The record rain that pounded South Florida last year and left the state a sodden mess had a silver lining: an explosion of wading birds.
Threatened wood storks, which nearly disappeared in the early 1980s, doubled their 10-year nesting average. Little blue herons and snowy egrets were up 62 and 54 percent. Even roseate spoonbills fell just slightly below a dismal average, which is better than plunging even lower.
But while the numbers were up, nesting patterns revealed a troubling pattern continues. The birds appear to be giving up on the southern Everglades, once the bread basket for the state’s wading birds.
Read more from our news partner, the Miami Herald.