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CLOSED: Help With Thought Process to ID bird

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

I don't really expect an ID for this, but I would like to get some input as to my thought process. Am I on the right track?

In driving to the park yesterday, I spotted two very large (bigger than geese) birds flying off to the side of the road toward me. When I spotted them, they were almost even with my car, so I didn't get a long look and there was no shoulder to pull off on, so I couldn't stop.

The birds were white and black - mostly white with some black on the wings. I don't know if the black was only on the tips or extended down the trailing edge of the wings...wish I did since it might narrow this down.

My initial thought was a Wood Stork since I had seen them last year for the first time and this reminded me of them. But, since I wasn't sure, I looked up all of the possibilities of very large white and black birds in my area at this time. That would be White Pelican (not likely since the body, neck and head were slim), Wood Stork and Whooping Crane. Sandhill Cranes have been seen in that area, but these birds were not gray at all.

I then narrowed it down to Wood Stork or Whooping Crane. The Whooper is not at all likely since they are rarely seen anywhere in Texas but in a small wintering area on the coast. But, I suppose these two could be late stragglers to the wintering grounds??? I doubt it.

So, I feel pretty certain that these birds were Wood Storks, but I won't count them since I couldn't verify all of the distinguishing characteristics (heavy and long vs light and short bill, black on trailing edge of wings and not just tips) from the Whooper.

Reasonable thought process?


Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Seems reasonable. Can you remember how they were flying? Steady flap-flap-flap, or mainly gliding? Fast wingbeat or slow?


Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Hmmm. I don't really remember. But, thanks for asking because now I'll know to look for that.


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