Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Day in a Saltmarsh

Salt marshes are amazing habitats.  I am lucky to live in state with some great Salt Marshes.  Salt marshes are among the most diverse and unique ecosystems on the planet.  In fact, in terms of biodiversity, they are second only to rain forests.  I often visit some of my local salt marshes to get a good perspective on the life that exists there and the limited geographic space they inhabit.  Seeing a Salt Marsh is a wonderful ecosystem to see.  Obviously there are countless books on the subject and there are some very serious concerns for this ecosystem.  Over 70% of Earth's population lives near the coast, this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on our shorelines and we need to be conscious of this as these are some of the most productive and valuable ecosystems our planet has.

The other day I took a hike through a salt marsh and while I found many birds, I was most excited by the Saltmarsh Sparrows and Seaside Sparrows that I found.  They live in these environments among the reeds.  Birding in these environments is such a joy to behold and witness as thousands of different niches are being filled and exploited by thousands of different animals and species.  Besides the Saltmarsh Sparrow, the other highlight was seeing a young Willet, Willetlet(?), bouncing around the marsh.  I hope to go back soon and check in on these birds and their habitat.  Meanwhile, there are lots of salt marshes to check out and I insist you go out and see some!

A Willet
A Juvenile Willet
Saltmarsh Sparrow
2013 Year List: 231
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Boat-Tailed Grackle

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