Yes folks, it is that time of year. Marsh Madness is gripping the Broward. Who will make it to the Final Fowl? Many of the marshes finest avian teams have gathered to compete in this epic battle for survival. Who will be the ultimate winner? Only Broward Bob knows for sure. And he isn’t saying much just yet.
Here is a rundown of some key players. This time of year birds by the thousands gather in various places along marshes, lakes and rivers to be the first to welcome a new generation. It takes skill and teamwork to build a nest for this new generation. Location is everything. If you look in the air and see a bird carrying some grass or sticks, a nest in progress is not far away. The nest must be protected at all times from predators that lurk from below and above. Snakes, predatory hawks, raccoons, even ants and other fowl then prey upon the newly laid eggs of others for nourishment. Some just savor the flesh of a new hatchling. A word to the wise to those hatchlings, “Don’t trust your own kind”. Many a young bird has been pushed right out of the nest by their stronger (or sneakier) siblings. Only the strong and well protected will survive. Nearly 50 percent or more of this year’s new generation will not make to the second year. Still they come and we rejoice.
The Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons have begun nesting at the various local rookeries along with some Roseate Spoonbills. Reports of recent hatchlings are starting to flood the social media circuits. The Wood Storks are also beginning to gather but I have seen only a few at the local zoo rookery. Mating pairs of ducks are looking for secluded nest sites (except the pair of mottled ducks on the neighbors dock just looking for free corn). With this new life though comes new danger. Everyone wants a piece of the action. That is why we call it marsh madness. Some are mad for the future, some for just plain mad for the now.
What about you? Are you “mad” for the future or the now? Here is my advice. Don’t live for the now. Because much better things are coming! Be Blessed. Harry