In the autumn of 2005 just after Hurricane Katrina there appeared in large numbers a variety of birds not seen here before. Or if seen,in very small numbers. They came to be known as "Katrina Birds" by the locals.We were able over time to identify the various species,one of which (above) is the Whistling Duck,indigenous to this area but again not known to have such huge flocks in an urban area. They are nocturnal so for months we would here this melodious chirping overhead before we were able to finally identify them.During the day they sleep standing up with their heads tucked in usually on the small islands in the lagoons in City and Audubon Park. It wasn't until recently that a very wise friend pointed out that during the post Katrina weeks,actually it was almost two months before urban areas had electrical power and therefore ,many species of wildlife found the city quite welcoming. A new habitat. No lights,sounds,cars, people,lots of food and shelter.
Most definetely the ledges are a lure,the post just sounded more intriguing leaving that part out. No seriously,there are a gazillion pidgeons that roost nearby and I'm sure the rodent population is abundant around the hospital dumpsters.
The domestic animal population theory sounds every bit as brilliant as the other theory about the city appearing as a bountiful new habitat sans "activity". There are other species of wildlife that saw an increase as well. Then there were all the weird flora that blew in and freaked people out. But,the birds have remained.
Bixa,you should consider a career with Wildlife and Fisheries! Never too late!