Rare birds in Florida


This video is called Birds of Florida.

From the Herald-Tribune in the USA:

Cold winter brings rare birds to Florida

By VALERIE GARMAN
Halifax Media Group

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 8:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 8:07 a.m.

PANAMA CITY BEACH – Bay County has been a destination for a more literal type of snowbird this winter.

Frigid temperatures across the country have brought some migrating birds farther south than they usually fly, with some making the trek all the way from the Arctic Circle.

“We’ve had a number of birds that have been quite rare for Bay County,” Bay County Audubon Society member Neil Lamb said Monday. “Probably the most exciting we’ve seen is a snow bunting that is out at Deepwater Point at St. Andrews State Park, where the [St. Andrew] Pass and Grand Lagoon meet.”

The arctic snow bunting doesn’t usually travel farther south than Ohio for the winter. Ironically, the bird was first spotted by a human snowbird about a week ago among the Savannah sparrows and yellow warblers common to the state park’s sand dunes.

“They’re one of the Arctic regulars and they winter usually down in the Great Plains part of the U.S.,” said Lamb, who led a walk with the Audubon Society on Saturday to seek out the snow bunting. “It’s quite unusual.”

Colder-than-usual temperatures in the northern states also have brought huge numbers of loons and ducks to the area this year.

While most of the visiting loons and ducks are species commonly seen in the winter, Lamb said he also recently spotted another arctic bird, a red-throated loon, among a flock of about 55 others in St. Andrew Bay.

The bay also has served as a winter home to thousands of ducks, more than usual this year, as they fatten up on feasts of fish and shrimp to prepare for the long journey back home.

“If you look at the weather reports, the Great Lakes have been totally frozen over for the first time in years and years,” Lamb said. “When the water’s frozen, the ducks can’t survive on ice. They have wings, so they’ll go where there’s open water.”

Some spotted species include red-breasted mergansers, hooded mergansers and redhead ducks.

Lamb said news of the rare bird sightings also have brought a boost for ecotourism in the area, with bird enthusiasts from across the Southeast hoping to catch a peek.

“It’s been bringing quite a few people into the area,” said Lamb, who noted there are three times as many bird watchers as there are hunters.

Avid birders often upload their finds to an online documentation site, eBird.org, which sends out “rare bird alerts” when unusual species are reported in a user’s region of interest.

“We’re always on alert,” Lamb said.

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2 thoughts on “Rare birds in Florida

  1. Pingback: Rare birds in Florida | Garry Rogers Nature Con...

  2. Pingback: Rare birds in Florida | GarryRogers Conservation and Science Fiction: #EcoSciFi

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