Efforts to Rescue Lolita the Orca from Miami

Critter News

Animal-rights activists claim an orca is being held in an "inadequate tank" in the Miami Seaquarium. They sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for excluding captive killer whales from listing under the Endangered Species Act. The federal complaint focuses on a whale named Lolita, who was captured more than 40 years ago, and has been held at the Miami Seaquarium. captivity whales entertainment Orcas aquariums PETA endangered species

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Great Miami Winter Bird Count 2015

10,000 Birds

For many in the birding community, Miami is a destination meant only for ticking off ABA-countable exotics such as Spot-breasted Oriole or Red-whiskered Bulbul. The warm, sunny climate beckons a wide variety of passerines, raptors, and shorebirds to spend the winter, inflating the species diversity to the extent that Miami-Dade can go toe-to-toe with counties in Texas and Arizona during this season. Song Sparrow is a genuine rarity in Miami-Dade.

2015 65

Miami Mega Mall vs. Everglades National Park

10,000 Birds

The Miami-Dade County Commission approved development of ‘the largest shopping mall in North America’ with a vote of 9-1 last week. This fragile ecosystem is home to 344 feathered species, 300 fish species (salt- and freshwater), 50 species of reptiles, 40 mammal species, and 36 listed species (threatened and/or protected). The Miami-Dade Democratic Environmental Caucus submitted a formal letter of concern to the commissioners.

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Hill Mynas: A Touch of Tropical Asia in Miami

10,000 Birds

Miami, Florida has a reputation among the birding community for being overrun with exotic bird species. However, the typical birding experience for someone down here also includes a large menagerie of other species such as Orange-winged Parrot , Mitred Parakeet , Egyptian Goose and Nutmeg Mannikin. Their loud, descending whistles, gurgles and screeches are a common feature of parks and suburban neighborhoods in parts of Miami-Dade.

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To Tick or Not to Tick – Exotic Birding in Miami

10,000 Birds

Today, if you want to see parrots in the USA you need look no further than Miami. Nearly 70 species of parrots have been recorded flying free at some stage or another in Miami, including Hyacinth Macaws. Dozens of other introduced bird species, largely escapees from pet owners, now call Miami home. Miami, with its warm climate and abundant food sources, has become a hotbed of exoticism. Red-masked Parakeets , readily seen around Miami, are not countable.

Miami 63

My Big Day in Miami-Dade

10,000 Birds

For January 1st, 2013, I decided to do something a little different this year — a Big Day in Miami-Dade, which involves seeing or hearing as many species as possible within a 24-hour period inside my home county. The past record holder for Miami-Dade, my good birding friend Roberto “Toe” Torres, admitted that, as far as he knew, his not entirely serious effort of 102 species was the highest number of species recorded for the county in 24 hours.

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Invasive Species Week Wrap-Up

10,000 Birds

Perhaps our outrage at invasive species can be a bit hypocritical at times. Listers are quick to put aside their condemnation of invasive species once they attain that coveted status of exotic: not native, not fully naturalized, but established well enough to be countable by the prevailing authority. The rapid proliferation of the European Starling is, on the species level, equivalent to incalculable fortunes of billionaire moguls.

Noisy, but nice

10,000 Birds

Crandon Park, on the island just off the coast of Miami, Fla., is home to a few exotic species. In the moderate warmth of a Miami morning, he was able to sustain his fan under light cloud for longer than my camera battery could last. Birds Indian Peafowl Miami Peacock displayBlogging is a peculiar activity. It initiates an internal monologue when one is alone in the field and keeps up the chatter all day, even when nothing is happening.

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What’s the Next ABA-Countable Exotic?

10,000 Birds

In February of 2013, I wrote a piece outlining my thoughts on which exotic bird species should be added to the American Bird Association (ABA) checklist. In 2014, the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee (FOSRC) voted to add this species to the Florida state list. This species continues to increase and consolidate its range in southeast Florida from Homestead to Vero Beach. . Birding California parakeets Florida parakeets Miami birding

2015 54

Birding at the Tip of Florida: A Bit of Everything

10,000 Birds

Caribbean dry forests with trees such as Gumbo Limbo, Pigeon-Plum, and West Indies Mahogany; remote breeding colonies of Sooty Terns , Brown Noddies , and Masked Booby ; a cast of over twenty species of wintering warbler such as Black-throated Blue , Magnolia , and Worm-eating ; an assortment of West Indies specialties such as Black-whiskered Vireo , Antillean Nighthawk , and Mangrove Cuckoo — this could easily be a description of the birding on a Caribbean island.

2014 61

Both Beautiful and Exotic, the Spot-breasted Oriole

10,000 Birds

The brilliant orange coloration and rich, haunting song of the Spot-breasted Oriole ( Icterus pectoralis ) makes this species one of my favorite permanent residents in southeastern Florida, even though it is an introduced exotic. How can an introduced species be a favorite among birders? Aren’t introduced species somehow in the wrong for existing where they should not be? They do not seem to form feeding flocks with any other bird species, native or exotic.

2012 70

South Florida Specialties Birding

10,000 Birds

On my recent short family vacation to Miami, I was granted a single day to get out and really bird like a madman. The reason the location is remaining undisclosed is that reliable Mangrove Cuckoos are difficult to find in the American Birding Association area and are a very sought after species. Can you believe that a New Yorker could travel all the way to Miami and not be treated to breakfast? We needed countable species! Trips Florida Miami

Birding Through the Seasons at Matheson Hammock

10,000 Birds

Carlos Sanchez is an excellent birder, a Miami resident, and a polyglot. Matheson Hammock County Park is a special place to many who grew up in the Miami area, filled with the nostalgia of taking one’s first swim in the ocean, seeing their first Brown Pelicans , or dip netting through the seagrass beds to find Pygmy Seahorses (the most coveted and prized catch). Fall migration is a time of peak species diversity at Matheson Hammock.

2012 58

Gray Kingbird: An Awesome Parking Lot Bird

10,000 Birds

Parking lots in Miami-Dade county offer a mostly standard assortment of birds compared to the rest of the United States. Every year, I look forward to their arrival in early April when they populate every parking lot in Miami from Key Biscayne to Krome Avenue. Gray Kingbird perched on a Gumbo Limbo Tree, another typical West Indian species native to South Florida. A Gray Kingbird perched in a small live oak in the middle of a suburban parking lot in Miami.

2014 82

Upcoming Potential ABA-countable Exotics from Florida

10,000 Birds

With the recent addition of the Nanday Parakeet ( Nandayus nenday ) and Purple Swamphen ( Porphyrio porphyrio ) to the ABA list (it was not too long ago that Common Myna ( Acridotheres tristis ) was added as well), I thought an article discussing the potentially upcoming exotic bird species from Florida to be added to the ABA area list would be relevant to the times. I foresee these birds continuing to spread, gradually replacing other Aratinga species in southeast Florida.

Why Is the Federal Government Awarding Contracts to a Company That Was Involved in Smuggling Primates?

Critter News

Here is a synopsis from a Brown University web site about his case : Matthew Block, of Worldwide Primates, Miami, FL, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison, three years of supervised probation, and a $30,000 fine at a 2-day sentence hearing on April 16, 1993. Block pleaded guilty in February to felony conspiracy to violate the Lacey and Endangered Species Acts by conspiring to smuggle orangutans. Worldwide Primates Inc.

2009 122

But…It’s a Canada Goose?

10,000 Birds

Luis Gonzalez is a Miami resident and IT major who was originally born and raised in Cuba. Luis is an avid eBirder and he likes to keep a good record of his lists, photograph as many species as he can, and he encourages others to do the same. It’s the count where fourteen species of warblers can be found but you can also expect every wading bird in your field guide, except for Least Bittern and White-faced Ibis as these two rarely winter in the park (or the state for that matter).

Fur Free Fashion Show Winners Announced

Critter News

Winners First Place: Tammy Apostol, an independent designer in Miami, FL, for her “Green Organic Cotton Gown,” a strapless mermaid silhouette gown with a back train. BFUSA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. Received this press release yesterday.

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A Birder’s Version of Oktoberfest

10,000 Birds

Autumn migration gets off to an inauspicious start in Miami-Dade with the appearance of a small selection of passerines at local migrant traps at mid-July. August continues the theme of low diversity and numbers, with only a smattering of new species in addition to those mentioned above such as Yellow-throated Vireo and Worm-eating Warbler. Oktoberfest, a two week period in the first half of October, is perhaps the most anticipated time of the year for the South Florida birder.

2012 77

Winter Wood-Warblers in Southeast Florida

10,000 Birds

Carlos Sanchez is an excellent birder, a Miami resident, and a polyglot. Over twenty species of wood-warbler may be recorded in a single winter in Miami-Dade County, with several more species recorded regularly in Monroe and Broward. In addition to these widespread species, Common Yellowthroat and Northern Waterthrush are reliably seen in the right habitats.

The Warbler Duo of Florida’s Mangroves

10,000 Birds

Although both species are widespread in North America as breeders in shrubby edge habitats, that is not the case in the southern half of the sunshine state (the more northerly race of Prairie Warbler is an uncommon breeder in the panhandle). petechia gundlachii ) — the mangrove-loving versions of these two respective warbler species that I first became familiar with before encountering their more northerly kin.

Big Years in 2013

10,000 Birds

On a Big Year, every species counts equally, even the lowly House Sparrow. As of my writing this he is off to a roaring start with 169 species recorded already. Rangel Diaz is doing a big year in Miami-Dade County, Florida, hoping to reach 300 species, and keeping a blog about it. Greg Majewski is a relatively new birder but he is not letting that stop him from trying to reach 250 species in Indiana this year.

2013 78

The Littel Big Year – Week 45: Wrapping up the Bahamas

10,000 Birds

We did however gain an extra night, at our expense in Miami, Florida, all of which was in the dark, so I could not even run out and put a couple of birds on a Florida State List. By the time we had ended our visit on the island, I had racked up a total of 58 birds species, with 27 of them new birds on the Little Big Year list. Now, I have 8 days left, in order to find 9 new bird species, somewhere in the state of Arizona, to total an amazing 1300 birds for the year.

The Fate of the Florida Anis

10,000 Birds

It is one of three species of ani ( Groove-billed and Greater Anis are the other two) and together form a unique branch in the cuckoo family. According to the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas, the first confirmed breeding record was in Miami in July of 1938. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the species rapidly spread from the southern tip of the peninsula to areas north of Lake Okeechobee including the Tampa-St.

The Endangered Florida Bonneted Bat

10,000 Birds

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. floridanus constitutes a separate species ( Eumops floridanus); a bat with one of the most restricted ranges. The bat was once believed to be common on Florida’s eastern coast in the Miami-Coral Gables area but reported there only a few times since the mid-1960s.

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Saguaro National Park: Cacti as Oases in the Desert

10,000 Birds

Much like how Everglades National Park flanks the western border of metropolitan Miami, Florida, Saguaro National Park flanks both the eastern and western outskirts of Tucson, making for easy access to residents and tourists alike who spend time in that city. I had the pleasure of paying this national park a visit on a trip to Arizona in late May, and I was immediately struck by how important this species of plant is to this ecosystem.

2013 62

2013 Big Year Update

10,000 Birds

Mark Kirk and Alisha Belo are doing a southern Africa big year, trying to see 800 species. As of the end of March they had already reached a whopping 652 species ! Ali Iyoob is sitting pretty at 230 species in his North Carolina big year during which he is trying to break the state record of 351. He better watch out though, because another birder in North Carolina also has reported 230 species so far this year!

2013 77

Birding in Honduras, Part I: Highlands

10,000 Birds

Many Nearctic species and families reach their southern terminus in the Northern Central American Highlands, such as Common Raven , Red Crossbill , Steller’s Jay , and even Brown Creeper. Alex also masterfully worked another tricky species into view for us during that first afternoon, Ruddy Crake (a close relative of the Black Rail ). the species suffering most from deforestation).

Florida’s Tropical Pigeon, the White-crowned Pigeon

10,000 Birds

Bringing a distinctly tropical, Caribbean influence into the resident avifauna of extreme southern Florida, the White-crowned Pigeon ( Patagioenas leucocephala) is one of the few species that have managed to colonize the southern tip of the state from the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas — the center of its range, although there are also populations in coastal Mexico, Central America, and the Lesser Antilles. Is this the closest equivalent to a tramp species in the Americas?

I and the Bird: What is an Ibis?

10,000 Birds

And in modern times, that football powerhouse the University of Miami has as it’s mascot a tough-looking White Ibis, known locally as a “ Hurricane Bird ” for it’s bravery (some may say stupidity) in riding out those massive storms. The group has a worldwide distribution; 28 species living and two additional extinct. It draws a more or less firm line between those species in the Old World and those in the New, however.

2013 80

Florida’s Mysterious Wintering Brown-crested Flycatchers

10,000 Birds

Brown-crested Flycatcher ( Myiarchus tyrannulus ) is a widespread bird species of scrub and wooded habitats with a range extending from southern Texas and the southwestern United States, through Central America, and down south all the way to northern Argentina. In Florida, the species shows up annually (and in multiples!) From these notes, there seems to have been a long term presence of this species in the sunshine state.

But What Do Flamingos Mean?

10,000 Birds

Everybody knew ducks, but flamingos represented travel — especially, in those days, to Florida, where the trend of naming things after the species you extirpated to put those things there was already taking strong hold. Flamingos represented tropical beaches — even though the various species have habitats ranging from alkaline lakes to Andean plateaus. Flamingos represented Vegas and Miami and pre-Castro Cuba. Why can’t I shut up about this?

2012 61

Jamaica Birding Trip 2013 Part 1

10,000 Birds

One of the perks about living in Miami is that plane tickets to the bird-rich Caribbean, Central, and South America are often cheaper than going to places like Arizona, Colorado, or California. After the rain subsided, I continued down the road and came across a fruiting tree with quite a bit of commotion around it – Black-whiskered Vireo , Sad Flycatcher , Jamaican Woodpecker , Jamaican Spindalis , Loggerhead Kingbird , and Ring-tailed Pigeon were among the species present.

2013 72

The Razorbill Invasion of Florida

10,000 Birds

On December 11, 2012, an observer saw one at Government Cut in Miami-Dade right off the pier which was quickly followed by a sighting of three birds off Singer Island in Palm Beach, two birds filmed off Fort Lauderdale, and another bird photographed off of Crandon Beach in Key Biscayne — already an unprecedented number of records. Razorbills ( Alca torda ) have invaded the coastal waters of Florida on an unprecedented scale this December of 2012.

Timing is Everything: Spring & Summer South Florida Targets

10,000 Birds

Before settling down and setting up breeding territories, both of these species can be somewhat sporadic and hard to pin down for a birding trip. Although arriving at around the same time, the departure dates for both of these species are quite different. Antillean Nighthawks, which are best distinguished by call from the Common Nighthawks that share the same areas, seem to be highly localized breeders in the Florida Keys with regular records of singles in Miami-Dade county.

2014 55

I and the Bird: What is a Vulture?

10,000 Birds

The smellier the better, particularly as, unusually for birds, many species can boast a robust sense of smell. In any case, our hang-ups with vultures clearly stem from our own issues rather than any inherently bizarre trait of the species themselves. I’m focusing on Turkey Vultures here because they are undoubtedly the species most birders in North America (the home of 10kB) are most familiar with, but the name vulture applies to birds found around the globe.

2013 75

Anhinga Trail at Dawn — a Wildlife Spectacle

10,000 Birds

Various smaller bird species which are not seen easily later in the day also make an appearance at the break of dawn, and and as February turns into March, their singing becomes more incessant and forms a significant part in the wetland dawn chorus – White-eyed Vireo , Great Crested Flycatcher , Carolina Wren , and Northern Cardinal.

2013 61

Mysteries of the Mitred Parakeets

10,000 Birds

Miami and Los Angeles were also major importation hubs, and populations of Aratinga mitrata are well established in those areas. They are a temperate zone species, found at high elevations, so they are somewhat cold-adapted. Seth Ausubel is one of the best birders in Queens, New York, and Corey is ever-so-thankful that Seth does not use eBird because that way Corey can pretend that he is the top lister in the borough.

2011 79

Veraguan Mango – Panama's ex-endemic

10,000 Birds

Like when Cleveland local Lebron James showed up in Miami and started playing basketball for the Heat. One such controversial bird is the Veraguan Mango , a small hummingbird species that was, until very recently, believed to be a Panamanian endemic. Veraguan Mango by Carlos Bethancourt Although the Neotropical region supports fewer bird families than Africa, there are considerably more bird species here than anywhere else on earth.

Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East: A Field Guide Review

10,000 Birds

from University of Miami in 1966 and has written over 75 scientific and popular papers and books, including Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide. Although designed as a field guide, it is a hefty book, 376 pages long, covering 336 species. Many species are dimorphic, with females looking different from males. Many species also differ with age. And, there are some odonate species that include andromorphs, females which look like the males.

2012 80

The Future of Birding Field Guides is Digital

10,000 Birds

No need to page through dozens of plates of similar looking species anymore. If you are in remore and/or dangerous places, like Somalia or Miami, and you get robbed, a book or (paper) notebook will likely be left in your posession by the robbers (saving all of your bird observation notes), an electronic device will be taken – that’s what they are after.

Best Bird of the Year 2012

10,000 Birds

Red-necked Grebe by Carlos Sanchez My Best Bird of the Year was a Red-necked Grebe discovered in an urban pond in Tallahassee which lingered long enough for me to go and see it — a full 17 hour round trip drive from Miami. This bird represented only the second documented record of this species in Florida. This may sound mundane, but my Best Bird of the Year is a species we all know quite well in one form or another.

2012 67

Combined Beat list for 2016

10,000 Birds

All birds are equal on this list; parking lot birds or pelagic species, breeders or fly-overs, all will be accorded the same status and each shall be worth 1 credit on the list. There may be a bit of backroom competition by the beats as only the first of the species will be noted on the list, but with a little delving, there is more information here than we first realised. It is a dream, nay, a mission statement of 10,000 Birds to see as many of the World’s birds as possible.

2016 60