Checklist S43842008

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Owner David Simpson

Other participating eBirders
  • 10
  • 1.4 mi
Checklist Comments

Special access tour with St. Lucie County and Martin Audubon Society. GPS cutout during tracking. Measured distance on Google Earth.

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.6.36


  1. Number observed: 7

    Details: Group of seven flew over early in the trip. Long-necked, long-legged ducks with solid black from wing tip to wing tip underneath and prominent white patches on the upper wing.

  2. Number observed: 3

    Details: First a lone bird, then a pair flew quickly past us. Distinctive shape with squarish tail and rounded head on a spindly neck. Often bobs head in flight.

  3. Number observed: 5

    Details: Flying and sitting all over the site. Got some great views of all six birds present. One was possibly a hybrid with the closely related Mallard. Two apparent males were fighting, possibly for the attention of a female.

  4. Mallard/Mottled Duck

    Number observed: 1

    Details: Possibly a hybrid or backcross with feral Mallards that occur locally in FL.

  5. Number observed: 3

    Details: Very actively feed by underwater making it difficult to see them. There was at least one in the opening pond and more in the back. Possibly nesting on site. The bird in the front seemed to be in breeding condition. Looks much like a duck due to convergent evolution. Small blunt bill and rounded body are indicative of grebe. Builds floating or sometimes attached nest of aquatic vegetation.

  6. Number observed: 4

    Details: At least for different individuals flying overhead. A couple of them had extensive white in the wing, a result of domestication of this species. Wild birds occur in Europe. Semi-wild and feral birds, often infused by releases or escapes of domestic birds, occur throughout the world.

  7. Number observed: 8

    Details: Some were seen in the beginning and flyers no over during the trip. They are one of the most common and successful upland bird species in Florida. They are one of the few land birds to nest on the Dry Tortugas.

  8. Number observed: 6

    Details: More of a habitat generalist, this species is found in almost any water body with abundant emergent vegetation. For many years, they were known as Common Moorhen while ornithologists believed them to be the same species as the Eurasian Moorhen. Recently they have been “split” as general opinion has shifted back to the two species concept. Visually, the two species are very similar, but vocally and geographically they are very distinct.

  9. Number observed: 5

    Details: Several of these along the back side, loving the mix of Alligator Weed and other emergent vegetation. More of a habitat specialist than the Common Gallinule they are often found in areas where lily pads are interspersed with more dense vegetation that provides cover.

  10. Number observed: 5

    Details: Possibly lot that this, we saw them stalking in the vegetation, flying overhead, and calling. They feed on a variety of snails and mollusks. Recent introduction of the exotic Channeled Apple Snail from South America has been a boon for this species, leading to population explosions throughout the state. The new snail uses more habitats and is more drought resistant than the native species.

  11. Number observed: 1

    Details: One bird seen in the neighboring yard. They have become much more tolerant of people in the past several decades. They have benefited from stormwater management that has led to numerous shallow wetlands which they prefer for nesting.

  12. Number observed: 1

    Details: Heard at least one somewhere about the site. They are know for their “Broken Wing” display where adults will feign injury to lure predators away from ground nests.

  13. Number observed: 4

    Details: Small group of these gulls visited briefly in the early stage of the trip. They are overall the most common species of gull in the U.S. Here in Florida, the Laughing Gull is more common in coastal areas. Ring-billed Gulls, like most gulls, have multiple plumages through their life, but always sport a ring around their bill, for which the species is named.

  14. Number observed: 8

    Details: Much thinner than cormorants. Tail is longer, neck and bill are long and thin. In flight they look very flat as if you could slip them under a door.

  15. Number observed: 5

    Details: Most were flying over. One was sitting near an Anhinga, making for a good comparison. Body and neck are thicker than Anhinga. Tail is shorter and bill is thick and hooked. In flight they recall geese in structure.

  16. Number observed: 5

    Details: Several scattered about the site. Largest of our herons, not really blue, but rather more gray. Sister species in Europe is more properly called Grey Heron. These two species and the Cocoi Heron of central and South America form a superspecies.

  17. Number observed: 4

    Details: Largest of the white egrets except for the white subspecies of Great Blue Heron, formerly known as “Great White Heron.” Great Whites usually stay well south of here and often inhabit coastal locations when they wander up this far. Great Egret is smaller than Great Blue Heron with a smaller bill and slimmer build. White Great Blue Herons usually have yellow or sometimes pink legs unlike the black legs of Great Egret. Some “Great Whites” have darker legs, though.

  18. Number observed: 1

    Details: Saw at least one of these. Black legs have yellow feet (actually toes.) much smaller than Great Egret with Black bill and yellow lores.

  19. Number observed: 15

    Details: Most common Heron of the day. A group of seven were seen flying overhead at one point. Adults are solid blue unlike the grayish-blue of Great Blue Herons. Base of bill and lores turn bright blue in breeding condition. Immature birds’ feathers are all white for the first 16-18 months of life. These birds can be difficult to distinguish from white egrets like Snowy Egret and Cattle Egret. Young Little Blue Herons, like adults, have greenish legs and blue-green base of dark bill. In midsummer of the second year of life, young Little Blue Herons will molt into the blue of adults. Blue color usually comes in patches resulting in blotchy blue and white herons.

  20. Number observed: 1

    Details: One seen in the channel in the back area. This is the only heron that has solid dark and white areas at all ages. Belly and wing linings are white. Head, neck, breast and upper parts are dark. Creamy plumes are present on the back in breeding condition.

  21. Number observed: 6

    Details: Originally from Africa, this species crossed the Atlantic Ocean and colonized South America, later spreading up to North America. They are more prone to forage on insects than fish. They have difficulty compensating for the diffraction of light at the surface of water, therefore prefer to forage above water. Nesting occurs later in the year than other wading birds since they are keying in on peaks of insect populations rather than receding waters in the dry season.

  22. Number observed: 10

    Details: Saw several small groups overhead. Most were young birds which take two years to reach the almost entirely white plumage of adults. First year birds have brown wings and neck. Second year birds have brown wings and white head and neck. Adults are all white except for the black wing tips.

  23. Number observed: 10

    Details: Less common overall than Turkey Vultures. They are locally more common in certain areas. Smaller than Turkey Vulture, they differ in nearly every aspect. Chief among these differences is the white patch on the end of the wing which is visible above and below.

  24. Number observed: 10

    Details: Larger and browner than Black Vulture, they have a silvery trailing edge of the underside of the wings. They often hold their wings in a shallow “V” known as a dihedral.

  25. Number observed: 3

    Details: At least three flying around and perched. One sitting bird had a mix of lighter and darker brown feathers above, probably indicative of molting. They differ from eagles in that they are mostly white underneath, and hold their broad, paddle-shaped wings in an “M” shape.

  26. Number observed: 2

    Details: Pair was seen patrolling the entire area, foraging in the treetops for arboreal snakes, lizards, insects, and occasional bird nests. This is one of the few birds that visits us in the summer and leaves for the winter.

  27. Number observed: 2

    Details: Saw two of these, both were probably immature, based on the streaks underneath. Uniquely shaped with long, thin wings, tails, and bodies. The face is shaped like an owl’s face with conspicuous discs that funnel sound to the ears located near the eyes.

  28. Number observed: 1

    Details: Quick view of an immature bird that flew over us. Cooper’s Hawk is a bird eater that occasionally takes small rodents. The “feather puddle” we saw later is likely a past meal of this or another Cooper’s Hawk. They are known for eating everything except the feathers.

  29. Number observed: 1

    Details: At least one adult overhead. Adults have the classic white head and tail. They have very broad, powerful wings, large body, and large head that give a distinct profile at any distance.

  30. Number observed: 2

    Details: Saw one or two along the back side. This is the most common Hawk in Florida. They prefer mixed woodlands and open marsh lands where they forage for rodents, snakes, frogs, and other prey. They don’t seem to have a preference for tree species when nesting, but usually prefer the tallest in the area.

  31. Number observed: 1

    Details: One flying about the place giving it’s dry rattle call. Posed briefly on a post, showing the red and blue band characteristic of a female. Males only have the blue band.

  32. Number observed: 3

    Details: Three birds hanging out together. Strangely, it was two females and a male. This woodpecker is one of the best adapted to the modern landscape of Florida.

  33. Number observed: 1

    Details: Small woodpecker, smallest in Florida. They are largely black and white, males have a small red patch on the nape. They will often drill cavities into small branches.

  34. Number observed: 2

    Details: Heard and briefly saw this inspiration for Woody Woodpecker. Photos taken of male sitting on a perch. Largest existing species of woodpecker in North America, they have a large red crest on a black and white body. Males and females are very much the same, males having a red malar stripe where females are black.

  35. Number observed: 1

    Details: At least one still present around. The pond. This species used to be known as Sparrow Hawk despite the fact that they rarely eat birds, preferring instead to eat insects and lizards.

  36. Number observed: 12

    Details: Heard and saw several around the edges. Some were attempting to imitate Red-shouldered Hawk. They are fairly common in forested areas, often absent in open landscapes.

  37. Number observed: 2

    Details: At least two of these present. They are the common species of crow in Florida, especially in coastal areas and wetlands. American Crows in central and south Florida are usually found in small family groups in drier interior regions, except for Everglades National Park and Bi Cypress Preserve, where they are the only species of crow. Flocks of crows in Florida are almost invariably Fish Crows.

  38. Number observed: 50

    Details: Rough estimate of numbers flying overhead. This is the common species of swallow in Florida in the winter. North of Lake Okeechobee, it is the only expected species in winter. By March, Barn Swallows, and Purple Martins are returning and Tree Swallows are leaving for northern breeding grounds.

  39. Number observed: 2

    Details: Heard the distinctive “speee” call in the woods at the corner of the area. Small birds they are less than 5 inches in length, much of which is long tail. They often form the nucleus of mixed species flocks in southeast Florida whet the more traditional centers, titmice and chickadees, are scarce or absent.

  40. Number observed: 1

    Details: Heard one along the north boundary. This species winters in the area, small and uniformly brown, they have the characteristic cocked tail of wrens. They usually live in brushy areas and debris piles. Very territorial in winter, they will sing and defend their winter territories from October to April before migrating back north to breed.

  41. Number observed: 1

    Details: Heard one calling in the tall marsh vegetation. We have a couple different subspecies in Florida. Two coastal populations nest in the salt marshes of north Florida. Migratory Birds winter in tall fresh water marsh vegetation and coastal marshes throughout Florida. Difficult to see, they have a prominent white strip above the eye and dark stripe through the eye and white underparts.

  42. Number observed: 3

    Details: Saw a couple at the beginning. These were brought to this continent in the fall of 1890 when a small group was released in New York. The initial attempt failed to establish them as a resident, but in 1891 they were successfully introduced. They have spread across the continent, competing with native cavity nesters such as woodpeckers and bluebirds along the way.

  43. Number observed: 2

    Details: Heard a couple in the back. They are common for when they arrive in late September to when they leave in early May. Related to mockingbirds, they are smaller and solid gray except for the dark cap and rusty red undertail coverts.

  44. Number observed: 2

    Details: Heard and saw a couple. Nesting season has begun. Males will sing through the night on moonlit nights.

  45. Number observed: 2

    Details: Heard a couple of these sparrows which would more properly be called Marsh Sparrows. They are commonly found in tall marsh vegetation from October to May. Largish sparrows with a gray head and rusty wings, they are more often heard than seen.

  46. Number observed: 10

    Details: Saw some scattered around the site. They are setting up territories now. Males will display and defend territories, trying to attract as many females as they can.

  47. Number observed: 40

    Details: Lots of these around. Like Red-winged Blackbirds, they are harem nesters. The males and females are so different from each other that early ornithologists thought they were different species. Males will joust with each other year round, perhaps positioning themselves in the social hierarchy in preparation for the nesting season.

  48. Number observed: 2

    Details: Smallest of the warblers, a small group to begin with. Unique combination of blue wings, white wing bars, and olive back identify males and females of this species.

  49. Number observed: 20

    Details: Commonly found in open terrain, preferring the ground to the trees. They act more like sparrows than warblers. Constant tail bobbing is a distinctive behavioral clue to ID.

  50. Number observed: 1

    Details: Heard the monotone trill of a song in the back corner. They breed in open pine lands, but move to other habitats outside of the nesting season.

  51. Number observed: 20

    Details: Most common wintering warbler species, they are able to winter further north of most other warblers by consuming the berries of the Wax Myrtle. The only other bird species to do this is the Trees Swallow which is also able to winter further north then it’s relatives.

  52. Number observed: 5

    Details: Heard and saw a few around the periphery. They derive their red color from carotenoids in their diet. The carotenoids are yellow. Cardinals process the pigments into red before being deposited into the feathers. Occasional birds that lack the proper enzymes will be yellow.

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