At the furthest point west on Presque Isle Bay is a cattail bed that is designated an Important Bird Area (IBA). It has been granted that status because for a few weeks in late summer, before they make their migratory flight south, tens of thousands of Purple Martins from far and wide congregate and roost here each evening. Unbeknownst to many are the number of other diverse creatures to which the beds play host. The cattail beds provide a lush and watery labyrinth; channels with inlets and outlets throughout the beds for the secretive meanderings of the least bittern, pied-billed grebe, common moorhens, wood ducks, American coots and red-winged blackbirds, and many others. Among the other creatures sharing the space with our feathered friends are the muskrat, dragons and damsel flies, and many fish. Sitting in a kayak just outside the aquatic labyrinth one is amazed at the many different sounds emanating from within. At times it sounds like a jungle in there! Click this link to hear the call of a pied-billed grebe. If you are fortunate enough to sneak a peek at one of its more stealthy inhabitants, it’s worth the wait.
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Stay tuned for my upcoming post…the hunting herons of Presque Isle.