August 13, 2013
By SC DNR 7:40 pm

During 2013, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) banded over 50 wood storks with field-readable bands. The bands used in South Carolina are orange with black numbers. Several other color combinations are being used for other projects. Researchers throughout the southeast are banding storks as part of a collaborative project to learn more about their movements, demography, and longevity.

If you see wood storks, you can check to see if they have bands by looking at their upper legs. Some storks have multiple bands, but typically only one of the bands has a code made up of numbers and/or letters. If you see a banded stork, you can contribute to this project by recording the following information: 1) color of band, 2) color of engraved code, 3) code, 4) location of band on stork – which leg, 5) color and location of any additional bands or transmitter on stork, 6) location where stork is located.

Please report any sightings of banded wading birds to DNR at wadingbirds@dnr.sc.gov and also to the Bird Banding Lab at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/index.cfm? or 1-800-327-BAND. We often can provide you with information about where the bird was banded.

Satellite transmitters are also being used by researchers to answer a variety of management questions about wood storks. Nine wood storks were outfitted with transmitters at the Washo Reserve in South Carolina last year. You can learn about their travels on the Wildlife Tracking website and on the Washo Wood StorksFacebook page.

In addition to the storks that nest in South Carolina, many storks that nest in other states visit South Carolina during the fall to feed. Storks are regularly seen throughout the lowcountry, sometimes in large groups. Storks are also occasionally seen farther inland. For more information about storks and other wading birds in South Carolina, please see the DNR Wading Bird website.