TAVARES - Lake County park rangers are conducting a winter bird survey at the Ferndale Preserve, located off County Road 455 in South Lake County, on Sunday, March 25, beginning at 8 a.m.
"What we're trying to do is catalog all the bird species at the Ferndale Preserve on this particular day," said Park Ranger Gallus Quigley Jr. "And this will be just one of several bird counts that will be conducted over the course of the year."
Each season brings a different variety of bird population to the wildlife-rich preserve, which features shoreline along Lake Apopka, meadows, forests and wetlands. As park rangers rehabilitate the property, the bird counts, which are scheduled to be conducted about every three months, should be an indicator of their progress.
"As we restore the natural areas of the property, we should see an increase in the diversity and number of birds, as well as plants and other animals," Quigley said.
The 192-acre preserve was purchased in 2005 with a partnership between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Lake County Water Authority, St. Johns River Water Management District and a Florida Communities Trust grant. Future plans for the property include hiking and equestrian trails, a scenic overlook, a canoe launch and picnic pavilion.
Experienced bird watchers are encouraged to take part in the winter bird survey at the Ferndale Preserve. To reserve a spot for this activity, call the Lake County Department of Public Works, Parks & Trails Division, at (352) 742-0992.