Our very own Lake Somerset is home to many varieties of Central Florida wading birds, including Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Anhingas, and Great Blue Herons. This lake is a prime nesting colony for many other wading birds but has the largest colony of wood storks. Signs are posted around the island so that boaters will keep their distance from the islands to prevent disturbing nests.
The Wood Stork is an expansive species which nests in colonies (rookeries) while roosting and feeding in flocks. Wood Storks use freshwater and estuarine wetlands as feeding, nesting, and roosting sites. Although storks are not habitat specialists, nesting success and the size of regional populations are closely regulated by year-to-year differences in the quality and quantity of suitable habitat. All available evidence suggests that regional declines in wood stork numbers have been largely due to the loss or degradation of essential wetland habitat. Good feeding conditions for the Wood Stork usually occur where water is relatively calm and uncluttered by dense thickets of aquatic vegetation. Wood Storks will also return to the same colony for many years so long as that site and surrounding feeding habitat continue to supply the needs of the birds.
Any activity including, but not limited to, harassing, disturbing, harming, molesting, pursuing, etc. wood storks, or destroying their nests is illegal.
The greatest threats to colony site are from human disruption and predation. It is essential that these fledging birds have little to no disturbance.
for Feeding & Nesting Colonies:
The following activities can be harmful to the colony:
Roseate Spoonbills are frequently found at the Somerset Rookery. They nest and roost in trees and shrubs along the water's edge. These birds are easily recognizable by their pink color and their long spoon-shaped bill.
Anhingas are large, slender waterbirds. Their dagger-like bills are a great tool for spearing fish. These birds are commonly found roosting and nesting alongside the Wood Storks at the Somerset Rookery.