Diving Birds at Wild Florida Airboats
Non-duck divers in Florida include the anhinga, the double-crested cormorant, the pied-billed grebe and the common loon, which spends its winters here in Florida. All four of these swimmers feed during the day by prowling around underwater and grabbing fish. Interestingly enough, these four types of birds swim more gracefully than they fly.
The cormorant is a fine fisher; it eats fish, small eels, and even water snakes. These birds dive into the water from the surface and use their feet to propel themselves under the water. Some cormorant species have been found to dive down to 45 meters below the surface! After fishing, the cormorant can often be seen stretching its wings out in the sun. All cormorants have the ability to keep their features waterproof through gland secretions. These birds have increased in numbers to a dramatic degree. As a result, they have depleted many ponds, including Hatchery ponds, of stocked fish- and now face predation control in some areas.
The grebe can submerge vertically because it doesn’t have to plunge forward. The grebe has a vertically compressed beak, rather than a duck’s flattened beak. The grebe’s toes are not webbed, but scalloped. The grebe makes its floating nest from aquatic plants such as maidencane.
As for the loon, its haunting cry carries across the bigger Florida Lakes, and echoes through lakes as far north as Canada.
Many of these birds can be seen at Wild Florida in their natural habitat. Wild Florida Airboats is located on 4,200 acres of untouched nature preserve, free of any development or signs of human life. Come visit us today and see the beauty of nature!