Secondary Trail Closure
As part of a settlement agreement with plaintiffs related to the designation of secondary off-road vehicle trails, all secondary off-road vehicle trails are closed until further environmental review and analysis can be completed. More »
October Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Committee Meeting Cancelled
The National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve has cancelled the off-road Vehicle Advisory Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, October 7. More »
Where can I see them?
The historic breeding range of the Woodstock in the US extended from eastern Texas through the southern tier of the Gulf coast states, but has always occurred on the Florida peninsula. Since the 1930s, development has reduced wetlands size and the construction of canals, levees, and floodgates to drain and control water flow manipulates the natural flow and disturbs breeding populations.
Storks are highly colonial and nest in large rookeries, their breeding cycles are completely dependent on weather and environmental conditions. Colonies nest between November and May. Courting rituals include preening, bill clapping, dancing and then the male presents a stick to the female. If the stick is approved by the female, this becomes the first stick in the breeding pair's nest. Nest construction takes about three days, comprised of sticks, vines, leaves, and lined with Spanish moss. Storks lay two to five eggs, and successful nests will fledge two young birds in good conditions.
Woodstocks feed on small fish from 1-6 inches in length. Their specialized feeding technique known as grope-feeding or tacto-location occurs in water 6-10 inches deep where storks can use their partially open bill to probe. Their bills contain sensitive nerve endings that tell the bill to shut when something makes contact with it. Their bill will quickly snap shut on average of 25 milliseconds, one of the fastest reflexes known to all vertebrates.
The health and reproduction of these southern colonies of Woodstorks dramatically depends on wetland restoration and natural water flow through the cypress swamp.
What do they look like?
Did You Know?
Ervin T. Rouse (1917-1981) wrote one of the most popular fiddling tunes of all time..."Orange Blossom Special"...about the luxury train from Orlando to Miami. He was a resident of the Loop Road area and a friend of the Seminoles.