Banded Crested Caracara, Harris' Sparrow, etc. 02/03/04
Today, while guiding visiting illinois birder Steve Tanksley to areas in
Collier & Hendry County, we chanced upon a Crested Caracara near the
Hendry County Correctional Facility in Sunniland Station that had a blue
band on its left foot. The numbers (if present) were indiscernible from
the distance we viewed the bird. Does anyone know who would be banding
Crested Caracaras in Hendry County? A similar encounter last year with a
banded Black-crowned Night-Heron at Sweetwater Slough (along Loop Road)
still remains a mystery. Who bands Black-crowned Night-Herons in Collier
or Monroe Counties?
We had some good birds today including the Harris' Sparrow (5 second
looks) at its "usual" location southeast of the aforementioned
correctional facility. Steve and I missed the Yellow-breasted Chat, but a
chance encounter with Susan Epps and friend, revealed that they saw that
bird earlier as well as the HASP. New birds along this dirt road (which
is really an outlier/extension off of C.R. 858 East, after going past the
Hendry County Correctional Facility) were American Goldfinch (x4), and a
pair of Burrowing Owls west of the prison. The usual Scissor-tailed
Flycatchers and Western Kingbirds were in evidence on the telephone lines
and barbed wire fence near the facility. Both Indigo & Painted Buntings
were at the HASP locale. Always-nice-to-see Eastern Meadowlarks serenaded
us as we watched a pair of feeding Sandhill Cranes and plodding Wilson's
Snipe in a small wet depression along the dirt road by the prison. An
adult Bald Eagle oogled us as it perched in a distant tree and many
Loggerhead Shrikes hunted insects nearby. A small flock of "pink" Common
Ground-Doves hid in an adjacent Brazilian Pepper.
Other avian highlights seen today:
Purple Gallinule -- (juvenile) -- seen in a wetland along C.R. 858 as you
head east about a mile before it makes it's turn to the north along the
Collier/Hendry County line at Sunniland Station in Collier County. One
distant Black-bellied Whistling-Duck flew up briefly in the same location.
Flock of 25 Northern Rough-winged Swallows sitting on a telephone line
east of S.R. 29 at Sunniland Station.
Mating pair of Red-shouldered Hawks -- along C.R. 858 east of S.R. 29 at
Two Snail Kites -- plying the glades at old abandoned airboat ride
location along Tamiami Trail near the Everglades Tower Inn (Miami-Dade
American Redstart (male) -- Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk (Collier County).
American White Pelican (x2) -- seen soaring on thermals from the Big
Cypress Bend Boardwalk.
Nesting pair of Bald Eagles -- Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk
Barred Owl -- heard only Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk