Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, HIFs & DIFs: Little bit of Everything (10/20/20)

Started 3 months ago | Photos thread
OP zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 33,492
Thank you icon1,

icon1 wrote:

Lovely images and such a great variety. I envy you at this time of the year as many of our birds have departed in anticipation of colder days ahead. Hopefully some owls will appear here soon to provide some interest.

We're still a little thin compared to what we should be this time of year - at least going back historically - though the past 10 years have seen the winter population getting thinner and thinner, as we have gone from short winters of a month or so, to a few weeks, to lately no winter at all.  We haven't dipped into the 40s for 3 years - whereas we used to have at least 10-20 days a year that would get there, and even the 30s on rare occasion.

Somehow it seems Covid had some effect too - you wouldn't think it could, yet the two main wetlands I visit regularly are clearly different - with no people for nearly 6 months and many fewer people since reopening, these two spots are unique because of how close the wildlife and humans interact, and many of the birds that nest and roost in these spots likely felt a degree of protection with so many people always walking around them, it kept other predators at bay that might go after them, their chicks, or their eggs.  One stark difference is at the park called Wakodahatchee, which has always been the primary nighttime roost for thousands of ibis and egrets for at least a last time there getting close to sunset when there should have been hundreds of birds flying in from all directions, there were just a handful.  At Green Cay wetlands nearby, which had very few roosting birds at night, there were hundreds already.  So it seems the birds for the first time in 10 years shifted their roosting spot!  The only thing that changed so far this year was the Covid lockdowns closing the parks, so I have no better guess what caused them to move - Green Cay Wetlands was closed, but was having construction done to their nature center and boardwalk from March through July, meaning there were people present there for much of the lockdown, while Wakodahatchee was pretty well empty the whole time.

I wonder if things will start to go back to normal and the birds will move winter comes on, Wakodahatchee becomes my primary BIF spot...but only if the roosting birds come back!

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