Flight of the country cousins

Wading birds are doing great,

Not thanks to the “freeze,” but rather to the “water:”

Or rather lack there of – as a result of previous years’ droughts.

The rains that followed the drought years super-charged the water column with small critters which – in the absence of big fish in the food chain – transformed the Everglades into a treasure trove of small fry for the wading birds to feast on.

You have to go back to 1940 to count this many birds in the Everglades.

That was incidentally the same year Florida had its coldest month – January 1940 – and a decade before the 25-year “Central and South Florida Plan” to re-engineer the water flow got started …

Soon thereafter leading to the birds’ decades-long demise.

The tropical “city” birds at the zoo – over on the coast – rode the freeze out “behind closed doors” in the balmier realm better known as “inside.”

Compare that to their country cousins:

They congregated by the thousands “outside” in a non-descript mangrove roost above a pool of “heat-radiating” deeper water.

Make no doubt:

Wading birds know the “cold” as well as they do the “water.”

Even better – they can take care of the cold with their own hands.

Or rather … wings,

And a good deep water roost to fly to!

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