Reader Mumbles McGuirck makes a cogent observation: “Hmmm … Why don’t they blame it on climate change?”
All bad news is climate change. All good news is news.~ctm
May 17, 2019 06:00 AM, Updated May 17, 2019 09:15 AM
Dr. Jerry Lorenz, Audubon Florida research director, explains during a visit to South Nest Key why roseate spoonbills, along with other wading birds, are a major indicator of the health of Florida Bay. By Carl Juste
Wading birds in the Everglades built more nests in 2018 than any other year in the last 80, a record-breaking nesting event made possible by the right balance of wet and dry conditions in the delicate ecosystem. And after heading north to nest in recent years, the birds returned to the southern Everglades, their traditional nesting grounds.
More than 122,000 wading bird nests were counted in the Everglades during the 2018 nesting season, which ranged from December 2017 to July last year. Overall in South Florida more than 140,000 nests were found, the most since counting began in 1995, compared with an average of about 40,000 a year in the past decade.
“We have never seen anything like this in the last 80 years,’’ said South Florida Water Management District scientist Mark Cook, the lead author on the agency’s annual wading bird report released Thursday. “These numbers highlight the resiliency of these birds and that of the Everglades.’’