birds

Joe Rimkus Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

It's not a canary or a coal mine in Florida, but the idea from Audubon of Florida is the same. Wading birds hold the same function as the canary, and in this case the coal mine is the Everglades. Tabitha Cale with the society says things are dire.

Flickr/CreativeCommons/Bruce Tuten

 

How’d you like to become a citizen scientist and help conservation efforts in the Everglades?

Every other Saturday from Jan. 3, 2015 until late March, Everglades National Park will host its Big Day Birding Adventure.

Novice and experienced birders alike will be asked to spend the day counting birds within the varied habitats of the park -- from freshwater marsh to mangrove swamp.

If there is an iconic bird for the Florida Keys, the Key West quail-dove is it. The bird was named, and painted, by John James Audubon during his 1832 visit to the island chain.

"I have taken upon myself to name this species the Key West pigeon, and offer it as a tribute to the generous inhabitants of that island, who favoured me with their friendship," Audubon wrote in his journal.

I didn’t see it at first. 

I was just getting into my car in the WLRN parking lot when I heard the warbling.  It seemed the bird song was carried along on the air in surround sound, with a resonance that my colleagues inside the building would envy.

I kept scanning the electrical poles and wires above the parking lot to see if I could spot it.  It had to be there, because he was a born performer, this bird.  What a ham!  Despite the ruckus I was making settling into my driver seat, he just kept singing away.

Kerry Ross

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal on the planet. 
Throw a brick off the top of the Empire State Building and the Peregrine will fall out of the sky faster.

The secret is the falcon’s ability to shape its body into an almost perfect teardrop, fine tuning its muscles and feathers according to the feel of the rushing wind. Navy scientists using radar have clocked them doing 240 miles per hour. Peregrine Falcons don’t do this for fun. They do it to survive.

cuatrok77 / Flickr Creative Commons

How valuable are state-managed conservation lands? It's a question the South Florida Water Management District has put to the public in a multi-month assessment of fee-owned lands throughout the state.

Robert.Claypool / Flickr Creative Commons

The Birdist's Nicholas Lund -- who, in a recent Slate piece, took each and every state to task for its choice of state bird -- stands by his assertion that the flamingo should be Florida's avian ambassador, even if most of the state's denizens will never set eyes on the pink fellows outside of an aviary or souvenir shop.

flheritage.com

In a "bird-rich" state like Florida, does the commonplace northern mockingbird deserve to reign as the official state bird? The Birdist's Nicholas Lund thinks not.

Sea Level Rise May Happen Too Quick For Shore Birds To React

May 15, 2013
Hunter-Desportes / Flickr Creative Commons

Humans aren't the only species facing an uncertain future in South Florida should current sea level rise predictions prove accurate. Migratory and resident shore birds also would feel the pinch of encroaching salt water, beach erosion, and shore line and habitat loss. 

When examining current land modeling and other scientific data, in addition to physical evidence, "It becomes clear what a substantial threat sea level rise will be," said Julie Wraithmell, director of Wildlife Conservation, Florida, for the National Audubon Society. 

Patdaversa / Flickr Creative Commons

The roseate spoonbill -- often mistaken by confused tourists for the non-native flamingo -- is one of Florida's great iconic species. Dubbed "one of the most breathtaking of the world's weirdest birds" by naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, the gangly creatures are an increasingly rare sight in South Florida. 

According to a feature in the May-June issue of Audubon Magazine, spoonbills have been vacating South Florida in droves, heading north to more hospitable (read: often less developed) lands.

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