17 December 2007

Christmas Bird Count

For the Christmas Bird Count this year I decided to take a trip south down to Miami. This was my first time in the city and I figured there would be no better way to learn my way around downtown than by joining one of the counts. I met up with the team at Kennedy Park, right on the Biscayne Bay. The sunrise was beautiful. Our route took us through all the small downtown parks like Simpson Park and Bayfront Park. We stopped at the Science Museum parking lot to grab a few warblers and these nesting House Sparrows.

After hitting all the parks we made our way to
Parrot Jungle. Here we would count all the wild birds that are found around the caged bird enclosures. They have an Everglades Exhibit with turtles, fish, and prime habitat for wading birds. We located a few White Ibis, some Black-Crowned Night Herons, and even a Great Egret or two. Below you'll see some of their birds on display. They have every species of macaw you can think of. Most of these birds are very friendly, like the two Scarlet Macaws seen below.

The flamingos were the most entertaining to watch. Due to the warm weather the males were putting on a little mating display. They're the ones with their necks stretched upwards. The females could care less and kept feeding.

Our count territory is not a high-traffic area for birds but we managed to find 2 Magnificent Frigatebirds and a Spotted Sandpiper right in the heart of downtown Miami. All in all, it was a fun day and a great way to see a new city. We ended our count at 33 species.

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