Birds suddenly abandon Florida environment, experts have no explanation
On a typical summer day, Florida's Seahorse Key is a hub of bird activity, with numerous species settling there for the warmer months.
This year, however, is different. In late spring, all of them vacated the area swiftly and at the same time, leaving behind empty nests and broken eggs.
Officials have no explanation for the birds' departure.
They've performed a number of tests to rule out disease and predators, but human activity is still considered a possibility.
Seahorse Key has been a popular spot among blue herons, snowy egrets, pelicans and many others for decades. In 1929, it was established as a protected refuge for them.
See the birds that usually call Seahorse Key home:
Keeping masses of people away hasn't proven to be too hard, as the place is teeming with mosquitos, yellow flies, and cottonmouth snakes.
While such creatures can be both dangerous and annoying, the birds found a way to work with them and develop an environment in which all inhabitants thrived.
That's part of what makes the avian exodus so puzzling.
Experts are having a tough time imagining what could have occurred to make thebirds leave a home they spent so many years establishing.