Friday, March 23, 2012

Florida Stormwater Pond Provides Amazing Communal and Foraging Habitat for Migratory Birds

Stormwater ponds can provide amazing habitat for wildlife.  Over the years I've heard numerous reasons by well-meaning regulatory staff for not planting wetland trees and plants around stormwater ponds.  Arguing stormwater ponds contain toxins and pollutants, Water Management District staff balked at allowing littoral shelf plantings, fearful of attracting birds.
Florida Stormwater ponds planted with cypress along littoral shelves

Being out in the field as often as I am though, it was easy to see that regardless of plantings or no plantings, migratory birds would show up.

Florida Stormwater ponds create an important ecosystem i the Urban Core

The following series of photographs are of a marvelous stormwater pond in St. Augustine planted with cypress and other aquatic plants.  I was totally amazed at the sheer number and variety of birds utilizing the facility for communal and foraging habitat.  

Brown Pelican fishing the Stormwater Pond

I suggest stormwater ponds are going to be visited by migratory and local birds regardless of littoral shelf plantings.  So if the birds are coming, might as well allow littoral plantings and provide much needed habitat within the urban core.

Anhingas, and Wood Ducks utilize the Urban Core water body

Florida Stormwater Ponds provide habitat for Herons with lots of fish

Florida Stormwater Ponds and Wood Ducks

Anhingas are skilled Stormwater Pond fishers

Roseate Spoonbill rests in Florida Stormwater Pond cypress

Florida Stormwater Pond and Canadian Geese

Seeagulls also visit Florida Stormwater Ponds

Florida Stormwater Ponds provide habitat for Marsh Hens and Coots

Wetland Trees in Stormwater Ponds provide roosts for Herons

Robins fill the trees around Stormwater Ponds

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