The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.
This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:
You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):
On 21 February, at Long Key State Park in the Florida Keys, Alan Moss saw what he was convinced was a Zenaida Dove. He returned the next morning and spent two and a half hours searching for the bird and ultimately photographed it. He relocated the dove on the lower half of Golden Orb Trail where it was foraging in relatively open areas close to where the trail opened up into a circular area bordered by mangroves.
Eventually the dove was seen by many observers through the end of the month, even though sometimes the site sometimes became a little over-crowded and the bird stayed back. Soon, orange flagging-tapes, used as trail-markers, were placed in the area, to help birders locate this rarity.
The Zenaida Dove resembles a Morning Dove, but with a shorter and slightly rounded tail, not pointed, and with white trailing edges to the secondaries. That last mark shows as a small white rectangular patch on the inner secondaries on a perched or standing bird.
Zenaida Doves are largely residents of the West Indies and Yucatán Peninsula. During Audubon’s day, the species may have also been a resident in the Florida Keys, but nobody knows for sure. Today, the species is considered an accidental visitor, with only a few previous records for s. Florida (and one, possibly, for Georgia), mostly between fall and spring. Because the species is a strong flyer, this individual could have originated in either the Bahamas or Cuba.
You can see the eBird report and photo by Alan Moss here:
GREAT WHITE PELICAN IN FLORIDA
Since we’re on the subject of rare birds in Florida, it’s appropriate to mention one puzzling appearance. A Great White Pelican, a bird that is a resident of parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, was discovered at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on the morning of Sunday 28 February. By ‘leap day,’ the 29th, curious crowds started forming.
Great White Pelican breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa at shallow lakes and coastal swamps. Wintering locations for these pelicans originating in Europe are not exactly known, but wintering birds may occur in northeastern Africa through Iraq to north India.
It’s hard to believe that this Ding Darling NWR bird was not an escape, but as of this writing no zoo has claimed the bird. It had no band. This pelican was associating with its similar-looking cousins, American White Pelicans. Great White Pelican is a long-lived bird, so if one escaped years ago, it may have just associated with American White Pelicans without being noticed until now.
Photos and more details can be found from the Santiva Chronicle:
BOOK NOTES: ULTRA-CUTE
What can be cuter than baby birds? Or, on the other hand, what can be more strange or reptilian? Regardless of your opinion, the latest book by Julie Zickefoose, Baby Birds (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) may be worthy of consideration.