The Bird of the Month for April is Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio). Bring pictures (if you have any!) to the meeting; come and hear special information about this denizen of the night that is far more frequently heard than seen.
Is there a special bird you have been wondering about? Call Linda or email hlindaase@aol. . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month April 2009: Eastern Screech-Owl
Birds seen on this weekend’s (1/17 and 1/18) field trip to Shark Valley and Corkscrew; 75 species in all:
Pied-billed Grebe American White Pelican Brown Pelican Double-crested Cormorant
. . . → Read More: Field Trip: Shark Valley/Corkscrew bird list
For the first time in a couple of years, the Wood Stork colony at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is initiating nesting. According to Monday’s Naples News, more than 60 nests with eggs have been spotted, and over 300 more birds are courting and/or building nests. This is great news, indeed! For the full article, follow . . . → Read More: Wood Storks nesting at Corkscrew
The Florida FWC has just come out with their latest issue of Kite Tails, the newsletter about the Great Florida Birding Trail. The hi-res version of the newsletter can be had here; for a text-only copy, try this link instead. Both links require Acrobat Reader.
While you’re there, try the interactive trip planner; it uses . . . → Read More: Great Florida Birding Trail Newsletter
A small but adventuresome group of ASErs gathered in the parking lot of Yamato Scrub Natural Area for a nature walk/bird walk this Saturday. The trip, scheduled in the summer, was billed as a nature walk, because Yamato Scrub, while a lovely little site, isn’t the birdiest place in town. But late in September, it . . . → Read More: Trip Report: Yamato Scrub, 12/20/08
This just in from the FWC:
Dr. James Rotenberg with the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is participating in the NC component of a range-wide project monitoring wintering Painted Buntings and would like to expand his winter feeder watch program to include Florida. He has about 2000 Painted Buntings . . . → Read More: FWC seeks help monitoring Painted Buntings
December’s bird of the month is the subject of our presentation at the general membership meeting. Dr. Richard Raid will tell us all about the Barn Owls of the Everglades Agricultural Area. You can participate as well: bring your own pictures to display during the meeting. Continue to help choose a bird of the month . . . → Read More: December’s Bird of the Month: Barn Owl
From the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology comes this plea for help from birders in the Sunshine State. Let’s do our part!
Calling All Florida Bird Watchers More eyes needed to tally state birds Ithaca, NY- Bird watchers in Florida are fortunate to have an amazing diversity of birds to observe, from the stunningly beautiful, rainbow-colored . . . → Read More: Cornell Lab needs your help
12 people attended ASE’s Spanish River field trip on Saturday, October 11. The bird (family) of the day was the falcon: at least 3 perched Peregrine Falcons, in addition to several other flyers-by, afforded our birders excellent views of this magnificent species. There were also perched (and flying) Merlins, and a soaring Kestrel, making for . . . → Read More: Field Trip Report: Spanish River, October 11
The Bird of the Month for November is Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). Our friend Virginia, from Folke Peterson, will say a few words about this bird before the general meeting on Tuesday, November 4th. Feel free to bring in your own photos for display throughout the evening. You can also see our web gallery, with . . . → Read More: November’s Bird of the Month: Brown Pelican
Press release from Fish & Wildlife:
Eighth Group of Endangered Whooping Cranes Depart on Ultralight-guided Flight to Florida
On October 17, 2008, Fourteen young whooping cranes began their ultralight-led migration from central Wisconsin’s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and traveled five miles. Wind and rain has grounded the cranes in Juneau County, Wisconsin, for the . . . → Read More: The whoopers are coming
A pair of Least Grebes have begun nesting at Yamato Scrub in Boca Raton. These birds are extremely rare in Florida (only 6 records in over 100 years), although they do occur on Hispaniola and in Texas and Mexico/Baja California.
These are nesting birds, and as such, should not be closely approached. If you do . . . → Read More: Least Grebe at Yamato Scrub
The latest issue of Palm Beach County’s ERM LWL e-newsletter (under Updates and News, click on September e-newsletter) has an article about our local celebrity, the American Oystercatcher family in the Lake Worth Lagoon:
An American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliates) was observed feeding with his parents along the mudflats at Snook Islands Natural Area in the . . . → Read More: ERM newsletter reports on Oystercatcher in the LWL
We are very excited about this year’s slate of birding classes, back by popular demand after several years without them. We have two excellent teachers lined up, Paddy Cunningham, who taught an excellent set of classes for us last year, and Clive Pinnock, of Okeeheelee Nature Center, recently returned to ASE’s board.
Paddy will be . . . → Read More: Birding classes
The latest issue of Birdscope, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, focuses on cities and birds. The cover article posed the issue in a way I hadn’t thought of before, but which makes perfect sense: the more we humans can live happily in cities (the editors don’t develop that thought, which merits a long pause), . . . → Read More: Urban birds
According to a report that I missed back in June, many species of birds that migrate along the east coast of the United States are arriving earlier than they have in the past. The interesting part: it’s short-distance migrants only. Birds like the Red Knot or the Great-crested Flycatcher, which migrate from South America, are . . . → Read More: Birds migrating earlier
From the staff at the GFBT (and thanks to Cynthia for forwarding!):
Greetings from the Great Florida Birding Trail!
We are spreading the word about our good news! We are very excited to inform you that the Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) newsletter will be back this fall! It was last printed in 2005, but . . . → Read More: Great Florida Birding Trail Newsletter
David Luneau, of the University of Arkansas, will speak at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 7, about his personal experience of the controversial search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Arkansas’ Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.
Because seating is limited, advance registration is required. Please call Linda Finch at (561) 744-6668 X101 or email at email@example.com . . . → Read More: Ivory-billed Woodpecker Presentation at Blowing Rocks Preserve
According to today’s press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, numbers of breeding ducks in the prairie regions of the United States were down in 2008 compared to 2007. The report covers 58 years (1955-2008) and is available on the FWS website here as a PDF file.
. . . → Read More: Ducks Overflying Midwest; Breeding Farther North in 2008
According to a press release this week from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, some of the tiniest birds in North America can help answer some of the largest questions in the biological sciences: how do species evolve? In a new study, Density-dependent diversification in North American wood warblers, Dan Rabosky and Irby Lovette examined 25 . . . → Read More: Warbler Study Asks Fundamental Questions
What looks like a typo in the title of this entry is actually not. If you’re familiar with phylogenetics, now’s the time to get ready for phylogenomics. That’s right; a taxonomy of the genome, not just the gene. An article published in last month’s Science makes the recent revises to avian taxonomy . . . → Read More: Avian Phylogenomics
The Redbird, most early American settlers and explorers, like Mark Catesby (one of the earliest ornithologists to explore “La Florida”) called it. John James Audubon called it Cardinal Grosbeak. And there’s no denying it has a large beak. Cardinalis cardinalis, or Northern Cardinal, is the nom de plume assigned by modern taxonomists. But why northern? . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, March 2008: Northern Cardinal
The Common Loon (Gavia immer), a member of the family Gaviidae, has only recently been removed by the American Ornithological Union from its long-standing place at the beginning of our field guides, to be replaced by the Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans). Nevertheless, it is still a regular winter visitor to Palm Beach County. Anyone who . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, January 2008: Common Loon
Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor) The Florida race (D. discolor paludicola) of this familiar little bird is a year-round resident of mangrove forests and coastal strand, while its numbers are augmented by wintering birds.
According to Stevenson and Anderson, it is distributed “throughout the state except interior of Panhandle, increasing from very rare northward to fairly . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, October 2007: Prairie Warbler
Spotted Sandpiper by Steven d'Amato
The Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) is one of the most widespread breeding birds in the United States. This 7–8 long bird has pale yellow or pink legs and feet, orange bill with a black tip, and will rarely be seen in Florida with its namesake spots, being a winter . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, October 2006: Spotted Sandpiper
Seiurus aurocapilla, the Ovenbird (L 5.75 in.) gets its name from the fact that its nests look like little dome-shaped ovens on the forest floor. Palm Beach County residents know it best as the skulking leafkicker with the loud voice. This stocky warbler looks more like a miniature thrush with an orange mohawk than its . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, September 2006: Ovenbird
Calidris himantopus, L 8–9.25” W 17.25–18.75” Long legs, long, fine, slightly drooped bill. Pete Dunne describes this bird as “a structural and behavioral hybrid between a Lesser Yellowlegs and a dowitcher.” It has longer legs and is taller than a dowitcher, but it has a smaller head and body, and a shorter, darker, finer-tipped bill. . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, August 2006: Stilt Sandpiper
Least Tern by Steven d'Amato
Sterna antillarum. L 9” W 20” White forehead, thin and long orange-yellow bill in breeding season (and not seen in winter in Palm Beach county or in the state, for that matter). Dunne (2006) calls it shortbodied, short-tailed, and longwinged: “all angles and energy.” The flight is “buoyant and . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, July 2006: Least Tern
University of Miami alumnus Dennis Paulson’s tongue-in-cheek name for the long-legged elegant members of the stilt family is the “slenderellas.” The genus Himantopus (Greek for “strap-foot,” according to Choate’s
Dictionary of American Bird Names, or “spindle legged” according to Holloway’s Dictionary of Birds of the United States) has several members worldwide—Himantopus himantopus in Asia, the . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month, June 2006: Black-necked Stilt