Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

10,000 Birds

As the Caribbean’s emerald waters fell away below our seaplane, I had no idea what to expect from my visit to the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. Destinations dry tortugas Florida Florida KeysDry Tortugas approximately 100 years ago.

A Relaxing Big Day in Florida

10,000 Birds

My husband and I hooked up our boat to the trailer and set off to the Santa Rosa Sound in Florida’s Panhandle around 3 p.m., The post A Relaxing Big Day in Florida appeared first on 10,000 Birds. Birding eBird Florida nature

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Florida Red-shouldered Hawk

10,000 Birds

Before January I had come across the very red birds of the western United States and the “normal” birds in the eastern part of the country but when I first laid eyes on the pale form of Florida I felt like I was seeing a whole new bird.

South Florida Specialties Birding

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Of course, I contacted Carlos Sanchez , alleged south Florida birder extraordinaire, to maximize the returns on what time I could spend. From the bulbuls we went in search of another introduced species that has taken to south Florida like home. The Dolphin Mall to be precise, where ponds in front of the mall are the best spot around to see Gray-headed Swamphens , yet another introduced species that has proliferated to the point where they are countable in Florida.

Birding Florida Caverns State Park

10,000 Birds

Florida Caverns State Park is known for one, quite obvious thing: the caverns. This fall, I stopped at Florida Caverns with two friends who had never visited before. This tiny species breeds north of Florida but returns to spend the winter here as well as in Central and South America.

Florida Walking Around Birds

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The birding in Florida is so easy that a kid can do it. There are Double-crested Comorants , of course, but it’s not Florida unless you have Anhingas bellied up to the shoreline drying their wings like absurdly proportioned chickens. What sets Florida apart, besides the diversity, is the proximity. Birding Florida kids Ospreys Or so I planned to find out.

The Razorbill Invasion of Florida

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Razorbills ( Alca torda ) have invaded the coastal waters of Florida on an unprecedented scale this December of 2012. For the time being, Florida birders are being treated to a (hopefully) once in a life time event. Birds Florida seabirds

Nine-banded Armadillos in Florida

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Interestingly, they made their own way to the Florida panhandle, colonizing from the Texas population, but they were also introduced further south in Florida for some unknown reason. Mammals armadillos Florida Nine-banded Armadillo Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival One of the wonderful experiences when birding away from your home turf is the potential to come across creatures other than birds with which you may not be familiar.

Summer Tanager at the University of West Florida

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Three evenings a week, I trek exactly 51 minutes from my house or 97 minutes from my office (depending on the day) to the University of West Florida campus in Pensacola for graduate classes in strategic communications. Birding nature Summer Tanager University of West Florida

Upcoming Potential ABA-countable Exotics from Florida

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The current situation with exotic bird species in Florida is in a state of flux, particularly southeast Florida where the bulk of exotic bird diversity in the United States resides — and much of it “uncountable.” Birds Florida parakeet

Bufflehead in Maine and Florida

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Within one week, I saw Bufflehead over 1,200 miles apart, first in Maine, and then along the Florida Panhandle. They breed in Canada and Alaska, but in the summer they can be found across the United States, as far south as Florida, Cuba, and into Mexico, and as far north as the Pacific coast of Alaska and the Atlantic coast of Maine. Birds Bufflehead Florida MaineFor my post this week, I wanted to take a moment to marvel at the impressive range of this super cool species.

What is the State Bird of Florida?

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Florida is one of America’s great avian hot spots, renowned for its impressive bird diversity. The official Florida checklist counts over 500 species, and thus Florida citizens had a wealth of State Bird candidates to choose from when they named the Florida state bird in 1927. The brilliantly blue and endemic Florida Scrub Jay? Florida went with the Northern Mockingbird , found in all lower 48 states.

Rarities at the South Florida Bird Observatory

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This migration season in Florida is fast coming to a close but it has not been without its high points. The Florida Keys Hawk-watch broke the world record for number of Peregrine Falcons recorded in a single day – a stunning 651 birds!

Birding Florida’s Emerald Coast

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I have now officially moved to the Emerald Coast of Florida, a beautiful region on the Florida Panhandle. I am within one of Florida’s sub-tropical zones, and my birding experiences have expanded, with life birds galore. The light markings themselves were a clue that I was looking at a Florida-listed Snowy Plover , a bird I had never seen before moving to Florida. Birding emerald coast Florida

Counting Feral Muscovy Ducks in Florida

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I was at the Blue Heron Wetlands in Titusville, Florida, during the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival hoping to connect with a Purple Gallinule that the field trip I co-led with Laura Erickson failed to find. The birds in Florida, on the other hand, are of domestic stock gone feral. They would never be roaming around Florida frightening people with their fleshy faces if not for their repeated release and escape from captivity.

Count Your Chickens (In the Florida Keys)

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But as of right now there is nowhere in the United States where a birder can see a chicken and count it on his or her list despite the fact that there is a well established and long lasting Feral Chicken population in the Florida Keys. It is time for the Florida Ornithological Society to allow for the counting of Feral Chickens. Thus, the placement of the House Finch on the State List, for example, does not require that it be evaluated for Establishment within Florida.

Lesbian Parakeets? Nanday Parakeets in Florida

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On my first day in Florida for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival I landed at Orlando International Airport at about 9 AM, deplaned, waited for my luggage, got my rental car, and drove west. Observant readers who are familiar both with the geography of Florida and the location of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival know that the festival is in Titusville, which is east of Orlando. … Birds Bird Behavior Florida Nanday Parakeet parakeets

The Endangered Florida Bonneted Bat

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You may not have heard about the Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus) , and that is fine, not many know this bat even existed. This bat is rare and range-restricted in South Florida, which are some of the reasons it was recently listed as an endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The Florida Bonneted Bat is the largest of Florida’s bats weighing 1.2 Florida Bonneted Bat roosting in Palm Tree.

Florida Scrub Jays at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

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Back in January I finally completed the North American scrub jay trifecta – Western Scrub Jay , Island Scrub Jay , and Florida Scrub Jay. Florida Scrub Jays are having a hard time of it, what with habitat fragmentation, degradation, and eradication.

Nurseries Restore Staghorn Coral in the Florida Keys

Nature Conservancy - Science

Hands-on coral restoration will help safe reefs in the Florida Keys. From the Field Coral Reefs Oceans

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The Warbler Duo of Florida’s Mangroves

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I always like to see the look of surprise on a visiting birder’s face when I tell them that the Prairie Warblers and Yellow Warblers in southern Florida are restricted to mangrove habitats. Everyone, I would like you to meet the ‘Florida’ Prairie Warbler ( S. However, the bulk of the population breeds in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties at the southern tip of the state, particularly around the mangrove fringed coasts and islets of Florida and Biscayne Bay.

Introduction to Winter Sparrows of South Florida

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The southeast tip of the Florida peninsula is not well endowed with a wide variety of sparrows in winter like the rest of the southeastern United States. This is not the case in southern Florida, where a typical outing to such popular parks as A.D. Birding Birds Florida sparrows

ABA Field Guides to Birds of Colorado and Florida

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I was birding one of my favorite places yesterday, Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Palm Beach County, Florida, and, as generally happens, people were asking me about the birds they were admiring. ” But, I was wishing that I could also hand over to each curious person a copy of the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Florida by Bill Pranty. It works well in Florida , in which most species are allocated one page each and 20 species get two-page spreads.

White-eyed Vireos in Florida’s Econfina River State Park

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It was a hot and sunny Labor Day along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and my husband Brian and I were heading home from a friends and family weekend on the Suwannee River, stopping at state parks along the road-trip home. Trips Florida State Park nature travel

Florida’s Mysterious Wintering Brown-crested Flycatchers

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The populations in the southern United States and northern Mexico are migratory, and it is presumed that the birds that show up annually in south Florida are derived from these populations. In Florida, the species shows up annually (and in multiples!) Elsewhere in the southern peninsula, the bird winters only sporadically (such as the two birds at Matheson Hammock of January-March 2010) and can only be described as occasional elsewhere in the Florida peninsula.

The Fate of the Florida Anis

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Formerly a common resident in the southern peninsula of Florida, these meerkats of the bird world have declined sharply in the ABA area to the point that they have almost certainly been extirpated as breeders with only occasional wanderers from the Caribbean showing up at coastal locations in southeast Florida — it is about as difficult to see a La Sagra’s Flycatcher or Western Spindalis in the ABA area as a Smooth-billed Ani now. Birds ani Florida

Lake Apopka – Florida’s Inland Rarity Hotspot

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Lake Apopka Restoration Area in Lake County Florida is fast-becoming one of the best bird magnets in all of Florida. Situated pretty much slap-bang in the center of the state north of Lake Okeechobee, this massive wetland was once the Florida’s most polluted body of water. This is Florida’s second largest lake and was once one of the most productive fishing lakes in the entire country.

Winter Wood-Warblers in Southeast Florida

10,000 Birds

If you have been out birding in southeast Florida there is a good chance that you have run into him in the field. During the winter, southeast Florida becomes the wood-warbler capital of the ABA area. Birding features Florida winter wood-warblers

Florida’s Top Annual Pelagic Trips

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The period between May and September offer the best potential for an assortment of pelagic species (species which live most of their lives far from land) off the Atlantic coast of Florida. Finally, since Florida’s pelagic waters are relatively unexplored, there is always a high potential to see a state first such as a Trinidade Petrel – one can always hope! Cory’s Shearwater is regular in Florida’s pelagic waters.

Poor Nesting Success for Wading Birds in South Florida

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In 2012, for the third straight year, wading birds in south Florida had poor nesting success. Asides Florida herons and egretsOnly 26,395 nests were started in 2012, a 39 percent decline compared to the decadal average.

Disappointed with a Florida Fork-tailed Flycatcher

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Its debatable which one is a better bird for Florida. Birding florida flycatchers raritiesSteve Walter is a New York nature photographer, birder, and long-time member of the New York City Butterfly Club.

The Swallow-tailed Kites in Florida Are Now Heading South…

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A friend of mine told me, she has been seeing small groups of Swallow-tailed Kites ( Elanoides furficatus ) in the general area; in south Florida. At one of the biggest migration roost in Florida, not far from where we live, kites begin to gather by mid June. Birders and raptor observers in south Florida and the Florida Keys report only small number of Swallow-tailed Kites during migration time. Swallow-tailed Kite near the Lake Okeechobee roost in Florida.

Yellow-throated Warbler, Kaliga Park, St. Cloud, Florida

10,000 Birds

Cloud, Florida, Doug, with whom I had been birding all day long, found a Yellow-throated Warbler foraging behind us. They winter in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. Birds Florida Kaliga Park space coast wood-warblers Yellow-throated Warbler

Florida’s Tropical Pigeon, the White-crowned Pigeon

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Nonetheless, this bird is one of the most interesting species in the avifauna of southeast Florida for many reasons — an interesting biology that parallels that of several pigeon species in the Old World Tropics as well as its limited distribution in the state.

Florida, Of Thee I Sing

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Even in the Brazilian Amazon, I’ve never seen this many whistling ducks together–there were sixty at a manmade lake behind the Brevard Community College near Titusville, Florida. For more tantalizing glimpses of Florida wildlife, see my blogposts about it all.

Diabolical ID Quiz – Florida Edition

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Wait, you probably are already going to do that… Anyway, here are the images, all taken when I was in Florida at the end of January for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival: Quiz Pic 1 Quiz Pic 2 Quiz Pic 3 Diabolical? You all know the drill.

Enviros, Tea Partiers, and the Christian Coalition all agree: Florida needs more rooftop solar

Green (Living) Review

Florida is one of only five states in the country that actively bars third parties from selling electricity. Florida solar evergy solar power

Protecting Florida’s Last Old-Growth Pines

Nature Conservancy - Science

We’re bouncing along a deeply grooved sand road half overgrown with grass and palmettos on Florida’s Tiger Creek preserve, with Lake Wales Ridge conservation program manager Steve “Sticky” Morrison at the wheel of the UTV. Forests Fire florida longleaf pine tree

Birding at the Tip of Florida: A Bit of Everything

10,000 Birds

It is also a good description of the birding in southernmost Florida. Sure, Miami and the Florida Keys do not boast any endemics ( ‘Cape Sable’ Seaside Sparrow is close) at the species level. Few birders realize how many warblers actually do winter in southernmost Florida — even long time birders within the state. Shiny Cowbird is a newcomer to the avifauna of southeast Florida. Birding everglades Florida Keys Miami

Mallards are a Threat to Mottled Ducks in Florida

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Florida is known as the Sunshine State. Exotic species are animals that did not historically occur in Florida. Most were introduced, meaning they were brought to Florida by humans. Resident mallards are considered an “exotic duck” in Florida and have the potential to drive the native mottled duck (Anas fulvigula) to extinction through hybridization. However, captive-reared mallards are being unlawfully released by humans in large numbers in Florida.

Republican-Led Florida Legislature to Destroy Environment

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Sure, that title is hyperbolic but the results of HB-991, should it become law , would be absolutely horrible for Florida’s environment. It won’t be Florida Republicans destroying the environment but their corporate puppet-masters. So bad that Debra Harrison of the National Parks Conservation Association said “In 30 years of working to protect Florida’s unique natural wonders, never have I witnessed such an egregious and blatant dismantling of those protections.&#

Shorebirds and Gulls of Florida’s Treasure Coast: Where the Tropics Begin

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He now wakes up to the choruses of Northern Cardinals and Northern Mockingbirds in sunny Vero Beach, Florida. We’re thrilled about this new contribution: I live about a mile and a half from the beach on Florida’s east coast. Birdwise, the winter time in Florida’s coast is exciting. This photo could have been taken in Florida’s Treasure Coast during the winter months or in South America during the same period. Florida is a rather long state.

Ancient Tree Stumps Shed New Light on Fire in Florida

Nature Conservancy - Science

Jean Huffman, a fire ecologist at Louisiana State University and Tall Timbers Research Station, is decoding the secrets of ancient stumps to help Florida land managers restore the longleaf pine ecosystem. Palmettos and pines on Florida’s Tiger Creek Preserve.