Snake Key Nesting Bird Survey
Annually, the Refuge conducts a survey of nesting birds on Snake Key. Refuge staff, Friends, and other volunteers count specific birds for 3-5 days. Protocol is to start counting 90 minutes after sunrise, and count for two hours. Species counted include spoonbill, great blue heron, tricolored heron, little blue heron, black crowned night heron, snowy egret, great egret, reddish egret, white ibis, cormorant, and brown pelican. Other species of interest such as eagle, osprey and frigatebird are noted as well.
An interesting fact is that some species, such as ibis, fly considerable distances to fresh water (including the Lower Suwannee Refuge) to harvest food for their young, who are unable to digest food from saltwater.
For the 2022 survey, one volunteer reported counting over 1,100 ibis flying into the island and over 550 flying out.
Refuge staff are preparing a report that will be posted here.
Photos taken by Ann Kamzelski.
5/17/2022 05:13:58 am
I would just like to thank the volunteers who take the time to count the birds, and the people who compile the information. I would also like to know how it compares to previous years.
5/17/2022 04:20:23 pm
Hi Brad. The new Deputy Refuge Manager is leading this survey. We saw him today at the Friends board meeting. He is working on the data to provide the trends over time. We will be back in touch as soon as he has the information to share. Peg
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