Our very own Lake Somerset is home to many varieties of Central Florida wading birds, including Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks. This lake is a prime nesting colony for many other wading birds but has the largest colony of wood storks. Recently, signs have been 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) , and roosts and feeds in flocks. Wood Storks use freshwater and estuarine wetlands as feeding, nesting, and roosting sites. Although storks are no habitat specialists, their needs are exacting enough, and available habitat is limited enough, so that nesting success and the size of regional populations are closely regulated by year-to-year differences in the quality and quantity of the 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 also nest in colonies, and will 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: