(Posted by Andrew D. Smith <[log in to unmask]> via moumn.org)

The Wood Stork in Faribault County can be more specifically aged. According to COMPLETE 
BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA by Jonathan Alderfer et al., "...adult plumage attained in fourth 
year. The neck and most of the head are covered with grayish feathering, which is lost by 
the second year. Head and neck become "scaly"." I think then our bird would most likely be 
a one year old (plus) individual. Also, in LIVES OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS by Kenn 
Kaufman, this species' diet is described as, ..." Mostly fish. Eats a wide variety of fish, 
especially minnows, killifish, mullet. Also crayfish, crabs, aquatic insects, snakes, baby 
alligators, small turtles, frogs, rodents, some seeds and other plant material." With its 
recent movements away from the original farmstead this morning, perhaps it's seeking 
more substantial food than the earthworms it has been observed eating.

There was also a note on the Iowa list serve, in response to a posting alerting birders there 
about this bird, that 10 or so days ago there had been a Wood Stork in Nebraska. Our bird 
is almost certainly a storm-assisted vagrant, and it would be interesting to compare any 
photos of that bird to ours. I did check emails on that list serve, back to mid-May, but found 
no reference to any Wood Stork postings. Perhaps it was only mentioned on social media 
sites. With the storm track on the 18th, this bird could possibly have come from that 

It would be interesting if anyone else has come across additional information in the 

Drew Smith
Eagan, Dakota County
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