Among the urban sprawl of southeastern Florida, Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a 50 acre safe haven for literally thousands of wetland birds of 171 species. These wetlands act as a natural filter for two million gallons of treated water on a daily basis, while also providing an incredible opportunity for locals and tourists to see wildlife up-close as well as learn the importance of wetlands and water purification. Elevated boardwalks wind their way around the wetlands, offering incredible views of nesting and foraging wetland birds such as Great Blue Herons, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Anhingas, Tricolored Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Purple Gallinules, and Limpkins. However, there is one species in particular that has made the wetlands famous among birders – Neotropic Cormorant.
Since January 2012, an adult Neotropic Cormorant has been paired with either a Double-crested X Neotropic hybrid or pure Double-crested Cormorant, and has been confirmed breeding in the park. When the Neotropic was discovered by New York birder Ardith Bondi, it was the 7th state record and the first nesting record for the state of Florida! On the afternoon of March 2nd, my friends and I visited Wakodahatchee Wetlands in search of the Neotropic Cormorant. We were successful, finding a Neotropic sitting on a nest at the second cormorant rookery! Below is a photo of the cormorant as well as a few other photos I took while we were there, which I hope express the true beauty of this wonderful birding hotspot!