Suwannee is the Swallow-tailed kite whose tracking device Friends helped sponsor. On his return from wintering in Brazil, he flew for two days straight, over the Gulf of Mexico to the panhandle of Florida, then came directly to the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, as shown in the photo on the left. The photo on the right shows his flights around the Refuge since he returned. How is that for amazing!?
Refuge staff are busy, as usual. Today was another day of setting the woods on fire with the Refuge Prescribed Fire Team. Refuge manager, Andrew Gude reports that it was a very hot, growing-season burn. The heat index was through the roof. He was busting through dense brush with a drip torch and face planted . . . tripped by vines. His first thought: "Yeah right, like you can really see the rattlesnakes and water moccasins." That's our Andrew!
The rookery at Snake Key is active, thus the area around the Key is closed to any visitation. Snake Key is not as large and does not have as many nesting birds as did Seahorse Key before its rookery was precipitously and mysteriously abandoned about this time in 2015.
Biologist Vic Doig is conducting shorebird surveys.
Summer interns arrive soon. This year, two high school Youth Conservation Corps workers and one adult YCC leader will be at the Refuge, as well as two forestry interns.
The Refuge is seeking potential special funding for projects on both sides of the Suwannee River and within Cedar Keys NWR also.
The active and long Lower Suwannee NWR hunt season, enjoyed by hunters from all over our region, the state, and the surrounding states, has ended.
Friends members Russ and Peg Hall hiked the Tram ridge and River trails on Saturday, April 10th. Here is some of what was there to see on that day. The butterflies were marvelous, and much beyond their ability, or their iphones, to capture for this gallery.