Florida Non-Migratory Whooping Crane Update #5:

Marty Folk, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that, “The two active whooping crane nests described in my 5th Update have failed. One nest failed on Saturday and one Sunday. Visits to the abandoned nests revealed no eggs or remains. Water levels had declined such that it would have been possible for mammalian predators to approach the nests without getting their feet wet. Normally the birds abandon at this point so the nest failures were predictable. The Polk County nest was in a large lake that was not immune to the drying effects of this drought. We still could see a nesting (our latest laying date is 27 May) but not likely from the 2 pairs that just failed. The chick in Osceola County is now 60 days old.”

Marty explained that, “The South Florida Water Management District recently reported that the
period from November 2008 through April 2009 ranked as the driest
six-month period in South Florida history based on records dating back
to 1932. The trouble is, we began this drought back in 2006 and had
already accumulated a large deficit prior to November last year.
However, this week a stalled front is bringing rain to Florida! We’ve
had 3.2 inches of rain at my house this week (it seems like the Great
Flood), and some areas have gotten more. It is “too little too late” for
this breeding season, but is a start for rehydrating the thirsty