21 December 2009

Spindalis reminiscing

For the second consecutive year, a new bird has been added to the list of Florida breeding species. You may remember that in 2008, a pair of Least Grebes nested at Yamato Scrub Natural Area in Palm Beach County, and two young fledged. Both parents and young eventually disappeared from the area, though a single Least Grebe was seen there this past September. In 2009 another Caribbean species, Western Spindalis, nested in the state for the first time, at the Long Pine Key picnic area in Everglades National Park. The pair was first spotted in late July by visiting birders Heidi Trudell and Matthew York. Soon thereafter, a second female was seen with the pair, and it wasn't long after that that a nest was found near the top of a slash pine. Three young hatched; the last fledged in early September, but once the male parent stopped singing, birders had difficulty finding any of the six individuals presumed to present. The presence of the second female led to speculation that this may not have been the first time that the pair has nested in the park.

...the above is the first paragraph of Brian Rapoza's "Fall 2009" update for Tropical Audubon. Looks like the annual Trudell & York contribution to North American ornithology has been taken care of. Thanks to all who helped sponsor the honeymoon! =D

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