Birder's Eye View

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birder's luck

It has been far too long since my last post! All I have to blame for that is luck -- birder's luck, that is. ;-)

As usual, college is keeping me swamped with work, but fortunately part of this work involves birding a couple of hours a week. As we near the end of the semester, my environmental biology class is doing a final project where we are surveying campus bird species to determine how the salinity of the water affects the diversity of species using it.

Sounds cool, right? Well, as luck would have it, the day we got the assignment I ended up in the hospital with food poisoning and missed almost the entire week of school.

After that, though, my luck changed for the better. Sort of. It was great to get outside and go birding again, but, despite the fact that we're supposed to be getting into the height of spring migration, I have seen relatively few birds in the 3 bird counts I've done so far.

Off the top of my head, the birds I've seen while surveying include:
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Anhinga
  • Osprey
  • White Ibis
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Mottled Duck
  • Common Moorhen
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Least Tern
  • Sandwich Tern
  • Brown Pelican
  • Laughing Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Blue Jay
  • Mockingbird
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Boat-tailed Grackel
  • Fish Crow
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • European Starling
  • Tree Swallow

It's not bad, but based on our location and the time of year, I would hope to be seeing more migratory species.

Part of the problem may be the weather. Last week, temperatures dropped into the 50s and 60s with incredibly high winds, which is unheard of for this late in the season. Silly Florida weather.

Well, everything seems to be getting back to normal now. One more bird survey to do, one more month of school, and a huge load of work to do.

Until next time,

Happy birding!


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