Lake Somerset Bird Habitat and Rookery

Rookery Image, City of Lakeland

Lake Somerset is the home of many wild birds. The small islands in Lake Somerset create a suitable wetland habitat for wading birds such as the Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, and other Central Florida Wading Birds. Some of the birds here have an endangered species status or another protected status.

One reason Lake Somerset Rookery is a perfect spot for these birds is they are not disturbed here. Fewer natural predators can reach the islands compared to mainland locations. Also there are fewer humans to disturb nesting birds. Humans are the biggest threat to these birds.

Bird Fast Facts:

  • A “rookery” is a place where a group of birds breed, nest, or raise their young.
  • When birds are “flushed” from their nests, it means the birds are frightened. This can be dangerous for the eggs or babies left behind – a predator could be waiting for just that moment! A distance of at least 300 feet is recommended.
  • Wood Storks were designated an endangered species in 1984. Wood Storks became endangered primarily because of the destruction by humans of the birds’ wetland habitat.
  • The Roseate Spoonbill is named for its beautiful pink plumage.

How You Can Help:

  • Please be courteous to the wildlife and obey all signs and laws. The City of Lakeland reminds us on their website that harassing or disturbing wood storks, or destroying their nests is illegal.
  • If possible, keep a distance of at least 300 feet from nesting birds and avoid making loud noises in their presence. This helps to not disturb the birds.
  • If you live on or near the water, please follow laws concerning fertilizer and waste, and see our page on Lakeshore Residents Info.
  • Tip: Many of the same birds can be observed at Circle B Bar Reserve. The trails at Circle B make wildlife observation easier to access at a safe distance. Circle B hosts an interactive Nature Discovery Center that is great for kids. The photography opportunities abound at Circle B because it has a variety of eco-systems and landscapes.

References and Downloads:

Info on Lake Somerset Rookery from the City of Lakeland

Fish and Wildlife Woodstork Info

Florida Endangered Species List

Polk County Birds

Have Kayak Will Paddle Blog

Time Out Polk Article