Bird Walk Wrap-Up: Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Our day began with a hopeful weather assessment suggesting that it might sprinkle a bit at the start of our walk, but that the rain would mostly miss us. It didn’t. We’d barely begun our journey down the boardwalk at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands when the skies opened for a full-blown deluge. Some of our twenty gathered women had raincoats, some had umbrellas, but most just made a run for the chickee hut where we squeezed in with other early visitors, some of who joined our walk. Fortunately, you’re never far from bird excitement at Wakodahatchee and despite a couple more runs for cover, the rain didn’t dampen our day.

Rained out on the boardwalk.

Rained out on the boardwalk.

It was a slower-paced walk with time dedicated to behavioral observations. Our group watched Green Herons, Wood Storks, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Great Blue Herons, Double-crested Cormorants, Cattle Egrets and Glossy Ibises in various stages of breeding activity, ranging from courtship displays to feeding chicks in the nest. Boat-tailed Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds also shrilled their courtship desires, with a few individuals displaying on boardwalk rails within our midst.

Nesting Wood Storks (left) and Great Blue Herons (right).

Nesting Wood Storks (left) and Great Blue Herons (right).

A Great Egret in full breeding plumage.

A Great Egret in full breeding plumage.

We spotted a Neotropical Cormorant in the area where this species, rare in North America, has been observed the last few years, perched among its double-crested compatriots. We caught glimpses of a pair of adult Least Bitterns and one juvenile sneaking through the reeds. We spotted various warblers and a pair of White-winged Doves in the tree canopy. Purple Martins, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Black Vultures and a flock of Ring-billed Gulls crossed the sky.

The Phoebes.

The Phoebes.

We saw a total of 41 bird species, as well as Marsh Rabbits, American Alligators, non-native Green Iguanas, Florida Red-bellied Turtles, and a Banded Water Snake. Most importantly, we had yet another opportunity to enjoy time with Phoebes familiar and new, including a couple of our feathered namesake friends.

Birds We Saw

41 species of birds were seen in total:

  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

  • Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)

  • Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

  • White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

  • Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)

  • American Coot (Fulica americana)

  • Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica)

  • Gray-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)

  • Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)

  • Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

  • Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

  • Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)

  • Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

  • Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

  • Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

  • Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

  • Great Egret (Ardea alba)

  • Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

  • Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)

  • Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)

  • Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

  • Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

  • Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

  • White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

  • Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

  • Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)

  • Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

  • Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

  • Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)

  • Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

  • Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)

  • Purple Martin (Progne subis)

  • Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

  • Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)

  • Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

  • Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

  • Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)

  • Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)

  • Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus)

  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)