The Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a common dabbling duck found in Georgia. The male mallard is unmistakable with a glossy green head. The female is predominantly colored mottled brown. In Trinity Lakes, the mallards enjoy feeding on the sedges surrounding the lakes and acorns from the oak trees. The average life expectancy is three years, but they can live to twenty. The predation-avoidance behavior of sleeping with one eye open, allowing one brain hemisphere to remain aware while the other half sleeps, was first demonstrated in mallards, although it is believed to be widespread among birds in general.
The Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) is the most common rabbit in Georgia and can be found in Trinity Lakes. It has dense brown to gray fur on its back with a white underside and white or “cotton” tail. Adults weigh 2 to 4 pounds with a home range that covers 4 to 13 acres.. Cottontails are very productive with up to seven litters per year with 4-7 bunnies per litter. The bunnies are weaned from their mother after 14 days Brush and briar thickets provide important cover from predators and mortality rates are greater when rabbits venture into open areas. Annual mortality rates average about 80% per year as predators include coyotes, bobcats, foxes, owls, and hawks.
Beavers (Castor canadensis) were almost eliminated from Georgia because of unregulated trapping and habitat loss. Wildlife restoration efforts were quickly successful and beavers are thriving statewide today. Beavers are found in the creeks and ponds of Trinity Lakes. Beavers are North America’s largest rodents and live on both land and in water. Their broad flat tails are used for stability while sitting, feeding or chewing trees. Beavers create their own shelter in the form of either bank dens or lodges. Dens are created by digging a series of holes in the water banks. The beaver’s most famous signature is the dam. Wetlands created by beavers provide excellent habitat for plants, animals, waterfowl and migratory birds. The wetlands also serve as a filtration system trapping sediments and improving water quality.
The White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), is native to the Americas. It is estimated that there are more than 1-million deer in Georgia. Deer enjoy using the trails at Trinity Lakes and drink water from both Trinity Creek and Rocky Creek on the property. The deer can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail. It raises its tail when it is alarmed to warn other deer about a predator. A grown deer can eat around 2-thousand pounds of vegetation a year and a male deer, known as a buck, can weigh more than 300 pounds.
The Bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a native mammal in Georgia. Bobcats also live on the property of Trinity Lakes. Bobcats are about twice the size of the common house cat. Males can weigh more than 40 pounds. The tail is short and gives the appearance of being “bobbed.” Common prey includes mice, rats, rabbits, reptiles and birds. Bobcats can reach 13 years old in the wild while captive bobcats have reached over 30 years old. Bobcats tend to be shy and avoid people. Although they are common in many areas, it is rare to actually see a bobcat. Bobcats are wild animals, so you should view them from a safe distance.
The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is the largest and most widespread North American heron. It is a resident bird in Georgia and can be found at Trinity Lakes all year. Great Blue Herons require ponds and lakes to hunt for fish. They also eat insects, frogs, salamanders, small reptiles, and even small birds! Great Blue Herons breed in large colonies known as rookeries, sometimes referred to as a “heronry.” The heronries can be quite large, often having well over 100 nests!
As corporations weigh-in on social issues, communicators are learning to become a company conscience. On today’s PR Wars, we talk with Anthony Hayes, Founder and President of The Hayes Initiative. Learn what you should think about as your company navigates the winds of social change.