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Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Program 410 S. Ware Blvd., Suite 702 Tampa, FL 33619 This slide show provides pictures of many colonial wading birds.

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Presentation on theme: "Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Program 410 S. Ware Blvd., Suite 702 Tampa, FL 33619 This slide show provides pictures of many colonial wading birds."— Presentation transcript:

1 Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Program 410 S. Ware Blvd., Suite 702 Tampa, FL This slide show provides pictures of many colonial wading birds and other birds commonly seen around East Lake.

2 Colonial waterbirds are large, with noisy young and smelly nests. Hiding from predators is not an option, so they nest on islands free from mammalian predators. As long as the adults are at the nests, they can defend their eggs and young from most aerial predators. 2

3 In freshwater swamps and lakes, alligators deter raccoons and other predators from getting to a nesting colony. Alligators are part of Floridas natural history, and balance the ecosystems. 3

4 Double-crested Cormorants nest high in the colony, to fly into their nests, unobstructed. Hook-billed, they hunt their fish prey by sight, swimming underwater. Mostly eat bottom-dwelling fish and crabs. 4

5 Anhingas, like cormorants, hunt by swimming underwater, but they use their needle-sharp bills to spear through the body of their fish prey. Generally, Anhingas are more associated with freshwater than cormorants. 5

6 Great blue herons nest in every state in the continental united states. They are the largest heron and eat large prey compared to other wading birds. Even nearly-grown great blue heron young are easily identified by the wispy head feathers. The young leave the nest about 3 months after the eggs hatch. 6

7 7 Great Egrets are among the most familiar birds, both coastal and inland -- large white herons with yellow beaks and black legs.

8 8 Great Egrets were nearly hunted to extinction in the late 1800s for their aigrettes, spectacular breeding feathers on their shoulders, which were used to decorate ladies hats.

9 The chicks are calling loudly to beg food from their parent. 9

10 Snowy egrets are listed as species of special concern A small white heron with black bill and yellow feet 10

11 Little blue herons are blue-grey as adults, but white as immature birds, during their first year of life. Listed as species of special concern due to reliance on freshwater wetlands for foraging sites. 11

12 A young Little Blue Heron molting to its adult plumage at the end of the summer, one year after hatching. 12

13 LITTLE BLUE HERON AND TRICOLORED HERON This photograph shows how similar the two common species of small dark herons are. Above, an adult Little Blue Heron (note the grayish body and russet head). Below, a Tricolored Heron (formerly called a Louisiana Heron) with similar dark back, russet striping and patterning on the neck, and a white abdomen. 13

14 Tricolored herons are listed as species of special concern, they feed in freshwater wetlands. Tricolored heron young, waiting at the colony for their parents to return with food. 14

15 Cattle Egrets show buffy colored breeding feathers in the colony. They have strong, yellow bills and heavy bodies. Cattle Egrets can be confused easily with Snowy Egrets, but note that Snowy Egrets always have dark legs and yellow feet. 15

16 Green Herons are secretive and often seen among cattails or fishing from a dock. The long neck is useful in surprising fish prey. 16

17 Green Herons nest in skinny branches that hang over the water. The young are quiet and secretive, compared to other herons. 17

18 Black-crowned Night-Herons are generally found in freshwater areas, where they eat various prey – fish, frogs, snakes, rodents, and even other birds eggs or chicks. They are usually active at night (nocturnal). 18

19 White Ibis are among Floridas most numerous wading birds. Depend on freshwater wetlands for foraging. Populations have declined in Florida by 80% since the 1940s. Species of Special Concern. 19

20 East Lake is an important winter roost for Glossy Ibis. Similar in size to White Ibis. Depend on freshwater wetlands for foraging. Populations have declined in Florida by 80% since the 1940s. Species of Special Concern. 20

21 State and federally listed endangered due to water alterations in the Everglades and habitat loss. Young Wood Storks have yellow beaks. 21

22 Sandhill Cranes are seen commonly in residential areas. They forage for insects in the grass, and will eat bird food. DO NOT FEED these birds – they are protected by state statute. Cranes are large – about 3 feet tall. Young cranes are paler than the adults. State threatened due to habitat loss. 22

23 Least Bitterns are on the Watchlist due to habitat loss. They nest secretively, mostly in dense cattail stands, weaving a nest around several cattail blades. 23

24 Commonly seen foraging along the edge of a lake or creek in vegetation. Listed as State threatened due to habitat loss. Limpkins are noisy during the nesting season. They are often heard calling loudly at night. 24

25 Brown Pelicans are among Floridas most charismatic species. Listed as a Species of Special Concern. They breed and live year- round in Florida. Sometimes seen on inland freshwater lakes like East Lake. Winter roost Nest in trees, shrubs, and on the ground sometimes. About 9,000 pairs in Florida. 25

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27 Mission: To Protect the Great Colonial Waterbird Populations of Florida and the Habitats that Support Them. Ann B. Hodgson, Ph.D., Gulf Coast Research Director Ann F. Paul, Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator 410 South Ware Blvd., Ste 702 Tampa, FL Office, Fax Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries Program


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