Wood Storks are a perfect fit for the Florida Everglades. Like the primordial swamp that feels as though it's frozen in an earlier evolutionary period, so are Wood Storks. The fascinating birds were among the first that attracted me to the wide variety of birds that spend time in South Florida.

Initially I was taken aback when seeing one that appeared to be sitting with its knees bent backwards as shown in this photo. It's understandable since we tend to define many other species with human characteristics.

It's also a mistake to do so as in this case. What we see is the Wood Storks ankles, not their knees. Their knees are very close to their body and hidden in their feathers. A good way to look at it is that the Wood Stork walks on its toes, thus making it more understandable that what's assumed to be the knee is actually the ankles.

As you can see in the Black Vulture photo below, this position is not unique to Wood Storks. The extremely long, skinny legs are not only a distinguishing characteristic of Wood Storks but also what people also tend to notice first. That is not typically the case with Vultures that do not have the long legs like the Wood Stork.

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