With a wingspan of about 5 feet, wood storks are the largest wading bird in North America.
You can find them, but only for the next few weeks, at nearby Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary near Jackson.
Just 14 miles from Augusta, the sanctuary encompasses 3,154 acres along the Savannah River. There are miles of hiking trails, a visitor's center with exhibits on wildlife and several ponds stocked with fish that attract a variety of birds including great egrets, blue herons, white ibis and the endangered wood stork. More than 200 species of birds can be found at the sanctuary.
"We're just trying to reconnect folks with nature," said Paul Koehler, the center's director. "Giving kids -- and adults, too -- any kind of exposure to nature just has a wealth of benefits for their emotional, mental, physical and academic state."
Muskrats, deer, armadillo, beavers, bobcats, otters and alligators have all been spotted at the sanctuary. But this time of year it's the wood stork that many bird enthusiasts want to see before they migrate back to Florida for the winter in early September.
IF YOU GO
Don't forget to bring your binoculars. The center asks that you call ahead if you would like to view the storks.
PHONE: (803) 471-0291
LOCATION: 4542 Silver Bluff Road, Jackson
HOURS: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
For more information, visit sc.audubon.org/Centers_SB.html.