- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Wood storks successfully built 200 nests in a southwest Florida sanctuary the endangered birds had abandoned several years ago.

Officials say 300 chicks were born in the nests in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The storks had not nested there since 2009, when they built 1,120 nests and produced 2,570 fledglings.

Sanctuary director Jason Lauritsen tells The News-Press (https://newspr.es/1obSwWf ) that most of the chicks left the nests before the start of rainy season, so they have a good chance of making it to adulthood.

The sanctuary once was the largest wood stork breeding colony in North America. The birds were forced to find other places to nest as their shallow wetland habitat declined. Officials say wood storks built around 1,400 nests elsewhere in the Everglades during this year’s five-month nesting season.

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Information from: The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, https://www.news-press.com

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