Yankee Freedom II Naturalist
Fall has arrived in the Dry Tortugas and “klee klee” the sound of kestrels resounds inside Fort Jefferson. We have had a special visitor on the beaches of Garden Key for about a week- the Marbled Godwit. Godwit’s are renowned for long distance nonstop migratory treks. The paradeground has three Whimbrels and a solitary Killdeer feeding on insects in the grasses. Numerous birds of prey including Broad winged Hawk, Sharp shinned Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, and Northern Harrier are performing aerial shows on Garden Key. Male Magnificent Frigatebirds are displaying and courting on nearby Long Key. Shorebirds are resting on the beaches along their migratory trips including Dunlin, Willet, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling, and more. A single American Pipit was observed on the shoreline as well.