Monday, March 28, 2011

Red-whiskered Bulbul - A Visit to Miami-Dade County

Tuesday March 23rd

Today I headed across the state to Miami-Dade County to look for exotics. First stop was in a restaurant parking lot in Miami to look for Bronzed Cowbirds.  Though not exotic they are an expanding, invasive species.

Bronzed Cowbirds in Miami
Found a flock of about fifteen of the cowbirds, plus other invasive/exotic species in European Starlings, House Sparrows, Eurasian Collared Doves and a lone Common Myna.
A few minutes south of the restaurant is the suburban town of Kendall, which is home to a large variety of exotic species. Two much sought after and countable exotics are the spot-breasted oriole, from south Mexico and Central America and the Red-whiskered Bulbul from India. These two are nemesis birds as I have searched for them several times. The neighborhood just north of the Kendall Baptist Hospital campus is a popular sight to check for the bulbul and finally today I spotted a pair on the telephone lines behind  a residence. LIFER!!! Also seen in the neighborhood were Loggerhead Shrike, White-winged Dove, Monk Parakeets, Mitred Parakeets, Fish Crows, Blue Jays and Northern Mockingbirds
Egyptian Goose in Kendall
On the campus of the hospital I got better looks at the the Mitred parakeets as well as Anhingas, Ring-billed Gulls, various domesticated waterfowl including Muscovy Ducks and another exotic in an Egyptian Goose. The Egyptians are slowly expanding in Florida, preferring sights like golf courses and parks, with short grasses and ponds.  I first saw this species on the golf course next to my Mom's condo in Pembroke Pines a few years ago.
My final stop was at Matheson Hammock County Park in Coral Gables. Was hoping to see hill mynas and any parrots, especially chestnut-fronted macaws.  The park was very quite. Found a Prairie Warbler and some Coots. I did here an occasional parrot, including the squawk of a macaw.  But none were seen. There
is a small flock of blue and yellow macaws that are found in the Coral Gables/University of Miami area.

A week earlier I was lucky to have spotted another Florida specialty and nemesis bird in a Smooth-billed Ani. I had returned to Glades County near LaBelle to look for Crested Caracara and Florida Scrub Jays, and on my way home had an ani fly across Rt 80 a couple of miles west of LaBelle. I have made several attempts at locating this bird at reported locations in Ft Lauderdale and the Everglades the past few years. Now I have one unexpectedly cross my path. Cool!! The smooth-billed ani is common bird in the Caribbean and South America and was once common in south Florida, but is now disappearing.


  1. Thanks for your entry. I am a tour operator (Colombia Wild Ecotours) taking birders to Colombia and residing in Miami Lakes. I have a group of New Yorkers coming down this coming January wanting to see exotics in Florida and look forward to showing them the Bulbuls.

    Many regards

    Ernest Leupin.

  2. The Bulbuls are always on the electrical wires behind my house. I see them almost every day.