Family Storks (Ciconiidae)

Least Concern

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)


French: Tantale d’Amérique German: Waldstorch Spanish: Tántalo americano
Other common names: American Wood Stork

Mycteria americana


, 1758,



Has sometimes been treated as sole member of genus (other three species then being placed in genus Ibis); feeding and display behaviour of all four, however, are very similar, with differences mainly in bare parts. Monotypic.


SE states of USA (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida), and Mexico S through Central America to N Argentina. Found all year throughout breeding range except in N areas.

Descriptive notes

83–102 cm; 2–3 kg; wingspan 150 cm. Head and neck unfeathered, bony plates on cap. Immature has head and neck brownish, with some feathering, and yellow bill.


Mostly silent away from breeding colonies, but occasionally utters grunts and claps bill when... read more


Wetlands, including mangroves, gallery forest, damp grassland, freshwater marshes and swamps; any... read more

Food and feeding

Principally takes fish, including sunfish (Lepomis) and catfish (Ictalurus); also opportunistic, taking... read more


Most available data from USA. Colonial tree nester, sometimes in mixed colonies e.g. with other Ciconiiformes. Stick nest, built in... read more


Post-breeding dispersal occurs in the USA and Mexico. Very large numbers cross Middle America on... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). BirdLife International report an overall population decline but that North American population is increasing. USA population... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A., Garcia, E.F.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 3 April 2020).