Migrating Wood Storks in South Texas
by Bryce W. Robinson
A few weeks ago I was in South Texas for the Raptor Research Foundations annual conference. Corpus Christi in the fall is a mecca for those into raptor migration, and likewise the whole of south Texas is a mecca for those interested in the bird world. While I was visiting the hawk watch platform, run by Hawkwatch International, I saw many birds in large numbers. Of course the Broad-winged Hawk migration was flowing well, but I was able to see something unexpected that was equally satisfying. Large numbers of Wood Stork – Mycteria americana were streaming through in kettles. The kettles were in the same fashion as the migrating raptors, and the numbers were extremely large as well. I captured some video of the spectacle to share and spread the awe of the movement of these large North American Storks.
Ah yes, I remember the kettling Wood Storks when I did HawkWatch in Texas. The thing that I thought was the most interesting was the sound. I don’t know if you were able to hear them, but it is so loud and sounds like crinkling paper flapping in the breeze (that’s my best attempt at a description). I miss those guys. And they are strong too! I held one when I was in Florida and oh man, they can rip you a new one! And cover you in mites!
Whoa sounds like a rodeo Melissa. I couldn’t hear the sound. There were a lot of chatty folks on the platform that day. Wish I had heard it though. The thing I found interesting was how many times they collide with one another. It happens at least three times in this clip!
I have never seen one stork much less a huge kettle like this. WOW!!
It was amazing Denise. You’ll have to make a trip to Texas. There is too much to see there.