Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary received less rain than the average for December. Water levels continue to fall as we move through this early part of the dry season and levels are within their typical range for this time of year. The aquatic prey base for wading birds like herons and egrets and many other aquatic predators grows as more water is added to the system through the rainy season. Now that the rains have slowed, water levels are falling which concentrates fish and other aquatic prey in shallower water.
This is important for tactile feeding wading birds such as Wood Storks and White Ibis since they cannot target individual fish, like herons and egrets, and instead must rely on moving their bill through a high density of prey.
We typically see good wading bird nesting years throughout the Everglades following large rain-making tropical systems, as we saw in 2018 following Hurricane Irma. With this in mind, we continue to monitor wading birds in our area to see what our post-Hurricane Ian conditions may bring.