As we move fast forward toward summer, says Deputy Manager Larry Woodward, so too are the neotropical bird migrants headed to their summer destinations. It seems that each day, a new species appears in the morning loudly broadcasting its arrival. First, the Northern Perula came. Swallow-tailed Kites soon followed, with vireos, waterthrushes, warblers, and tanagers next in line.
Just this week, he says, "I heard my first call of the Great Crested Flycatcher. I can’t wait for what’s next."
Some stay while others continue their journey north as soon as they give themselves a short break after their exhausting their trans-Gulf marathons. With stays of a week or two, they rebuild the energy lost crossing the Gulf and build up their needed nutrition in preparation for the trip north to nest and renew the cycle of life.
The refuge staff ought to humbly and quietly pat themselves on the back knowing that these migratory beauties arrive to a bountiful table set through careful habitat management.
As Larry tells us: The value of this Big Bend area of Florida to all creatures great and small can never be adequately measured as the scale does not go that high.
Please visit the refuge and enjoy the chorus.