Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Patio Stork

We have seen few Wood Storks on our lake this fall, probably a good sign as water conditions appear more ideal for breeding. All have been single birds, hopefully foraging to find food for their incubating partners or nestlings. 

Remarkably, this stork walked right up on our patio and to the  back door. I hope no one has been feeding them as the behavior is unusual. Our neighbor's playful dog ended this magical encounter just as I was getting ready to make a video.

Mary Lou alerted me of the stork's presence along the edge of our backyard lake. I quickly grabbed my new pocket camera (Canon PowerShot SX 700 HS) and carefully stole out on the patio to get this photo:

Wood Stork approaches 20141221

The stork seemed to ignore my presence and started walking up on the lawn towards me. I backed away to fit the entire bird in the camera's frame:

Wood Stork approaches 2-20141221

It then balanced on one foot, characteristically holding onto its knee with the other foot, as if wondering about what to do as I slowly backed into the house.

Wood Stork approaches 3-20141221

From inside, I watched through the window as the stork approached on our patio:

Wood Stork through the window 20141221

I shot this photo through the screen, adding texture to the image:

Wood Stork through the screen 2-20141221

It moved right up to within less than 3 feet of the glass door:

Wood Stork through the window 2-20141221

The stork's bubble-gum pink feet are an adaptation to its style of tactile foraging, the better to startle small fish into its open jaws as it stirs the water:

Wood Stork pink feet 20141221

Again I backed up, this time into the kitchen, to capture the entire scene:

Wood Stork through the screen 20141221

Through the window, a portrait. The reflection from the window glass is captured in its eye:

Wood Stork portrait 20141221

Suddenly the stork appeared alarmed and quickly leaped up and flew away to the right. Within a second our next door neighbor's Goldendoodle pup streaked across in front of the window, in hot pursuit of the stork, which continued flying directly away over the lake. The dog, still full of energy, returned back towards home (or perhaps saw some ducks she could harass):

Wood Stork attacker 20141221


  1. A wonderful opportunity to take such great photos. I especially enjoyed seeing the head shot and all the sharp details. Thank you for sharing these.

  2. That's one friendly stork! Amazing pictures!

  3. the stork is amazing! acted like our roadrunners, here. they'll come right up and tap on the sliding glass doors. :)

  4. Oh, how fun! Glad you were there with your camera to capture it all! I love this shiny eyes and pink feet!

  5. What a great visitor! He was curious and came so close. I love it!

  6. How cool. I'd love to see one of these this close. Wow that was great that you got the dog in action too.

  7. Awesome! I love the close up of the head and the feet.

  8. That one image, looking through your patio door/window is amazing!!!

    Thanks for sharing the link this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'

  9. Wow. What a beautiful bird, and so great to get such close-ups!

  10. Wow! What a cool visitor!

  11. What a wonderful and usual story of the Wood Stork and its movements as it came closer and closer to your home. All the shots are wonderful however that last close up is amazing. Pity about the dog. You have the most fantastic view of the lake from your home. Thanks for sharing.

  12. How amazing an opportunity you had and great images. I wonder if it was looking in the glass at it's reflection, often times birds will do this thinking their territory is being invaded. Whatever the case I should say Awesome!

  13. The Wood Stork is an awesome bird. It is cool to have one on your patio! I am glad it could make a quick getaway from the dog.. Great post.

  14. How amazing!:) A stork on your pateo, and such good photos too. I never realized a stork could be that curious.

  15. Great bird photos, and I love the dog running photo, too!

  16. Damn dogs...... they spoil a lot of fun..... in more ways than one.

  17. what an awesome visitor you received... beautiful images of the stork too. love the close up on its face. hope all is well. have a great day~


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