On April 19, 2015, the thousands of nests on Seahorse Key were occupied and the sounds of birds filled the air. Those feeding their broods brought in fish, some of which drooped from nests to be devoured by the cottonmouths that live below.
“They are very sloppy and they are a food source, a very large source of food for the cottonmouth which eats marine fish,” said Coleman M. Sheehy III, a researcher on the island since 2001. “The important thing is they eat the fish, not the birds.”
On April 21 Seahorse Key was quiet. No birds.