Florida was originally nearly all wetlands. Over the years miles of wetlands were drained for buildings and people. Today there are many canals and lakes in neighborhoods where you can often see wildlife drawn to the water. These photos were taken by a canal not far from my neighborhood.
Muscovy ducks are unusual Florida residents. They hiss instead of quack, they fly clumsily, and they somehow flourish in Florida’s urban environment. Native to Central and South America, they have lived in Florida for many years and can be found near lakes and canals statewide. These birds were illegally released primarily by private individuals for ornamental purposes or as pets. Muscovy ducks can be extremely prolific and local populations can increase dramatically in a short time. As a result, controversies frequently arise between residents who enjoy the birds and residents who consider them a nuisance.
The Florida sandhill crane (G. c. pratensis), numbering 4,000 to 5,000, is a non-migratory year-round breeding resident. They are joined every winter by 25,000 migrating cranes.
I hope you enjoyed a few of the local birds in central Florida.
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