Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fort DeSoto Birds

Tuesday, January 17th

Ft DeSoto Park, in Tampa Bay, is a Go-To place to bird, especially during migration. Currently, though we have a couple of special birds there making it worthwhile for a day trip.

Smooth-billed Ani
We currently have a lone Smooth-billed Ani wintering on the island. This species comes into  Florida from populations in  Cuba. They have historically been uncommon in Florida, but there was a big increase in their population in the southern half of the state in the mid 20th century. However, starting in the 1970's their population has crashed and are now considered to be very uncommon today. So today, with my daughter Katie, come to Ft DeSoto to see the Ani.

Another uncommon species to spend the winter in Florida is the Lark Sparrow. A single bird is wintering on the island in the company of Palm Warblers. We did not see the Scissor-tailed Flycatchers that are being seen the campground entrance.

Besides the Ani and the Sparrow , we had some good looks at Red-breasted Mergansers and Nanday Parakeets.
Nanday Parakeets

Red-breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
American White Pelican
Ospreys are extremely common here


  1. Nice Tom! And kudos to you for birding with your daughter!

  2. I've only ever seen the Smooth-billed Ani in Puerto Rico, Tom -- great work!