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Gavin Bieber reports from sunny Florida

May 10: Gavin Bieber reports from sunny Florida

After a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic it was fantastic to return to Florida for our 2021 Spring South Florida tour.  Although we only visit a small section of the state it’s a tour with a remarkably varied avifauna.  Several Caribbean species like Black-whiskered Vireo, Shiny Cowbird and White-crowned Pigeons reach the northern edge of their range in Florida and this year we were also treated to a true vagrant in the form of the wonderfully cooperative Black-faced Grassquit.

Black-whiskered Vireo

Shiny Cowbird

White-crowned Pigeons

Black-faced Grassquit

Out on the Tortugas we connected with Black Noddy, Bridled Tern, Masked Booby and even a surprise Audubon’s Shearwater.  Waterbirds abound in the wetlands of the southern Peninsula, perhaps none more unique than this Limpkin. 


Florida has its share of endemic subspecies too, such as the darker and more heavily spotted Burrowing Owl and smaller and paler Red-shouldered Hawk. 

Burrowing Owl

Red-shouldered Hawk

Of course, no trip around Miami could leave out the wealth of established exotics, such as this inquisitive Mitred Parakeet or these colourful Nanday Parakeets that we found near Tampa Bay on the first day. 

Mitred Parakeets

Nanday Parakeets

Add in the diversity of reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies and this short week in South Florida proved quite the wildlife spectacle!

(Photos by Gavin Bieber and Allen Codding)

Posted: May 10, 2021