Amid its Southern charm, beautiful homes and member-centered amenities, Frederica has a wild side.
It’s not unusual to look up and see a Bald Eagle silently riding the thermal air currents. White Tail deer are regular visitors and nearby herds of Fallow deer make fleeting appearances – especially for guests taking trail rides.
The Rookery is a federally protected nesting area for Wood Storks (Mycteria Americana) and includes 52 acres of colony wetland and 100 acres of primary zone with limited access for monitoring only. The Rookery is a naturally occurring, native habitat and safe haven for Frederica’s community of Wood Storks.
A drive through the property reveals the long-legged birds with featherless heads and big bills sunning on the lakeshore, wading the shallows in search of the next meal or unfolding their massive wing span in flight to roost in the Rookery.
Relax, and take a few minutes to observe Wood Storks in the shallows. The storks feed on minnows in shallow water by using their bills in a rare and effective fishing technique. The stork immerses its open bill and then waits for the touch of a fish that wanders too close. The touch snaps the stork’s bill shut in as little as 25 milliseconds!
A small fish isn’t much of a meal, but a nesting pair of hungry storks can eat as much as 400 pounds of fish in a single season.
The tree-filled Rookery is a natural haven for the birds. Wood storks often nest several pairs to a single tree. The surrounding shallow wetlands are the perfect feeding grounds for a quick snack.
The Rookery is surrounded by a 1,500-foot perimeter that is also protected from development. Frederica’s staff Wildlife Manager monitors water levels at the Rookery and in the surrounding wetlands as part of our commitment to sustain this rare and unique habitat.
Naturally, such a habitat attracts other species – putting bird-watching among the Top 10 things to do in St. Simons Island. Keep binoculars close, there are more than 300 species of birds that call Coastal Georgia home – a number that represents 75 percent of all the species in the state. Leggy, graceful egrets and cranes are regular visitors, colorful songbirds like Cardinals are commonplace, and the big Pileated Woodpecker rat-a-tatting on a pine tree are among the feathered friends that share a love of Frederica.