Wow! There were an estimated 77,505 wading bird nests in south Florida in 2009, a much larger number than in 2008 and the best numbers since the 1940s. You can read all about it at American Bird Conservancy.
What interested me most about this article was the implication that these populations can explode and dramatically fall. Check out these numbers:
Scientists also found that wading birds appeared to increase nesting activity on the recently restored section of the Kissimmee River floodplain. Over 1,500 nests were recorded there, which is considerably greater than the six nests that were recorded there in 2008 and greatly surpasses the previous high count of 637 nests in 2006.
I wonder why they’re not more stable. It will be interesting to monitor the effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill on these numbers.
Go wood storks! I saw my first in February when I was in Florida for the last night launch of the space shuttle.
Source: “Wading Bird Population in South Florida Up Significantly,” American Bird Conservancy press release, April 16, 2010