Wading Bird Populations of the Kennedy Space Center
Abstract:Most wading bird habitat at the northern Indian River Lagoon (IRL) complex occurs on Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Monthly aerial and roadside surveys have been conducted for wading birds (Ciconiiformes) on KSC since 1987. Three potential feeding habitats were surveyed: mosquito control impoundments, edges of the estuary, and roadside ditches and canals. Wading birds used mosquito control impoundments extensively for feeding, particularly the open water areas. Four seasons [winter (Oct.–Jan.), prenesting (Feb.–Mar.), nesting (Apr.–Jun.), and postnesting (Jul.–Sep.)] were determined from average population trends. Total numbers of birds counted were highest during the nesting season and lowest in winter, indicating seasonal shifts in populations on a regional scale. Estimates of KSC population sizes were determined from abundances within the feeding habitats, the amounts of available habitats, and colony counts of breeding populations. KSC was determined to be an important area within the IRL and the state of Florida for several species of wading birds.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 1995
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