As mentioned in the post below, Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys NWRs provided support to tag Suwannee, a Swallow-tailed Kite that is now migrating from the Refuge to his wintering area in Brazil. Stories about the research and tracking of the migrating birds have recently been published by Audubon and bioGraphic. Each site has an interactive map that allows you to follow Suwannee's migration. The map will be updated weekly. Enjoy!
Debbie Jordan, here. I am a member of the Friends Board of Directors. I am shepherding Friends' Swallow-tailed Kite Project. In the spring of this year, Friends provided funding to tag one Swallow-tailed Kite that was summering on the Refuge so it could be tracked during its migration to Brazil and back. Here is the background. Now, I have an update.
Stay tuned to the website for updates on his progress, as he makes his way to South America! We wish Suwannee and the other 15 birds of the Class of 2019 a safe migration with plenty to eat. Habitat loss along the flyways is a huge threat for migrating birds.
Articles about kite research are anticipated this fall in the Audubon magazine and other publications. We will keep you posted as more info becomes available.
Note from the webmaster: The comment below makes us want to clarify the post.
The video is a time-lapse. It is 33 seconds long and was taken as the Deputy Refuge Manager drove a little over a mile of the road at about 3 miles per hour to assess the flooding. The video looks like the driver is zooming, which as the comments says, would severely damage the road surface.
The flowing water, all by itself, caused erosion and damage to the road, which will be repaired when the flooding abates.
Refuge Manager,Andrew Gude, provides his cell phone number at the upper right on our home page. You can call him for an update on the roads if you are thinking of heading to the Refuge. As of Monday August 26, none of the Refuge roads are open.
Here is the original post:
Don't try this at home. Driving on flooded roads, especially the limerock Refuge roads, is never wise. Even if you don't get stuck, ruts you cause in the soft roadbed have to be repaired.
Refuge Asst. Manager Larry Woodward took this video when he assessed the extent of the flooded Nature Drive, giving us a rare look as if we were driving with him through the flooded Refuge.
Roads on the Refuge, on the Levy County side, are still closed as of August 22 due to flooding. County Road 347, from which one accesses the Refuge roads, was closed for several days. It reopened on Wednesday August 21.
Refuge staff members are monitoring the roads and other areas.
Refuge Biologist, Vic Doig, reports that "The Refuge area received over 20" of rain between Aug 14 - Aug 18th, and much of the area is heavily flooded. The last time we saw nearly as much rain in a short period was during Hurricanes Francis and Jean in Sept 2004, when about 15" fell over a few days. All Refuge roads are currently closed, and even some adjacent highways are partially closed due to flooding. For comparison sake, our average annual rainfall is about 50" a year - we are already well above that with this recent event, and it is still August!! Let's all hope and pray for a dry hurricane season this year."
When Refuge Manager Andrew Gude checked on the Nature Drive yesterday, he reported that "In a brief period of time I saw, in the same view, a gator laying in the road, a snake moving across it, gar swimming like salmon over the road, and an egret standing on the downside of the road nailing fish as they came over the road."