Water … the one thing that all living creatures have to have to survive. Birds that have just flown hundreds of miles without eating or drinking search out any source of fresh water available. Fortunately many people have birdbaths and other water features in their yards to help. A few state and local parks have also added water features and two of Florida’s more famous one are on the Dry Tortuga’s and the one at Fort De Soto. The one on the Dry Tortuga’s is especially important as it is the sole source of fresh water for many, many migrants.
Last week while at Fort De Soto I had sat by the fountain for an hour or so and had at least a half a dozen different species come in for either a drink or to bathe. Here are just a few of the participants.
I also had Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ground Doves, Fish Crows and three different Warbler species come while watching. I wish I didn’t live 4 hours away or I would spend lots of time just documenting the variety of species that use this life source throughout the year.
I didn’t make it to the Dry Tortuga’s this year and from what I have read the State had taken the fountain down. I have also read the Tropical Audubon Society has raised money to build and install a new fountain that will be portable so that it can be removed when it’s not migration. I’m not quite sure why they won’t let a permanent fountain be installed with a shut off valve but I guess that’s the State/Federal Governments decision.
Here are just a couple of pictures from the last time I was there.
I’m sure over the course of the years pretty much every species of Warbler, Tanager, Grosbeak, Cuckoo and all the other migrants have been photographed on this fountain. I can’t imagine how many birds would not have made it without this water and am so thankful to the Tropical Audubon Society for stepping up and finding a solution to a big problem.
Thank you ALL so much for visiting and if you own a home and don’t have a bird bath/water feature it might be something to think about!! Just think of how many lives you could impact!!!