I just learned that a bird that is considered very rare this far north was spotted on Ocracoke recently. Carol Pahl noticed the wood stork on Monday, and made the photos below. She heard that Mark Justice has also seen the bird, and that it has been here a couple of days. I'm not sure when the last sighting of this species may have been, but Carol told me she heard that old time islanders used to eat them. That doesn't surprise me. Old timers ate ducks, geese, beach birds, and even song birds. When you live on a tiny barrier island, and you're hungry, those birds look tasty!
The wood stork is a big bird - about 40" tall and with a wingspan of 61" Carol points out that this is a juvenile probably a bit over a year old. When they are fully adult they loose all their orange coloration and have a black head and neck.
You can click on any photo to see a larger image (I think the curious cat had better be careful!).
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of a 1911 wedding on Portsmouth Island. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022111.htm.