Birds at the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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US. Fish and Wildlife Service Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Bird List ©Paula Cannon Welcome to the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges. There are three Refuges in the lower Florida Keys: Key West, Great White Heron and National Key Deer National Wildlife Refuges. These refuges are part of a subtropical ecoregion and provide habitat for many species of birds, some of which are unique to the Florida Keys and south Florida. Combined, the refuges total approximately 23,000 acres of land. However, the open water within the boundaries of Key West and Great White Heron Refuges, covers an area of about 400,000 acres. All of the refuges were established to protect wildlife and their habitat. Key West National Wildlife Refuge and Great White Heron Refuge were established in 1908 and 1938 respectively, to protect herons and egrets from plume hunters. National Key Deer Refuge was established in 1957 to protect the endangered Key Deer and other wildlife. Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges 179 Key Deer Blvd. Big Pine Key Plaza Big Pine Key, Florida 33043 305/872 0774 http://southeast.fws.gov email@example.com U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1 800/344 WILD January 2013 The best times for birding are during the spring and fall migration. Some of the more unique birds that can be seen are great white herons, antillean nighthawk, gray kingbird, black-whiskered vireo, white-crowned pigeon and the elusive mangrove cuckoo. Together, these three Refuges protect habitat for 285 species of birds. Key West and Great White Heron Refuges are composed of many small islands locally known as the Backcountry. Key West National Wildlife Refuge lies west of Key West. Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge encompasses many of the Keys north of U.S. Highway 1 from Key West to just west of Marathon. These two Refuges are accessible only by boat. National Key Deer Refuge and surrounding non-refuge lands also afford the best opportunities for birding. Respect private property if the property is privately owned you must obtain permission to enter. It is recommended that you lock your car and lock your valuables in the trunk or take them with you when you leave it. Directions (north, south, east, and west) are given relative to compass headings, not to directions on US 1. Bahia Honda State Park (MM 37.5): An entrance fee is required. Continue through the gate, go right, and then park in the lot on the left. Walk the beach for shorebirds, gulls, and terns. Go to the parking area on the right - warblers may be seen in trees near the old store. Other birds can be found along the beach at the east end and along the road past the camping area. East end of West Summerland Key (MM 34.9): just west of the Bahia Honda Bridge, turn north and follow to the “Donut” (a manmade cove). This is a good area for shorebirds, terns, and gulls. Snowy plovers have been seen here. Big Pine Key (MM 32.9): just after entering onto the Key, turn south onto Long Beach Drive and stop along the road at any convenient spot. Ovenbirds, warblers, waterthrushes, siskins, buntings, and orioles may be present during migration and in winter. Big Pine Key (MM 30.2): turn north at the traffic light and then an immediate left onto Key Deer Blvd. (the Refuge office is in the shopping center on the right). Short-tailed hawk and turkey vultures may be observed soaring overhead. At the Blue Hole, 2.5 miles north on Key Deer Blvd., pied-billed grebes and green-backed herons may be present. The masked duck and least grebe also have been seen here so it is worth a visit. Opposite the Blue Hole, travel onto Big Pine St. and then left onto Koehn Blvd. Shorebirds may be present at the mud flats near the end of the road and at the boat ramp. To go to No Name Key, go east on Watson Blvd., left at the stop sign, and follow Watson Blvd. over the large bridge to No Name Key. Yellow headed blackbird, darkeyed junco, cave swallow, and Swainsons warbler have been found here. The end of the road is also a good location for mangrove cuckoo and black-whiskered vireo. Before leaving Big Pine a good spot to look for antillean nighthawks is in the vicinity of the west end of Watson Blvd and along Narcissus Ave. Antilleans are frequently present late in the day during spring and summer. US. Fish and Wildlife Service Summerland Key (MM 25): Take the first left after the bridge and a salt pond is on your right. Ibis and egrets can be found here. Take a right onto Margaret St and then the next left. A fresh water pond is on the left. Ducks, least bittern, sora rail, and white-crowned pigeon are found here. Moorhens nest here. Sugarloaf Key (MM 17): Turn south at traffic light and drive slowly to the end of the road. Hawks, harriers, woodpeckers can be seen along here. There is the possibility of ducks on the pond on the right and pine siskin, indigo bunting, and grosbeak in the pine trees after crossing the bridge. How to use your checklist The checklist is arranged in the order established by the American Ornithologist’s Union Checklist of North American Birds, 7th edition, 1984, with supplements. This list reviewed by Philip Hughes and Chuck Hunter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Recommended birding areas were provided by Marge Brown with the assistance of Wayne Hoffman, W. B. Robertson, and refuge staff. If you should find an unlisted species, please let us know at the Refuge Visitor Center, in the Big Pine Key Plaza, Key Deer Blvd., Big Pine Key, FL 33043, or you can call us at 305/872 0774. We appreciate your help in updating our records. Ethics of Bird Watching Birders on the refuge are expected to adhere to the Code of Birding Ethics set forth by the American Birding Association to promote the welfare of birds and their environment. n Do not disturb nesting birds. This could lead to exposing eggs and young to extreme temperatures and predation. n Likewise do not disturb wintering, resting, and feeding birds. They need their energy reserves to withstand the stresses of harsh weather, migration, and hunting for food. u-uncommon (uncommonly observed in proper habitat). r-rare (rarely observed). o-occasional (observed fewer than ten times). Please report all sightings. Confirmed breeding in checklist area. *-nests here Support the protection of important bird habitat Stay on roads, trails and paths. Cutting through vegetation damages vegetation and puts you at risk of injury from uneven terrain and rattlesnakes. Do not enter closed areas on the refuge. Areas are closed to protect wildlife resources and visitors from hazardous areas.. This publication funded by the Friends and Volunteers of Refuges. SP S F W Loons ___Red-throated Loon o o o ___Common Loon u u u Grebes ___Least Grebe o ___Pied-billed Grebe * u u u u ___Horned Grebe o o Shearwaters and Petrels ___Greater Shearwater o ___Sooty Shearwater o o ___Audubon’s Shearwater o o ___Wilson’s Storm-Petrel o ___Band-rumped Storm-Petrel o Tropicbirds ___White-tailed Tropicbird o Possession of migratory birds, their feathers, nests or eggs is against the law. Use of tape recordings to attract birds is permitted on Refuge lands. However, birders are required to limit the use to attracting the bird and not prolonging the bird’s presence. Boobies and Gannets ___Masked Booby ___Brown Booby ___Northern Gannet o r r r r n Do not litter! Many birds die when they become entangled in fishing lines, 6-pack rings and other trash. Pelicans ___American White Pelican ___Brown Pelican * c n Injured birds may be reported to the refuge at 305/872 0774. n Key To Symbols Seasonal appearance Sp-Spring: March, April, and May S-Summer: June, July, and August F -Fall: September, October, and November W -Winter: December, January, and February Seasonal abundance c-common (commonly observed in proper habitat). Darters and Cormorants ___Double-crested Cormorant * ___Anhinga Frigatebirds ___Magnificent Frigatebird Bitterns, Herons, Egrets and Their Allies ___American Bittern ___Least Bittern * ___Great Blue Heron * ___Great Egret * ___Snowy Egret * ___Little Blue Heron * ___Tricolored Heron * ___Reddish Egret * ___Cattle Egret o o r r r u r c r c r c c u c r c c u u c c c c o r r r r c c c c c c c c u u u u u u u u c u c u c c c c c c c c US. Fish and Wildlife Service ___Green Heron * ___Black-crowned Night-Heron ___Yellow-crowned Night-Heron * SP S c c r c c Ibises and Spoonbills ___White Ibis * c c ___Glossy Ibis o o ___Roseate Spoonbill u u Storks ___Wood Stork Flamingos ___Greater Flamingo o F W c c r r c c c o r c o r o o o o Ducks, Geese, Swans ___Fulvous Whistling-Duck o o o ___Canada Goose o ___Snow Goose o o ___Wood Duck o ___Green-winged Teal r r r ___White-cheeked Pintail o o ___Northern Pintail u u u ___Blue-winged Teal c c c ___Northern Shoveler u u u ___Gadwall o ___American Wigeon c c c ___Ring-necked Duck u u u ___Lesser Scaup u u u ___Longtailed duck o ___Black Scoter o o ___Hooded Merganser o ___Common Merganser o o ___Red-breasted Merganser u r c c ___Masked Duck o Vultures ___Black Vulture ___Turkey Vulture * c o c o c o c Osprey, Kites, Eagles, and Harriers ___Osprey * c c ___Swallow-tailed Kite r r ___Mississippi Kite ___Bald Eagle * u u ___Northern Harrier u ___Sharp-shinned Hawk c ___Cooper’s Hawk u ___Red-Shouldered Hawk * u u ___Broad-winged Hawk c ___Short-tailed Hawk r ___Swainson’s Hawk r ___Red-tailed Hawk r ___Zone-tailed Hawk c r o u u c u u c c c r o c r o u u c u u c u r r o Falcons ___American Kestrel ___Merlin ___Peregrine Falcon c c u c u c c u u Rails, Gallinules, Coots ___Black Rail ___Clapper Rail * ___Virginia Rail ___Sora Rail u u u u o r u u u u o o r r ___Purple Gallinule * ___Common Moorhen * ___American Coot * Limpkins ___Limpkin SP r u c r S F W r r r u u u r c c r r r Plovers ___Black-bellied Plover c u c c ___Lesser Golden-Plover r r r ___Snowy Plover o o ___Wilson’s Plover * c c c c ___Semipalmated Plover c c c ___Piping Plover r r r ___Killdeer * u r u u ___Mountain Plover o Oystercatchers ___American Oystercatcher o o Stilts and Avocets ___Black-necked Stilt * ___American Avocet u u o u o o Sandpipers and Phalaropes ___Greater Yellowlegs u u u ___Lesser Yellowlegs u u u ___Solitary Sandpiper u r ___Willet * c c c ___Spotted Sandpiper u u u ___Upland Sandpiper r r ___Whimbrel r r c ___Ruddy Turnstone c u c c ___Red Knot u r u r ___Sanderling c r c c ___Semipalmated Sandpiper r r r r ___Western Sandpiper c r c c ___Least Sandpiper c r c c ___White-rumped Sandpiper u ___Pectoral Sandpiper r r r ___Purple Sandpiper r ___Dunlin u c u ___Stilt Sandpiper r r r ___Short-billed Dowitcher c u c c ___Common Snipe r r ___Wilson’s Phalarope o o o ___Red-necked Phalarope o Jaegers, Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers ___Pomarine Jaeger o o ___Parasitic Jaeger o o ___Laughing Gull * c c c ___Bonaparte’s Gull r r ___Ringed-billed Gull c r c ___Herring Gull u r c ___Lesser Black-backed Gull r ___Great Black-backed Gull r r ___Black-legged Kittiwake (specimen) ___Gull billed Tern o ___Caspian Tern u u ___Royal Tern c c c ___Roseate Tern* u ___Sandwich Tern * u u o o c r c c r r o c c u US. Fish and Wildlife Service SP S F ___Common Tern u u ___Forster’s Tern u c ___Least Tern * u c c ___Bridled Tern r r r ___Sooty Tern r r r ___Black Tern r r ___Brown Noddy o o ___Black Skimmer W u c u Alcids ___Dovekie o Pigeons and Doves ___Rock Dove * c c c c ___White-crowned Pigeon * u c u u ___Eurasian collared Dove * c c c c ___White-winged Dove * u u u u ___Mourning Dove * c c c c ___Common Ground-Dove * u u u u ___Inca Dove (nested 1963-80, Key West, probably extirpated) ___Ruddy Quail-Dove o (1 captured, Key West) ___Key West Quail Dove o Cuckoos and Anis ___Blacked-billed Cuckoo ___Yellow-billed Cuckoo * ___Mangrove Cuckoo * ___Smooth-billed Ani r u u u u r r r u r r Owls ___Eastern Screech Owl o ___Burrowing Owl o o ___Barred Owl o ___Long-eared Owl o ___Short-eared Owl r u r Barn Owls ___Barn owls r r r Goatsuckers ___Common Nighthawk * ___Antillean Nighhawk * ___Chuck-will’s Widow ___Whip-poor-will o r r c c c c c c u u u r r r Swifts ___Chimney Swift r ___Antillean Palm Swift o Hummingbirds Black-chinned Hummingbird o Ruby-throated Hummingbird u r Kingfishers ___Belted Kingfisher r r c u Woodpeckers ___Red-bellied Woodpecker * c c ___Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u ___Northern Flicker u u u c c c c u u o o Tyrant Flycatchers ___Olive-sided Flycatcher o ___Eastern Wood-Pewee r u u SP S F ___Eastern Phoebe r r r ___LaSagra’s Flycatcher o o ___Brown-crested Flycatcher o ___Loggerhead Kingbird o ___Western Kingbird u u ___Eastern Kingbird c c c ___Gray Kingbird * c c c ___Scissor-tailed Flycatcher u u W r o u u u Swallows ___Purple Martin c c c ___Cuban Martin o ___Southern Martin o ___Tree Swallow c c u ___Northern Rough-winged Swallow r r r ___Bahama Swallow o o o ___Bank Swallow r r r ___Cave Swallow o ___Barn Swallow c c c r ___Cliff Swallow o Jays and Crows ___Blue Jay o o ___American Crow o o o ___Fish Crow r r Wrens ___Carolina Wren o ___House Wren r r Old World Warblers ___Ruby-crowned Kinglet ___Blue-gray Gnatcatcher c u c ___Veery r o r r o c Thrushes ___Gray-checked Thrush r r ___Swainson’s Thrush r u ___Hermit Thrush o ___Wood Thrush r r ___American Robin r r r Mockingbirds & Thrashers ___Gray Catbird ___Northern Mockingbird * ___Bahama Mockingbird ___Brown Thrasher * Pipits ___American Pipit Waxwings ___Cedar Waxwing c c c o o u u c c c c o u u o o c c c Shrikes ___Loggerhead Shrike r Starling & Allies ___European Starling * u u u u Vireos ___White-eyed Vireo * c c ___Bell’s Vireo ___Blue-headed Vireo u ___Philadelphia Vireo o ___Yellow-throated Vireo u c c o r r o u u US. Fish and Wildlife Service SP S ___Red-eyed Vireo c ___Black-whiskered Vireo * c c ___Thick-billed Vireo F W c r o u Wood Warblers ___Blue-winged Warbler r r r ___Golden-winged Warbler o o ___Tennessee Warbler u u r ___Orange-crowned Warbler u r u ___Nashville Warbler o o ___Northern Parula Warbler c c c ___Yellow Warbler Cuban subspecies * u u u u ___Chestnut-sided Warbler r r ___Magnolia Warbler u u r ___Cape May Warbler u u u ___Black-throated Blue Warbler c c ___Yellow-rumped Warbler c c c ___Black-throated Green Warbler u c u ___Blackburnian Warbler u u ___Yellow-throated Warbler c c c ___Pine Warbler o o o ___Prairie Warbler * c c c c ___Palm Warbler c c c ___Bay-breasted Warbler r r ___Blackpoll Warbler c r ___Cerulean Warbler r r ___Black-and-white Warbler c c c ___American Redstart c c u ___Prothonotary Warbler u u ___Worm-eating Warbler u u r ___Swainson’s Warbler u u o ___Ovenbird c c u ___Norther Waterthrush c c u ___Louisiana Waterthrush r r ___Kentucky Warbler u u ___Connecticut Warbler r r ___Common Yellowthroat c c c ___Hooded Warbler u u ___Wilson’s Warbler r r ___Yellow-breasted Chat o Tanagers ___Summer Tanager ___Scarlet Tanager Cardinals and Buntings ___Northern Cardinal ___Rose-breasted Grosbeak ___Blue Grosbeak ___Indigo Bunting ___Painted Bunting ___Dickcissel u u u c c u u u u r Blackbirds and Orioles ___Bobolink u u ___Red-winged Blackbird * c c c ___Tawny-shouldered Blackbird ___Yellow-headed Blackbird o ___Brewer’s Blackbird o ___Common Grackle * c c r ___Shiny Cowbird u ___Brown-headed Cowbird o o ___Orchard Oriole c c ___Baltimore Oriole c c u Finches ___Pine Siskin (irruptive) r ___American Goldfinch r c r u Old World Sparrows ___House Sparrow* u u Sighting Notes Date: Time: To: Weather: No. of Species: Route or area: r u c c u u c r u u r r Sparrows ___Eastern Towhee ___Chipping Sparrow o ___Clay colored Sparrow o ___Vesper Sparrow o ___Lark Sparrow o ___Savannah Sparrow u u ___Grasshopper Sparrow r r ___LeConte’s Sparrow ___Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow SP S F W ___Swamp Sparrow r r ___White-crowned Sparrow o ___Dark-eyed Junco o o o o o o o u r o o Observers: Remarks: u u c o o r o