Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 22:38:35 -0400
Reply-To: Steve Bingham <church@ZNET.GROUPZ.NET>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Steve Bingham <church@ZNET.GROUPZ.NET>
Subject: Re: Wood Storks, Panting?
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I would bet that the birds were just panting. The past couple of weeks I've
seen many birds doing so in this heat including Blue Jays, Catbirds, and
On the way home from laboring at the Savannah River Site today I stopped by
the National Audubon Society owned Silver Bluff Sanctuary. There are
several ponds here (locally called Kathwood Ponds) on the sanctuary
property that attract Wood Storks annually. Today there were about 85
present, but at 4:00 all were in trees surrounding the ponds with the
exception of 2 that were feeding in a pond that has been lowered. I noticed
some of the storks in the trees were panting as well. Many Great Egrets,
immature Little Blue Herons, Killdeer, and a few Great Blue Heron were also
around. I was hoping for more shorebirds, but the heat probably sent them
I'm planning on returning in the morning with my camera. I'll post any
changes/additions if necessary.
At 06:30 PM 7/30/99 -0400, you wrote:
A Fellow birder and I were out this morning exploring tidal creeks
within Little Tybee. We came around a bend to see four wood storks
roosting. I shut off the engine and glided up to the trees they were in.
One of them was holding it's beak open. Another turned around on his perch
to get a better look at us and then opened his beak also. Eventually they
were all holding open their beaks. My friend and I couldn't decide whether
they were posturing territorially or they were displaying some
themoregualation behavior. Are they mouth breathers? Were they panting? It
is incredibly hot.
Anybody have any thoughts?
Captain Rene Heidt