On my Labor Day birding blitz I attempted to find the Western Spindalis that had been long reported at Long Pine campground in the Everglades National Park. The pair had nested and fledged three offspring, which was great as the Western Spindalis are actually vagrants from the Caribbean. They are not endemic to the US and are only occasional found in the Keys or along the southeast coast of Florida. Would have been a fantastic life-list hit. But upon my arrival I met a couple of folks at the correct spot, who were wearing protective anti-mosquito garb and netting, that it seems that they were reporting to those of us who were arriving in hopes of a grreat find that they were now gone. I knew that the fledglings had already moved along, but now the parents have left as well. Very disappointing. But future opportunities will arise. Please visit the links below for more information concerning the Western Spindalis stay in there Everglades.
Last fall we had better luck with another species from the Bahamas who had also set up house in Florida to raise a family. They were a pair of Least Grebes. Only a couple of earlier reports of Least Grebes were every noted in Florida. So the pair who had nested at Yamata Scrub Park in Boca Raton, was a big sensation. We visited the their pond on October 1, 2008 and again in January 2009. Sadly the family of four began disappearing one at a time till by Spring none were left. No idea were they went. Chances are they were victims of predation.
Links to items about the Western Spindalishttp://www.southfloridabirding.com/html/Western%20Spindalis%20nesting.htm