Wading Bird Nesting Abundance

Wading birds are an important indicator of foraging and nesting habitat quality, which itself is affected by nutrients and hydrology, similar to other indicators. Long-term hydrological patterns and nutrient impairment affect the distribution and composition of vegetation used for foraging and nesting, while short-term hydrology affects prey densities and predator access to colonies. Important wading birds in Lake Okeechobee are Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and White Ibis.

See the results for wading bird nesting abundance in Lake Okeechobee.

Photo credit: South Florida Water Management District.

How is it measured?

Wading bird nesting abundance is the mean percentage of maximum nest abundance observed of three species; Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and White Ibis. This is calculated by dividing the mean 5-yr running average of nest abundance during the reporting period by the average of the 5 highest nest abundances during the period of record. This calculation reduces the effect of years with extremely low or high nest abundance on the performance measure score.