, 150-600mm @ 400mm, Canon R
Wood Stork surrounded with Roseate Spoonbills in treetops, 150-600mm @ 400mm, Canon R
Wood Stork with Roseate Spoonbill in tree tops. 150-600mm @ 600mm

Wood Stork Flying In With Nesting Material

I am going through old files from previous photo trips to post images here. These were from our Photo Trip to Florida last January. Even though I am retired, I never got to posting many images from this trip. These were also from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. We spent 2 days there before we moved on to our next destination south and each day here was slightly different for the opportunities to photograph certain birds. Also I was surprised to be able to photograph so many nests and nests with chicks. I was mostly using the Canon R with the Tamron 150-600mm because it was so warm & humid it was hard to carry more lenses. Plus it was the perfect lens with the wide zoom range. Even at 150mm I had to do a few panoramas of nesting birds to get the whole nest & bird in. We also stopped here again on our way back home since we had to pass by.

Wood Stork Flying In with nesting material, Tamron 150-600mm @ 550mm, Canon R
3 Horizontal Images Panorama, 150mm, Tamron 150-600mm, Canon R.

The above panorama shows a variety of nesting birds in one tree at 8:34 in the morning. Mostly Egrets & Wood Storks. As the day progressed there were many more in the tree but I did not shoot another panorama showing all the birds & nests. I should have continued and photographed the right side also showing even more birds in that one tree.

Wood Stork Preening

I am going through backup drives looking for images to post here since we are staying home during the virus outbreak. It actually gives me time to go through backup drives and clean out files that I do not need to make more space. Also I am finding images I have not worked on before. We saw this preening Wood Stork in the water along the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 zoom lens and the featured images was taken at 800mm. I liked the “splash of color” of the Roseate Spoonbill in the foreground.


Wood Stork Sunset Panoramas

I am going through images from previous trips to some of our trips to Florida. Here are a few panoramas of Wood Storks I photographed from the Wildlife Drive at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/ 5.6 lens, all @ 800mm. The Wood Storks did not move around to much, but the ducks were constantly  moving about.

I first tried a 5 image panorama which is the featured image. Because they were moving around somewhat I manually aligned the images and used soft-edge masks to blend the images for the final image. Then I photographed a 3 image version again at 800mm.


Single image from 5 img panorama, Wood Storks @ 800mm


3 images panorama @ 800mm


Single image shot @ 318mm showing group of Wood Storks. Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens

Wood Stork Flying In Nest Building Materials

When we were photographing birds at a Rookery in Florida, I photographed this Wood Stork flying in nest building materials. Once it got closer to the tree the nest was in, it disappeared in the branches and leaves.


Courting Wood Storks

Wood_Stork_Courting_v2_76A4385With all the nests at the rookery, it was probable you would find some birds mating. Did not think it would be Wood Storks though. These Storks were at the top of one of the tallest trees in the Rookery. Not sure if it was their nest or an existing abandoned nest. Images shot @ 600mm. The images below are why there are so many nests at the Rookery. The alligators are basically protecting the nests from predators that would climb up the trees to feed on the young birds. These are just a few of the 30 or more alligators below the walkway.





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