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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?
Comments: To: Sundial <Sundial@tybee.com>
In-Reply-To:  <000b01bedadb$33dd80c0$273a4d0c@oemcomputer>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hi Rene!

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 many Crows.

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 packing.

I'm planning on returning in the morning with my camera. I'll post any changes/additions if necessary.

Cheers, Steve

At 06:30 PM 7/30/99 -0400, you wrote:

Hello everyone, 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


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