Walt Disney World ® has been clogging the Orlando theme park news circuit as of late with updates on their new Fantasyland expansion in Magic Kingdom ®. But with all of the buzz of what’s coming to the park, there are still some exciting things that already exist that you may not even know about, like bird watching throughout Disney’s ® four parks.
Did you know that while Walt Disney World ® offers plenty of thrilling rides, elaborate shows and fun-filled attractions, the Orlando theme park is also deeply committed to the conservation of wildlife? In fact, nearly one third of Disney’s ® property is dedicated to a wildlife conservation area and Disney’s Animal Care Team works tirelessly ensuring the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Seas with Nemo & Friends and the Tri-Circle-D Ranch are properly cared for. And Disney’s Animal Care Team’s duties don’t stop there. The team also looks after native wildlife that have made Disney ® their home, including several different species of birds, particularly the short-tailed hawks.
Short-tailed hawks are considered one of the rarest, least understood birds in North America. There are currently fewer than 200 breeding pairs in Florida, some of those reside at Walt Disney World ®. In 2005, Disney’s Animal Care Team discovered their first pair of breeding short-tailed hawks. And since then a pair of these hawks has been coming back every year to nest and raise their young. In the seven years the short-tailed hawks have been breeding in Disney ® there has only been one pair to do so in the park, until this year when a second pair began taking up residency at the park. Disney’s Animal Care Team has successfully been able to monitor these short-tailed hawks and keep an eye on them in case they become in need of care.
So the next time you’re at any of Disney’s ® parks make sure you take a moment to appreciate the surrounding nature and wildlife that has taken up residency there. And you never know you could come across one of the pair of short-tailed hawks. You’ll be able to spot them by their resemblance to eagles and either their dark or light color. These hawks are usually very hard to see since they like to sit very high in dense tree canopies but if you do take the time to look they are well worth the search.
For a chance to bird watch while you experience the rest of Disney’s ® magic, look for discounted tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.