South Florida and the Prairies Tour
                                    February 25-28, 2000
 

On this tour we had the following participants:  Carl Jaslowitz from New York, Jamie Wright from Memphis, Tennessee, Dave Reichlinger from Indiana and Fred & Alice Cutts from Pennsylvania.

Day one February 26, 2000.
 

I picked up the group at the Wellesley Inn in Kendall, Florida at 7 a.m. We started the first day of
this tour in Everglades National Park.  The weather was warm and the skies were clear.  Below is a list of birds we saw that day.
 
 
Pied-billed Grebe White-winged Dove
American White Pelican Mourning Dove
Brown Pelican Common Ground-Dove
Double-crested Cormorant Belted Kingfisher
Anhinga Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Bittern Downy Woodpecker
Least Bittern Pileated Woodpecker
Great Blue Heron Eastern Phoebe
Great Egret Great Crested Flycatcher
Snowy Egret Western Kingbird
Little Blue Heron Purple Martin
Tricolored Heron Tree Swallow
Cattle Egret Cave Swallow  (West Indies race)
Green Heron Blue Jay
White Ibis American Crow
Glossy Ibis Fish Crow
Roseate Spoonbill Carolina Wren
Wood Stork Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-winged Teal Gray Catbird
Black Vulture Northern Mockingbird
Turkey Vulture Brown Thrasher
Osprey Loggerhead Shrike
SNAIL KITE European Starling
Bald Eagle White-eyed Vireo
Northern Harrier Blue-headed Vireo
Red-shouldered Hawk Northern Parula
SHORT-TAILED HAWK Magnolia Warbler
American Kestrel Yellow-rumped Warbler
King Rail  (heard only) Black-throated Green Warbler
Purple Gallinule Prairie Warbler
Common Moorhen Palm Warbler
American Coot Black-and-white Warbler
Limpkin  (heard only) Common Yellowthroat
Laughing Gull Northern Cardinal
Ring-billed Gull Red-winged Blackbird
Herring Gull Eastern Meadowlark
Caspian Tern Boat-tailed Grackle
Rock Dove Common Grackle
Eurasian Collared-Dove House Sparrow

Day two February 27, 2000

Today, we birded the Miami area in search of exotics.  From there, we headed North to end the day in Central Florida.  Below is a list of new species seen for this day.
 
 
Mallard WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET
Red-breasted Merganser YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET
Sharp-shinned Hawk Macaw species
Red-tailed Hawk SMOOTH-BILLED ANI
Wild Turkey Burrowing Owl
Sandhill Crane Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Black-bellied Plover RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER
Wilson's Plover FLORIDA SCRUB JAY
Semipalmated Plover RED-WHISKERED BULBUL
Killdeer Eastern Bluebird
Ruddy Turnstone American Robin
Sanderling HILL MYNA
Least Sandpiper COMMON MYNA
Short-billed Dowitcher Eastern Towhee
Royal Tern SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON Baltimore Oriole
MONK PARAKEET

Day three February 28, 2000

On this last day of the tour, we birded Central Florida and then headed back to the Miami area.  I dropped off each person and couple at their motels in Miami.  Here is what we saw on the last day of the tour:
 
 
Mottled Duck Northern Flicker
CRESTED CARACARA BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH
LIMPKIN House Wren
Lesser Yellowlegs Pine Warbler
Common Snipe Savannah Sparrow
Hairy Woodpecker BACHMAN'S SPARROW

One of the best parts about this tour for me, and I am sure for my participants, was NOT missing Red-Cockaded Woodpecker.  On my January Tour, which is the same as this one, we MISSED Red-Cockaded Woodpecker.  Yes, I hate to admit missing a specialty but I have to be honest.  Last year I found them in a different area, I have now concluded that these birds are extirpated from the area where I used to find them.  This is really sad because the previous area was a protected area.  This may show just how sensitive these birds are to a changing environment. I don't think that much has changed in the last 10 years in this previous area but, what had been done to the area years before.  I personally think that the birds had to forage far from their nesting area to be able to survive.  Plus I think that competition from other woodpeckers for their nest cavities did not help the situation.  I believe that these birds need large expanses of Pinewoods to be able to have a self sustaining population.  When habitat becomes fragmented, which was the case in my previous location, the birds have a much harder time to survive.

Click here for new dates for 2001.