HOMESTEAD, Florida- Paurotis Pond (and the zone beyond the parking area adjacent to the pond), has been reopened after the seasonal closure to protect nesting birds. Visitors may now enjoy open access for fishing, canoeing, and wildlife viewing. Paurotis Pond is located 24 miles from the main park entrance in Homestead.
Paurotis Pond is one of the traditional nesting sites located in the heart of Everglades National Park and is seasonally closed to protect the endangered Wood Stork and all nesting birds from human disturbance. The area was closed in January for thenesting season for Roseate Spoonbills, which tend to nest earlier than other birds. The closure for nesting can vary in length from year to year, depending on bird behavior. The 2013 closure was longer than in some years past due to either a late nesting, or second nesting of Great Egrets and White Ibis.
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. Species nesting at Paurotis Pond include the Great Egret, White Ibis, Snowy Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Black-Crowned Night Heron, Great Blue Heron, and 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 Wood Storks.
For additional information, contact park information at 305-242-7700.