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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Everglades National Park announces the seasonal closure of Paurotis Pond and the area beyond the parking area adjacent to the pond, in order to protect the endangered Wood Stork and all nesting birds in this area from human disturbance. This closure will be in effect through nesting season which can vary in length depending on bird behavior, but is generally from January to late May. Bird watching from the Paurotis Pond parking area off the main park road will remain open, with the pond and the area beyond the lot closed. If you're a birdwatcher, this is a particularly good time of year to watch these wonderful creatures in the nesting process.
Every winter "dry season", wading birds throughout the Everglades gather at traditional (and new) nesting sites in preparation for nest building. They form nesting colonies that often contain hundreds and even thousands of nesting birds. Paurotis Pond is one of the traditional nesting sites located in the heart of Everglades National Park. Species nesting here include the Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja), Tri-colored Heron (Egretta tricolor), Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), and Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). However, one nesting species in particular really stands out among the others: the federally endangered Wood Stork. In recent years, Paurotis Pond has been the nesting site for approximately 400 pairs of nesting Storks.