Thursday, November 30, 2023

Florida Birds - Part 3

Continuing with this series on Florida birds, below are highlights from the gulf coast.

First up, Nanday Parakeets.


Nanday Parakeet.

These guys were everywhere, usually seen in large flocks and very loud. These birds are not native, but are a result of escapees from the exotic bird trade establishing themselves in the area, and they seem to be thriving.

Nanday Parakeet.

This one was seen in a city park investigating all the holes in the trunk of a palm tree. You can just barely see its red "socks" that are visible when they perch.

Nanday Parakeet and moon.

A typical flock in flight:

Nanday Parakeets.

Nanday Parakeets.

Compare the black-headed Nandays with the all-green Monk Parakeets who also inhabit the area (and Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn). These birds also appear in large flocks and the one below is seen guarding part of a communal nest on a water tower.

Monk Parakeet.

Monk Parakeets flying:

Monk Parakeets.

This is a terrible photo, but it's the only one I was able to get of a flock of Blue-Crowned Parakeets. I'd never seen them before and I spotted this group on a dark and cloudy morning. Their calls were different than the Nandays and Monks, so I snapped a photo and was happy to discover a new bird for my life list. They are not widespread across the state, but seem to exist in three major areas (according to eBird). I feel lucky to have seen them when I did and, next time, will have to try and get better views.

Blue-Crowned Parakeets.

Meanwhile, many of the birds NYC enjoys in spring, summer and fall are hanging out down south this time of year. This Prairie Warbler was found foraging for insects in a mangrove swamp.

Prairie Warbler.

Prairie Warbler.

Another migratory bird we see in NYC during warmer months is the Black and White Warbler. I found this one in some shrubby trees along with Palm Warblers and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers.

Black and White Warbler.

One of my favorite birds that I rarely (well, never)  get to see up north is the Loggerhead Shrike.

Loggerhead Shrike.

I love their black masks and the way they command the area where ever they are. Any time I was in the presence of one, I felt like it was in charge of everything going on.

Loggerhead Shrike.

No swimming!

Loggerhead Shrike.

Another favorite (I have a lot) is the Limpkin. They eat snails and this one was finding quite a few in a random pond behind the hotel where I was staying.


Of all the wading birds, the Tricolored Heron has to be one of the most beautiful. I found a lot of them during this trip, more than I've ever seen.

Tricolored Heron.

Tricolored Heron.

Tricolored Heron.

Tricolored Heron.

Every post must include an Osprey!


Sunsets on the gulf coast are amazing. I grew up on the west coast and miss seeing the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, so seeing it go down over the Gulf of Mexico is the next best thing.

Sunset on the gulf coast.

More to come...

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