Stephanie Schelble

The Everglades

The Everglades is the most miraculous of the habitats in the United States. The marshes of the Everglades can hold many different animals. Many of us know about American Alligators or Egrets but many people do not know about anhinga, wood storks, swallow tailed kites, and cotton mouth. All of these organisms inhabit the same area, all of the summertime. This could lead them in any other habitat to be unable to come up with enough for food to live off of. However, in the Everglades, all of these different species are able to find what they need in this extremely rich habitat. Even while we consider this, we also have to realize all of the species that migrate through this area use the marshes too. Because of all of this, we should try to understand and protect this bountiful and beautiful ecosystem.

Bird Reflection

Birds are the world’s most mobile group of animals. Twice a year, large groups of ducks, hawks, geese, and songbirds take long travels from south to north or north to south. I have traveled through part of this migratory path from New York to Florida and from Florida to Trinidad. From this experience, I believe birds deserve so much respect. While in Trinidad, I saw an American redstart, a wood warbler that spends its winters in South America. This bird will soon travel to North America where in the summer there are many more insects living in trees for them to eat. They will return to the same habitat year after year to raise their young where there is plenty of food. While I watched this small brown and yellow bird, I tried to imagine the journey she will have to take. From the tree she starts form in Trinidad she will have to island-hop her way up the Caribbean. In order to do this she has to gain as much weight as she can to make sure she can make the ocean crossings between the islands. After this, she will land at the southern tip of Florida and fill up on all of the energy she used up from the trip across the Caribbean. But, she is not done yet! She still has to make her way farther north. This is a journey I could not even try to imagine taking myself without airplanes.

So many of the birds you see in your back yard may have taken a similar journey. That hawk/vulture flying above your house may have traveled the whole length of Mexico, or other land path, all the way to where you live. Birds all over the world make these long trips and because they are so important to our culture and livelihood, we should protect the land and wetlands they use when they make their journeys.




Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.