Report from the Glades part 2: Danielle Austen, Artist-in-Residence Everglades National Park

Arts / Article

By Danielle Austen, Artist-in-Residence Everglades National Park

Birds, Alligators, Crocodiles…OH MY!!!!

The one thing I cannot get enough of in the Everglades is the Wildlife… especially the birds! In the past five years while visiting the glades, I have noticed the amount of birds that come and go… all controlled by what is going on in the environment. The Everglades has probably the largest concentration of wading birds on the continent. But if you can imagine that back in the early part of the 20th century, it was described by John Muir, the founder of Sierra Club, that the skies were blackened with flocks of birds… and sad to say that 93% of the bird population is now gone.

But in my second week here, I have enjoyed seeing a few birds up close. For years I have been trying to photograph the Roseate Spoonbill, with no luck… in one day, bingo! I had no idea their eyes were red as well. These are three different ones that I came across.

Now my favorite bird down here is the Wood Stork. They are actually on the endangered species list. But in the past few years they have been making a come back at the glades! This one I came across on Shark Valley… he allowed me to get within 10 feet of him. A face only a mother would love! (This is an immature one, his bill is yellowish and he feathers are a dingy grey)

All photos by Danielle Austen.