Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 113 - National Audubon Society Protected Sanctuary

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to kayak in an area that had a couple of mangroves, which were, protected Sanctuaries by the National Audubon Society. These Mangroves were covered by many different species of birds. All seemed to be living in harmony and nesting. There were nests upon nests with birds flying in and out carrying twigs to build or strengthen the nest as well as bringing food to the youngsters. I was surprised how large some of these youngsters were when the parent flew back they began to chirp wildly and they didn't care if it was a fish or a twig they demanded their share. In many cases these young birds were the same size as their parents. It was so great to see the maternal and paternal instincts of these birds as they provided for, protected and nurtured their offspring.

Mangroves provide valuable functions in Florida waters one of which is being the roosting site for many species of birds. They act as a filtration system for our water, buffer shorelines from storms and provide basic food resources to marine life. When you look across the water it seems as though these mangroves are tiny islands jetting out of the water, until I started to kayak a year ago I believed this was the case. Mangroves are tropical plants that can grow in wet soils, salt water and can live when submerged under water with fluctuating tides. In Florida we have 3 major types of Mangroves: Red, Black and White. I don’t know the difference but do know that once while kayaking against a strong current I was swept into one, struck it with my paddle and was amazed at the red color just under the bark. They are full of all kinds of life and contribute to the ecosystem of our state.

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