migratory birds

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  The Florida Keys Hawkwatch Migration Monitoring Project opened for business Tuesday. Birdwatchers will be scanning the skies and counting birds in the Middle Keys every day until Nov. 2.

"We are counting warblers. We are counting thrushes. We are counting a lot of birds of prey, falcons, in particular. We count more falcons here than anywhere else on the planet," said Rafael Galvez, the project's director.

Look Up! It's Turkey Vulture Time In South Florida

Oct 13, 2014
Shawn Carey / Courtesy of Keith Bildstein

We may not get the brilliant reds and yellows of leaves changing to signal a switch of season in South Florida, but there is, without question, a definite visual cue that autumn has arrived in the lowest of the lower 48.

All you have to do is look up.

In the air, circling and gliding, dipping and soaring, hopping on a thermal current for a rollercoaster ride, are the turkey vultures.

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.