Manatee County is certainly blessed with an abundance of nature preserves -- very, very popular with residents and visitors alike, attracting tens of thousands of nature lovers every month.
The waterfront jewels include Robinson, Emerson Point and Neal. And Perico, Leffis Key and Jiggs Landing.
One activity in particular draws oohs and ahhs: bird-watching.
Now comes word the county is constructing a bird rookery at Perico Preserve.
The Natural Resources Department will soon begin carving out earth there to create a 20-acre lake with an island in the middle for nesting.
The hope is the island habitat, once lush with vegetation, will attract all manner of birds, even endangered and threatened species like the wood stork.
White ibis, snowy egrets and little blue herons are likely as are other shore and wading birds, their populations hereabouts strong.
While the county is home to dozens of bird rookeries, this one will be easily accessible along a trail that leads to a small observation platform -- no doubt in what will be a good spot for binoculars and cameras.
Kudos to the county for continuing to add to our treasure trove of nature parks.