- Associated Press - Saturday, August 5, 2017

RAMAH, La. (AP) - Birders, photographers and others will get a chance to see rare wood storks and other wading birds next weekend not far from Louisiana’s capital.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Army Corps of Engineers are holding a viewing event Saturday, Aug. 12, from 7 a.m. to noon in the South Farm area of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area.

The earlier you get there, the better the chances of seeing a wood stork - the only stork native to North America, a news release said. They can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall, with a 66-inch (1.6-meter) wingspan.

The South Farm area is in Iberville Parish off Interstate 10, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Baton Rouge.

There’s no entry fee, but anyone between the ages of 16 and 60 must have either a valid Louisiana hunting or fishing license or a Wild Louisiana Stamp. The stamp can be bought anywhere hunting and fishing license are sold. They are also available online at www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-2602.

The department says the South Farm habitat also attracts alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. People who can help identify wildlife and explain how the area is managed will be on hand.

A number of large, moist soil impoundments are flooded in the fall to provide habitat for water birds, especially shorebirds and waterfowl.

They also hold abundant small fish and crawfish, ideal food for wading birds such as storks, spoonbills, egrets, herons and ibis.

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