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Monday, March 28, 2016

Gray Kingbirds Have Arrived!!

Gray Kingbird migrants were coming into Sanibel today, a few at the lighthouse and this one was on the wires near the East End Deli. They are  in the flycatcher family of birds, hence the sitting on wires and flying out to catch insects as this one did. This species mainly breeds in coastal FL and a little into coastal AL and GA. What a treat to see these arrive!! Migration is just gearing up, lots more warblers and songbirds to come.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Swainson's Warblers are Migrating, rare bird!

Swainson's Warblers are one of the least commonly seen migrants warblers here on Sanibel, FL. This one was seen today at the Sanibel Lighthouse park, a stopping and refueling place for migrants that cross the Gulf of Mexico. They mainly breed in swampy deciduous woods and, at higher elevations, along rhododendron-lined streams in the southeastern portion of the country. What a thrill to see this unusual warbler.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Barn Swallow Migration is Beginning!

Barn Swallow migration is beginning! I (Lillian) photographed these beauties yesterday at the Sanibel Lighthouse, FL. Strong fliers they feed on aerial insects. They winter in much of Central and South America then return to breed in much of North America. They nest mainly in barns and build a nest of mud and grasses. Look for them soon!
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Why is the Cardinal Attacking My Window or Car Mirror?? Here's Why

Cardinal male attacking his reflection in a parked car mirror. We frequently get asked this time of year "why is the cardinal pecking at my window, or mirror". Birds do not know about reflections so, for a bird defending its territory, it sees its reflection and thinks it is another of its species attacking back. This is not a good thing. The bird wastes energy and could potentially mildly hurt itself. The way to prevent it is to remove the reflection from the birds viewpoint and cover the outside of the window with screening, cloth, or something, or in the case of a car mirror, a paper bag or cloth, or move the car. Once breeding is well underway, a birds territorial defense will wane and this behavior will diminish.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Great White Pelican at Ding Darling NWR, 1st N.A. Record, or Escapee?

Great White Pelican mania continues at J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel FL. First North American record or escapee? Here's the latest. No (AZA) zoos in this country are missing any Great White Pelicans. Great White Pelican authority Sheila Murphy, of the American Zoological and Aquarium Society and Senior Bird Keeper at the San Diego Zoo did a census last week of Great White Pelicans at all 10 AZA facilities who house this species and determined no Great White Pelicans were missing. Zoos band and may microchip their pelicans and this female Great White Pelican has no bands on her legs. So the speculation mounts as to where she came from. Great White Pelicans breed in Africa, Asia and Europe. She was last seen at Ding on Tuesday, when she flew off (see my photo of her taking flight) and joined a small group of White Pelicans headed east. Birders are trying to relocate her. The Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee is reviewing this report and will meet in August to discuss it. They will be looking at the zoo records and other places that may have kept these birds in captivity. If no sources they research are missing any Great White Pelicans then maybe she will go down in history as a record of the first wild Great White Pelican who made it to North America. How lucky for us she showed up at Ding Darling NWR. This story is to be continued.