After a long string of bad years, the endangered wood storks are having good nesting year at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and chicks are beginning to fledge. The only native stork in North America, the Wood Stork is very large, heavy-billed bird that wades in the shallows of southern swamps, including their age-old breeding ground of Corkscrew in Naples FL.
However good this year has been, threats remain. Wood storks serve as an indicator of the health of Southwest Florida’s swamps and the ecosystem’s integrity and health. They depend on the wet period and the dry period, but because so many of the shallow wetlands they prefer have been drained due to general environmental conditions and increased development, the birds have been forced further east in Florida, and north to Georgia and South Carolina.