The birdlife of Florida

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Material Information

Title:
The birdlife of Florida
Physical Description:
Book
Creator:
Stevenson, Henry M.
Anderson, Bruce H.
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville
Tampa
Tallahassee
Boca Raton
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1994

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
ltqf - AAA0252
ltuf - AKC6612
alephbibnum - 001950103
System ID:
UF00000105:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Dedication
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Tables and maps
        Page xi
        Page xii
    Preface
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Species accounts
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
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    Addendum
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    Bibliography
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    Index
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text




The Birdlife of Florida


Research and publication sponsored by The Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission


The Birdlife of Florida
Henry M. Stevenson Bruce H. Anderson
University Press of Florida
Gainesville / Tallahassee / Tampa / Boca Raton Pensacola / Orlando / Miami / Jacksonville
CJUVERSITV OF rLSfcSA U2HARSES


Copyright 1994 by the Board of Regents of the State of Florida
Printed in the United States of America on acid-
All rights reserved
99 98 97 96 95 94 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Stevenson, Henry M. (Henry Miller), 1914-Birdlife of Florida / Henry M. Stevenson and Bruce H. Anderson, p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.
ISBN 0-8130-1288-0 (acid-free paper)
I. BirdsFlorida. I. Anderson, Bruce H.
II. Title.
QL684.F6S79 1994 93-43442 598.29759dc20
The University Press of Florida is the scholarly publishing agency for the State University System of Florida, comprised of Florida A & M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, and University of West Florida.
University Press of Florida 15 Northwest 15th Street Gainesville, FL 32611


This book is dedicated to
the memory of Herbert L. Stoddard, Sr. (1889-1970) whose contributions established an early foundation for Florida ecology and ornithology.




In Memoriam
Henry Miller Stevenson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on February 25, 1914, the son of a Methodist minister. His first aspirations toward the clergy faded early in college when he was overcome by a passion for birds. He completed his formal training in June of 1943, with a doctorate from Cornell University under the direction of Arthur A. Allen, and began his practical knowledge of the birdlife of Florida when he came to Florida State University in September 1946, as an assistant professor of ornithology. For almost a half-century, Dr. Stevenson trekked across the state from Key West to Pensacola, carefully recording the status, distribution, and other aspects of Florida's birds until his sudden death, on November 4, 1991.
To those of us who knew Dr. Stevenson as an ornithologist, he was an inspiration. He was careful and thorough in making identifications, and he offered suggestions and wisdom for us upcoming birders. For many of us, peeps, fall warblers, fleeting sparrows, and the faintest chips eventually came within our grasp to identify because of his tutelage. His conservative identifications, excitement over extralimital rarities, and awe of bird migration showed many people what it was like to be a real birder. His greatest pride was in solving avian mysteries, and he took no interest in playing the games of the profession or in self-aggrandizement. This commitment and dedication led to the reward we all reap in Birdlife of Florida.
Numerous students, including me, studied under Dr. Stevenson as a professor in ornithology. Many of them, such as Storrs Olson, Frank Chapman, John Ogden, Bruce Means, and Horace Loftin have achieved prominence in the profession, but my fortune was to have him for a father as well. What he taught me about birds paled in comparison with what he showed me of life. From him I learned that our existence is sculpted from pursuits such as art, literature, and music. His love for the church was an inspiration to many. His discipline in life kept him on the straight course and away from many of the pitfalls to which others succumb. Above all, his honesty and integrity at any cost caused me to respect him like no other man on earth. His courage and conviction will be a beacon for me throughout life.
When one pores over the hundreds of pages of this book, it becomes obvious that my father was a rare breed of ornithologist. But his devotion as a father and husband, and the conviction of his principles, made him the great man that he was.
Jim Stevenson




CONTENTS
Tables and Maps xi
Preface xiii Introduction (
Physiography I Avifauna 1 Introductions 3 Nomenclature 3
Sources of Data for Relative Abundance 3 Population Trends 4 Subspecies 6 Museum Work 6
Sources and Compilations of Information 6 Range Maps 7 Attributions 8 References 8
Abbreviations of Museums 10 Other Abbreviations and Symbols 11 Readers for Various Species Accounts 13
Species Accounts 15
Tinamiformes
Tinamidae, Tinamous 15 Gaviiformes
Gaviidac, Loons 15 Podicipediformes
Podicipedidae, Grebes 19 Procellariiformes
Diomedeidae, Albatrosses 25
Procellariidae, Shearwaters and Petrels 25
Oceanitidae (= Hydrobatidae), Storm-Petrels 31 Pelecaniformes
Phaethontidae, Xropicbirds 34
Sulidae, Boobies and Gannets 35
Pelecanidae, Pelicans 40
Phalacrocoracidae, Cormorants 44
Anhingidae, Darters 47
Fregatidae, Frigatebirds 49 Ciconiiformes
Ardeidae, Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets 52
Threskiornithidae, Ibises and Spoonbills 76
Ciconiidae, Storks 85
Cathartidae, American Vultures 87 Phoenicopteriformes
Phoenicopteridae, Flamingos 91 Anseriformes
Anatidae, Swans, Geese, and Ducks 93 Falconiformes
Accipitridae, Ospreys, Kites, Eagles, and Hawks 144
Falcon id ae, Caracaras and Falcons 175 Galliformes
Phasianidae, Upland Game Birds 181 Gruiformes
Rallidae, Rails, Gallinules, and Coots 187
Aramidae, Limpkins 202
Gruidae, Cranes 204 Charadriiformes
Charadriidae, Plovers 208
Haematopodidae, Oystercatchers 220
Recurvirostridae, Stilts and Avocets 221
Jacanidae, Jacanas 225
Scolopacidae, Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies 225
Laridae, Skuas, Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers 264 Stercorariinae, Skuas and Jaegers 265 Larinae, Gulls 269 Sterninae, Terns 287 Rynchopinae, Skimmers 311
Alcidae, Auks, Murres, Puffins 314 Columbiformes
Columbidae, Pigeons and Doves 316 Psittaciformes
Psittacidae, Parakeets, Parrots, Macaws, and Allies 333 Cuculiformes
Musophagidae, Touracos 351
Cuculidae, Cuckoos, Anis, and Allies 35! Strigiformes
Tytonidae, Barn Owls 358


Strigidae, Typical Owls 360 Caprimulgiformes
Caprimulgidae, Nightjars 371
Nyctibiidae, Potoos 379 Apodiformes
Apodidae, Typical Swifts 379
Trochilidae, Hummingbirds 383 Coraciiformes
Alcedinidae, Kingfishers 389
Bucerotidae, Hornbills 391 Piciformes
Ramphastidae, Toucans 391
Picidae, Woodpeckers, Wrynecks, and Piculets 392 Passeriformes
Tyrannidae, Tyrant Flycatchers 410
Pittidae, Pittas 439
Alaudidae, Larks 439
Hirundinidae, Swallows 440
Corvidae, Crows, Jays, and Magpies 455
Irenidae, Leafbirds 464
Paridae, Titmice 465
Sittidae, Nuthatches 469
Certhiidae, Creepers 475
Pycnonotidae, Bulbuls 476
Troglodytidae, Wrens 477
Muscicapidae, Muscicapids Sylviinae, Old World Warblers 487 Turdinae, Thrushes 492
Mimidae, Mimic Thrushes 505
Motacitlidae, Pipits and Wagtails 514
Bombycillidae, Waxwings 516
Laniidae, Shrikes 518
Sturnidae, Starlings 520
Vireonidae, Vireos 525
Emberizidae, Nine-primaried Passerines 538 Parulinae, Wood Warblers 538 Coerebinae, Bananaquits 602 Thraupinae, Tanagers 603 Cardinalinae, Cardinals, Grosbeaks,
and Buntings 609 Emberizinae, New World Sparrows and Allies Icterinae, Blackbirds, Orioles, and Allies 662
Ploceidae, Weavers 689
Passeridae, Old World Sparrows 689
Estrildidae, Estrildid Finches 692
Fringillidae, Northern Finches 694
Addendum 703 Bibliography 711 Index 881


Tables and Maps
Tables
1. Christmas Bird Counts and Years Compared to Determine Early Trends 5
2. Abbreviations of Museums Referred To in This Work 10
3. Other Abbreviations and Symbols II
4. Distribution of Reports for Three Jaeger Species by Month 266
5. Average Measurements of Brown-headed Nuthatches (mm) 475
6. Relative Abundance Trends of Golden-crowned Kinglet on St. Marks CBCs 488
7. Variation in Bill Measurements of White-eyed Vireos in Florida (mm and mm2) 527
Maps
1. Florida Counties and Major Regions 2
2. Florida Locales Past and Present 4
3. Regions Represented by Quantitative Field Data of Birds in Summer 7
4-430. Species Range Maps 16
431. Migration Routes of Red-winged Blackbirds Banded in Other States and Recovered in Florida 664
432-54. Species Range Maps 665




Preface
The Birdlife of Florida is designed to fill a need that has existed for decades. The first book to set forth responsibly a list of all birds known to Florida and to deal with their systematics, identification, distribution, migration, habitats, food habits, and nesting habits appeared more than 60 years ago (A.H. Howell, 1932, Florida Bird Life). In that work some 362 species were accepted, based on well-documented reports, and 13 additional species appeared in a hypothetical list because of reasonable doubts of their occurrence in the state. Alexander Sprunt, Jr. (1954d), in a revision of Howell's book, found that the list of reliably recorded "forms" (species and subspecies) had reached 473 but that only 384 of these were full species. Vertebrates of Florida (HMS 1976b) recognized 419 species and added a hypothetical list of 30 species. By February 1985 (HMS, A List of Florida Birds and Their Status) the list of accredited species had reached about 475. Robertson & Woolfenden, in Florida Bird SpeciesAn Annotated List (1992), recognized 461 accredited (verified) species through Dec 1991, including 4 extinct and 11 established exotic species; their hypothetical list includes 75 "unverified stragglers," and 135 "unestab-lished" and "probable unestablished exotic" species.
The Birdlife of Florida lists 483 accredited species through Feb 1993, including 2 extinct and 22 established exotic species. Birdlife's hypothetical list is comprised of 46 species that are unverified and that we believe capable of reaching Florida unassisted by man, as well as 131 exotic species that are probable escapes and that were not known to be established in the state through winter 1992-93. This work includes no species known to Florida only as a fossil remain, as in the case of the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis), which became extinct around 1844. Its presence in Florida is known only through bones discovered in shell mounds from sites near Ormond (Volusia County) to Boca Weir (Palm Beach County; Fradkin 1980, Fla. Scientist 43:111-15); these discoveries indicate that the species was probably contemporaneous with the prehistoric
Native American mound builders in Florida, from around 1000 b.C. to a.d. 1200 (Robertson & Woolfenden 1992).
The need to update this avifaunal account, however, is not the only reason for a new book on Florida birds. Much more ornithological information is available today than was the case in 1932, the time of Howell's book. Sources of information include the many publications, historical information that has become more accessible, and unpublished data of mine and others. In 1975 Joel Welty, in The Life of Birds, recognized "more than 570 journals worldwide that publish an average of 4000 ornithological papers a year" (Amadon in Terres 1980). Like most other organisms, birds do not remain static, and the changes in their distribution, abundance, and habits are no doubt greater because of certain human activities. Only by taking cognizance of such changes as are detrimental can we hope to maintain some semblance of our original faunal and floral heritage.
One may well ask what criteria determine that a species is fully admissible to a state list, and different ornithologists will have different answers. Although in the past it has usually been a requirement to have at least one collected specimen of each species, there are now reasons to recognize some exceptions to this rule. The improvements in cameras and film, and in the techniques of photographers, have resulted in many recognizable photographs of rare birds, some of which are not represented by specimens collected in Florida. But even when photographs and specimens are lacking, the number of sight reports may be so great for species that may be reasonably expected on geographic grounds (cf. Red-necked Grebe), or the number of competent observers so many for certain observations, that only the most skeptical can doubt a Florida occurrence of those species. Not only do most observers today lack collecting permits, but many rarities show up in areas where collecting is prohibited. Observers who own cameras may not have one at hand when an unusual
xlil


xiv
Preface
species occurs, or other circumstances may prevent the chance of obtaining a photograph. In the fall of 1981 the Florida Ornithological Society's Records Committee was established to examine the circumstances of such reports (with or without photographs) and to report its findings to others. However, the vast majority of unusual reports find publication only briefly and with no documentation in American Birds, where details, if any, are few and sometimes erroneous. It seems best to base conclusions on better evidence in the more important instances. Together with Robertson and Woolfenden (1992), we adopted the term record to include only specimens or recognizable photographs of birds, eggs, or nests, and the term report to include all unverified observations.
In the Preface to The Birds of Kentucky, Robert Mengel (1965) offered this sage advice: "To deal with the ornithology of an entire state, in all its aspects, in such a way as to honor the expanding areas of interest in birds . presents problems almost unimaginable in 1935. . Think twice, at least, before single-handedly undertaking the task of faunal monography, sensu stricto in the bright light of the mid-twentieth century." As this work is intended to include more than is found in most state bird books, it is perhaps unfortunate that these words did not come to my attention until 1984. But like Macbeth, I am now "stept in so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er."
Acknowledgments
The names of those who have made some contributions to this book are legion. Those contributing quantitative field data alone are so many that the list must be curtailed to include only those who contributed 50 hours of data or more: Lyn and Brooks Atherton, W. G. Atwater, Elizabeth Ball, Robert Barber, Ben and Sylvia Berkowitz, Michael Brothers, Robin Carter, F. L. Chapman, William Cross, Richard Cunningham, John and Lauri De Weese, Dorothy Dodd, John Edscorn, Sheryl Fanning, Dorothy Freeman, Harold and Agnes Gaither, William Genung, Mary Gray, Frances Hames, Larry Hopkins, Roy Hudson, Thomas Imhof, Elizabeth King, Curtis Kingsbery, Flora O'Brien, John Ogden, Storrs Olson, Dennis Paulson, Rebecca Payne, W. B. Robertson, Jr., Fred Shanholtzer, Lee Snyder, Louis Stimson, J. M. Stevenson, David Stock, Paul W. Sykes, Jr., Noel Warner, Marvin Wass, Thurlow Weed, Conrad Weiser, Foster White, Lovett Williams, Jr., and Karl and Marian Zerbe. Those who helped with clerical work are R. L. Crawford, Harriet Hawkins, Nona
Heinlen, Joyce B. Marshall, and Rosa Belle Stevenson. Jane D. Finkbohner, Dawn Mulcahey, and Patricia Zeis helped BHA proofread later copies of the manuscript. Lucy Duncan's and Gail Menk's extensive work with banding records was especially helpful; these records were generously supplied by the Patuxent Bird Banding Lab personnel, Laurel, Maryland. Charles and Roberta Geanangel, Gail Menk, Mary Ann Olson, and Elizabeth Stoutamire helped with both field counts and clerical work. A great deal of the tedious work of transcribing CBC data and computing frequencies was done by Karen Johnson and H.P. Langridge; Lang-ridge also wrote first drafts of some Haunts and Habits sections. Librarians who were especially helpful in providing material otherwise difficult to obtain included Janet Hinshaw, Fred Lohrer, Sharri Moroshok, James Myers, and James Tucker. Richard L. West read the front matter and made helpful suggestions, as did Storrs L. Olson and Walter K. Taylor, each of whom critically reviewed the entire manuscript. Taylor standardized the vascular plant names using Wunderlin (1982, Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central Florida, Univ. Presses of Fla., Tampa) and Clewell (1985, Guide to the Vascular Plants of the Florida Panhandle, Univ. Presses of Fla., Tallahassee). W. B. Robertson, Jr., and G.E. Woolfenden (1992), and H.W. Kale II, B. Pranty, and W. Biggs (Florida breeding-bird atlas, unpub.) kindly shared with us the data from their projects. (Pranty was particularly helpful in providing current information on specimens at ABS, as well as recent records and sight reports, to BHA during the editing process.) Many field workers provided evidence for occurrence of rare species by sending copies of their photographs to Tall Timbers Research Station. To all of these and to all museum personnel encountered, who never failed to be helpful in any way possible, I extend my most grateful thanks; Ralph Browning, Mary LeCroy, and Thomas Webber were especially helpful. Bob Chandler provided fossil site information for the Whooping Crane. Finally, Anderson and I deeply appreciate the cheerful persistence of Harriett Atkinson, Kaye Gainey, Dana Strickland, and others on the staff of the Tall Timbers Research Station for transferring our manuscript to floppy disks. At the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Jenny Carter, David Cook, Stuart Cumberbatch, Lenela Glass-Godwin, Jennifer Hathaway, Blair McKee, Bruce Neville, Glenn Reynolds, Laura Smathers, Mary Tebo, and LeeAnn White, spent considerable time and energy transforming the manuscript into the version submitted to the publisher. Funds from a Henry L. Beadel Fellowship, 1975-80,


Preface
xv
and remuneration for some museum trips thereafter, were provided by the Tall Timbers Research Station. Travel grants were also provided by the American Museum of Natural History in 1981 and the Field Museum of Natural History in 1982. Much of the field work was done during a five-year grant period from the Communicable Diseases Center in the 1960s and
some with the help of smaller grants from Florida State University during the 1950s. For the final production of this book, the Nongame Wildlife Section of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission issued a five-year grant in July 1985.
HMS




Introduction
Physiography
Florida is surely the longest and one of the most diverse of eastern states, though not the largest. The airline distance from the Perdido River eastward to the mouth of the St. Marys River is about 350 miles, from there southward to the Upper Keys 370 miles, then in a westerly direction yet another 100 miles to Key West, and, in turn, 65 miles from that outpost to the Dry Tortugas. This arching course adds up to about 885 miles, but Florida's coastlinewith tortuous bays and estuariestwists and turns for some 2075 miles from Fernandina to Florida Point, near the mouth of Perdido Bay. The state's area of 58,560 square miles contains some 4300 square miles of inland water. With these physical attributes and its relatively mild climate, it is hardly surprising that almost 500 species of birds have appeared here naturally.
Despite these advantages, some of Florida's features have drawn disparaging comments. Even the famed Audubon spoke of our "mud, mud, mud" and "sand, sand, sand." A century later, Beverly-Giddings (1934) wrote, "As we drove through that flat, monotonous Florida landscape I thought that I had never seen a more desolate region. The land was low; here and there pools of water caught the rays of the sun; the pines were stunted and sparse; 'bay-heads', those small thickets of bay and myrtle trees, mixed with briars and big-bodied vines, arose island-like with frequency. Hour after hour of this." Admittedly, our flatwoods can be monotonous. Nor does Florida feature much altitudi-nal relief, with the highest hills less than 400 feet above sea level. The great north-south extent provides much temperature variation in winter but little in summer, at which time 90 temperatures are usually combined with high humidity. Rainfall is generally plentiful but highly variable. In the 12-month period September 1947-Au-gust 1948, the Tallahassee Weather Station recorded 90.7 inches of rain; in succeeding years the total dropped, to only 36.2 inches in 1950-51. Monthly totals vary even more: The most consistent month for
the period 1946-63 was January, from 0.2 inches (1956-57) to 6.3 (1947-48); July varied over the same period from 4.6 to 17.9 inches in successive years (1946-48). There is little variation in daily temperatures in summer, somewhat more in spring and fall, and a great deal more in winter. During the 1980s some winter days had maxima in the upper seventies, and a number of daily minima below 20with one record of6F.
Various authors have divided the state and its 67 counties into two or more regions. Generally those counties west of Madison and Taylor counties have been referred to as the Panhandle. Within that area we define those counties west of the Apalachicola River as the Panhandle, and those east of that river and west of the Aucilla River and the Madison County line as the Big Bend. The area to the east of that boundary, and to the south through all of Dade and Monroe counties north of the Keys, constitutes the Peninsula. The southern borders of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, and Indian River counties form the boundary that separates the Northern Peninsula from the Southern Peninsula. The Central region includes Citrus, Sumter, Lake, and Volusia counties in the Northern Peninsula, and those counties south through Sarasota, De Soto, Highlands, Okeechobee, and Martin. The Keys are subdivided into three regions: the westernmost islands comprise the Dry Tortugas; those islands from the Marquesas Keys east to Little Duck Key form the Lower Keys; the Upper Keys include those islands from Pigeon Key east to Pal Alto Key (Monroe-Dade county line). Islands farther north are considered part of the Peninsula. (See map 1.)
Avifauna
With its peculiar location, projecting its southern tip to within 90 miles of Cuba, Florida has derived its avifauna not only from more northern states but also from the Antilles. Of the latter fauna, the breeding species


1. PANHANDLE
2. BIG BEND
3. NORTHERN PENINSULA
4. SOUTHERN PENINSULA
5. CENTRAL PENINSULA
6. UPPER KEYS
7. LOWER KEYS
8. DRY TORTUGAS
MILES
1. Florida Counties and Major Regions
were discussed by Howell (1932:69-72), but increasing numbers of nonbreeders also visit the state from these islands. From the flycatcher family (Tyrannidae) alone we have been visited by the Caribbean Elaenia, La Sagra's Flycatcher, and the Loggerhead Kingbird within a period of three years (1982-84). (Scientific names appear in the species accounts.)
Howell (1932), following J. A. Allen (1871 in Howell), described two zones in Floridaa northern one known as the Louisianian Fauna and a southern one called the Floridian Fauna, the two separated across the Northern Peninsula by a flat area that was probably submerged during Pleistocene times (the "Suwannee Straits"). This separation so reduced gene flow between the two sets of organisms that some diverged enough to be considered distinct subspecies. The separation also prevented some full species from expanding their range limits northward (Floridian Fauna) or southward (Louisianian Fauna). Howell listed the Mississippi Kite, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Hooded Warbler as examples of the Louisianian Fauna that were thus limited. He also included
the Yellow-throated Vireo, Orchard Oriole, and Indigo Bunting in this group, but they now breed as far south as central Florida, and the bunting sometimes establishes breeding territories much farther south.
Species of the Floridian Fauna said to be limited northward as breeders were the Glossy Ibis, (Florida) Mottled Duck, (Everglade) Snail Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, (Florida) Sandhill Crane, Limpkin, Burrowing Owl, Gray Kingbird, and Florida Scrub Jay. Most of these are still so limited, although some have disjunct populations farther west. However, the Glossy Ibis and Gray Kingbird now breed considerably farther north or west than in 1932, and the Limpkin slightly farther west. The Wood Thrush, Hooded Warbler, Field Sparrow, and perhaps other species may be said to represent the Louisianian Fauna today, but it is unlikely that any two species have identical breeding ranges on the Florida mainland.
The Louisianian and Floridian faunas are parts of the Austroriparian (Lower Austral) Life Zone, but the southern tip of Florida, especially near the coast, comprises part of the Tropical Life Zone. Breeding species


mainly restricted to this zone in Florida are the Mangrove Cuckoo, White-crowned Pigeon, Brown Noddy, and Sooty Tern. In the nineteenth century the Black-whiskered Vireo was thought to be restricted to the Tropical Zone, but it now breeds much farther north on both coasts. This life zone is much better typified in Florida by plants, insects, snails, and some other organisms than by birds.
Many ecologists have pointed out that the number of breeding species of birds decreases on peninsulas and even more so on islands. Peninsular Florida is surely no exception to this rule (Robertson 1955, Rohwer & Woolfenden 1969, J.T. Emlen 1978), nor are the Keys. Some have claimed similar reductions in the numbers of individuals in the Florida Peninsula, but presumably it was woodland species they had in mind. The statement is patently false if applied to such open-country birds as the Eastern Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird, and Boat-tailed Grackle, which are among the most abundant land birds in south Florida.
Introductions
The rapid increase in Florida's list of species over the past three decades has been due in no small measure to deliberate or inadvertent introductions (Owre 1973). As in the past, there are still occasional new visitors from the Antilles, but they are outnumbered by escaping members of the parrot family and various other species that are frequently kept in cages or aviaries. Southeast Florida is the nucleus of these escapes. As Owre (1974a) points out, this part of the state "has been 'preconditioned' ... for exotic invasion. . The flora . now contains elements of the world's tropics. Virtually any exotic tropical bird will find aspects of the landscape which are 'familiar' to it. Moreover, any former seasonality in flowering and fruiting imparted by the native flora has been much modified, so that some plants from somewhere are now furnishing fruits, seeds, and nectar at every season." Most introduced species that have become established probably were escapes, whereas most of the known deliberate introductions in recent years have resulted in failures. Probably the greatest factor in the increase of species known to reach Florida naturally has been the vastly increased numbers of experienced fieldworkers on the lookout for rarities. Possibly nearly all of those species added to the Florida list in the last three decades had appeared before, though undetected.
Nomenclature
The nomenclature and classification used in this book
are those of the American Ornithologists' Union Checklist of North American Birds, 6th ed. (1983), and supplements, with a few exceptions such as the use of "Oceanitidae," the ranking of the Great White Heron, Caribbean Coot, and Florida Scrub Jay, and the placement of the American Vultures and Old World Sparrows. As this edition of the Check-list did not treat subspecies, it has been necessary to rely on the fifth edition for their names, except for certain subspecies described subsequent to its 1957 publication date. It was not intended that The Birdlife of Florida list the names of all subfamilies in the state. Many exotics not listed in the Check-list have been placed using Sibley and Monroe (1990).
The scientific names for all nonavian life forms are derived from several sources and are used only once, the first time that organism is named.
Sources of Data for Relative Abundance
Recent Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs). Relative abundance in winter is based on cumulative totals of individuals per species per party-hour ("frequencies") of 28 representative CBCs, 1973-83 (except as indicated otherwise): Bay County, Cocoa, Coot Bay, Dade County (1972-83), Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Pierce, Gainesville, Jackson County (1968-83, supplemented with non-CBC data), Jacksonville, Key Largo, Lakeland, Lake Wales (1972-82), Laurel Hill (1959-78; non-CBC data), Leon County, Mt. Dora (1972-82), Myakka River State Park (1974-83), Naples, Orlando (1972-82), Pensacola, St. Marks, St. Petersburg, Sanibel (1972-82), Sarasota, South Brevard County (1972-82), Stuart, Tampa, Ti-tusville, and West Palm Beach.
Personal Data. Since about 1960, I have, with the help of many competent observers, made counts in 32 regions over the state (map 3) during the breeding season (defined as 25 May-10 July), and these data provide a basis for representing the quantitative distribution of Florida's breeding birds. For species that breed at other times of the year, the data are less reliable. Variables were controlled to the extent feasible to make the 32 data sets more comparable, and all but 3 of these 32 regions are represented by more than 100 hours of fieldwork. Breeding Bird Surveys also tend to reflect geographic distribution of breeding birds, but the limited coverage of each route per year militates against its value in this instance. Multiparty Summer Bird Counts were organized and carried out in a number of areas in 1967-72.
Insofar as the data permit, terms of relative abundance used in this book are based on numbers of individuals counted (or estimated) per hour afield in a


2. Florida Locales Past and Present
general cross-section of available habitats. In the case of the Christmas Bird Counts, however, this cross-section can only be assumed. Terms used in this work are abundant, species averaging at least 3.0 individuals! field hour ("party-hour"); common, 1.00-2.99; fairly common, .30-.99; uncommon, .05-.29; rare, .01-.04. Species averaging less than .01 may be called accidental, casual, or occasional. The same criteria apply to all species, i.e., 2.0 is "common" for a small warbler or a large hawk, and all are based on averages over a period of time; therefore they do not indicate maximal and minimal abundance (e.g., migrants from March to May and from July to November).
Population Trends
Regarding bird populations, a question of increasing concern in recent years has been that of trends namely, which species are increasing and which decreasing? With no available definitions of such descriptive terms as "rare" and "abundant" used by workers early in the 1900s, and with no published counts in
most cases, it is difficult to compare a species' present degree of abundance with that of 50 or 75 years ago. With the passage of time, however, some sources of numerical data became available.
Early Christmas Bird Counts. Although the Christmas Bird Counts were initiated in 1900, only 73 were taken, in 24 Florida localities, from 1910 to 1930. In the period 1930-39 alone, another 37 localities were added, and 6 localities by then were represented by 5 or more years of counts. The cumulative party-hours through 1936 in 9 instances constituted an adequate basis for broad comparisons with frequencies of later years (table 1). The frequencies for Laurel Hill in the species accounts are not based on CBCs but on counts in limited areas in the late 1950s and early 1960s, December and January.
Moving Averages on Recent CBCs. Frequencies were determined per year, 1951-82 (except where indicated otherwise), at 17 CBC localities and converted to moving averages: Cocoa, Coot Bay, Dade County (1950-53, 1970-82), Ft. Lauderdale and vicinity (1956, 1958-82), Ft. Pierce (1956-82 except for 1972), Gainesville (1957-


Table 1. Christmas Bird Counts and Years Compared to Determine Early Trends
Locality Early Years Middle Years
Cocoa 1930, 1933 1951-61
Gainesville 1924, 1927 1957-67
Daytona Beach and vie. 1910-35 (intermittent) 1951-61
Jacksonville 1910-32 (intermittent) 1951-61
Leon County 1911-28 (intermittent) 1946-55
Titusville (Merritt I.) 1934-36 1951-61
Orlando 1933-34 1967-73
Pensacola 1920-35 (intermittent) 1951-61
St. Marks 1915, 1921 1950-60
82 except for 1958), Jacksonville, Key Largo and vicinity (1952, 1955-82 except for 1958), Lakeland (1965-82), Lower Keys, Myakka River State Park (1953-57, 1959-82), Pensacola, St. Marks, St. Petersburg, Sarasota (1952-82), Stuart (1959-82), and West Palm Beach (1957-82). In these and similar counts given in the species accounts, quotation marks are placed around seemingly precise counts of highly gregarious species that probably cannot be precisely counted, meaning that the figures probably include some estimates.
Breeding Bird Surveys. In 1966 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted Breeding Bird Surveys over the United States and Canada. In Florida these surveys along 23 selected routes scattered throughout the state have been run consistently enough to be of value in determining population trends of breeding species through 1984. As with the CBCs, the data (numbers of individuals) are converted to moving averages as overlapping biennia and are expressed in the species accounts as the number of routes showing increases and decreases, respectively (e.g., 12:8). In some instances the number of individuals recorded on the combined 23 routes during the first half of the period (1966-75) is compared with the combined number in the second half (1975-84), the total number of available counts being nearly equal for the two periods. For example, the totals for White Ibis for the two periods are shown as 2062:1705, a decrease.
Personal Data. The year-round abundances of many species were determined from a series of field counts conducted from September 1946 to June 1983, several such trips during each month of the year. Many other experienced fieldworkers and I contributed to these counts (see Acknowledgments). The numbers of individuals were converted to frequencies (birds-per-hour), then to biennial moving averages. There were separate sets of data for (1) Leon County and (2) the nearby
coastal counties (Wakulla and Franklin), the latter not yet completed. The years represented are 1946-75 in each data set, as data taken after 1975 differed greatly in coverage from the earlier counts. It should be noted that trends of migratory species may be due to problems encountered north or south of Florida, and that a species' trend-based year-round abundance in Florida may not agree with its trend here in winter or summer alone.
Using the methods described above, I have accumulated data in spring and fall in the southeastern United States and, to a lesser extent, in Central America and the West Indies, with other observers contributing most of the data in more distant areas. To the extent that quantitative differences in migration occur within Florida, appropriate comparisons are made.
Bird Banding. Those who net and band birds also have the opportunity of contributing valuable data bearing on population trends by standardizing their netting time as to location, season, and other variables. One such set of data has appeared from the vicinity of Homestead, Florida (Fisk 1979). In 1968 Mrs. Fisk caught and banded 280.6 birds/1000 net-hours; the number rose to 361.4 in 1970 but dropped to 134.8 in 1973 and to 126.1 in 1976.
Projects with Particular Species. In the course of their work with special species, some workers have made periodic counts (e.g., Snail Kite) or estimates on the basis of their experience. To the extent that these data are available, they are used in this work.
To the extent feasible, data from the foregoing sources are used in this work to determine population trends, as well as relative abundance of birds in winter and in summer. On the Breeding Bird Surveys, at least, decreases far outnumber increases, although most species that benefit from man's activities, as well as some others, show increases (Cattle Egret, European Starling).


Most decreases can be attributed largely to habitat loss or ingestion of pesticides. The territorial nature of most breeding birds permits only a limited number of individuals in a given unit of space, so that individuals whose habitat has been lost cannot crowd in with other individuals. Often they settle for suboptimal habitat and fail to reproduce or even to survive. At other times of the year, for that matter, a given tract of land has a maximal "carrying capacity" that cannot be exceeded by birds (or other organisms) without loss of life. Among pesticides, the usual cause of avian deaths is the chloro-organic chemicals. The first consumers (usually insects, earthworms, fishes) tend to concentrate these chemicals in certain tissues. They are further concentrated when secondary consumersoften birds-of-preyfeed on the primary consumers, and the greater concentrations resulting are often lethal. A single published reference on this subject should suffice. Regarding a study conducted in northwest Florida, Whisen-hunt (1959) wrote, "Limited checks of small areas treated with dieldrin at two pounds per acre yielded a number of dead animals which have been autopsied and death attributed to the insecticide. The animals found were . bob white, meadowlark, mockingbird, shrike, blue jay, and domestic ducks."
For a short period of time avian populations may be reduced by adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rains when ground-nesting species are breeding or by extreme and prolonged cold that eliminates the insects many species rely on for food. A few such winters have been noted in Florida (1939-40 and 1957-58), but most species recovered their losses within a few years. Unfortunately, the species reduced by cold are often those reduced by pesticides also, and this fact helps account for continued low numbers of Eastern Bluebirds, Palm Warblers, and other insectivorous birds. Within the past 8-10 years, however, certain pesticides have been banned, and a number of species have reversed their declining trends.
Subspecies
For those species represented in Florida by at least two breeding subspecies {e.g., Rufous-sided Towhee), BHA and I have examined and measured many specimens collected in Florida in order to make independent judgments regarding the validity of those subspecies. By my criteria, a valid subspecies differs markedly in at least one character gradient within about 100 miles of distance from adjacent populations of that species. (See Biologist 56:108.) Populations showing more gradual changes (clines) are not here regarded as subspecies. I have not made similar studies of subspecies that
breed outside Florida but reach the state at other times of the year; in most of these cases the identifications of other taxonomists are accepted uncritically. For some nominal races, bill sizes were compared according to their "simulated bill areas" (lA pi [.7854] x length from nostril depth + width at nostril).
Museum Work
For some aspects of this work it was necessary to obtain data from museums with considerable numbers of birds collected in Florida. We are indebted to curators at 24 museums for sending lists of their Florida specimens upon request and, in some cases, sending specimens for examination. I visited all museums listed in table 2 except three; of those three, J. M. Stevenson visited two (UGA and UJAX) and W. W. Baker one (EC).
Commentary. D.W. Johnston (1991) recently published an account of Joseph E. Gould, who collected eggs in Florida between 1895 and 1920. In this article, Johnston reviewed "Gould's catalog and much correspondence," listing egg sets Gould purported to have taken in Florida along with some field observations. Although Johnston did not consider any listing exceptional, several do constitute early or late dates for Florida. To verify these, BHA wrote to William Post, Curator of Birds, CHAS, where the actual collection is housed. Post (in lift. 27 November 1991, 18 February 1992) replied that when received, "this collection was in abysmal condition. . Many of the eggs had no identification marks, were thrown together in a common tray, and had no egg data slips. To [his] knowledge, few of the unusual records claimed by Gould were ever confirmed by a trained ornithologist or oolo-gist. . [He has] found that three unusual breeding records from Georgia are not credible." The reader should keep this in mind when evaluating Gould's records and reports herein.
Sources and Compilations of Information
Museum specimens (skins, skeletons, liquid-preserved parts, or eggs) are the primary basis for much of the information in this book, such as occurrence in Florida, nesting in Florida, summer and winter distribution, and early and late migration dates. Probably in no case is the number of museum specimens entirely adequate for these data, so the record is supplemented by photographs and sight reports believed to be accurate. Many important sight reports must be omitted for lack of space. Others, usually specified, are omitted for specific reasons. Unusual occurrences accepted by the Florida Ornithological Society's Records Committee


are designated by an asterisk (*). Species with names enclosed in brackets ([ ]) are either of hypothetical status or escapes and introduced species not known to be established. Extreme and exceptional migration and breeding dates, reports of special interest, and greatest numbers reported are in bold print.
Reports and pertinent discussions gleaned from the literature were transcribed into four oversized, loose-leaf notebooks. Records of important museum skins are transcribed in three other notebooks and of museum egg sets in a fourth. Another lists photographs supporting unusual Florida records, and many such photographs are in the Tall Timbers Research Collection. Banding reports sent from the Patuxent Research Center in Maryland are on original IBM sheets. Eight notebooks contain transcribed field counts made in various parts of Florida, and 12 others show computed
frequencies of species per month, per year, or per area in Florida or in other states. Presently these data are at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee.
Old place-names in Florida (map 2) were located in Florida Geographic Names (USGS Topographic Div. 1981).
HMS
Range Maps
The species accounts summarize the statewide ranges for most species. Few accounts list all reports for a given species; listing all published reports known to each author would be impractical in a work of this magnitude.
Kincaid (in Oberholser 1974) developed maps for The Bird Life of Texas that give the reader a picture of the
REGIONS REPRESENTED BY QUANTITATIVE FIELD DATA OF BIRDS IN SUMMER (Shaded areas omitted).
No. Region:
1. Century (E to Blackwater River)
2. Laurel Hill (W to Blackwater River)
3. Marianna (W to Choctawatchee River)
4. Blountstown
5. Tallahassee (incl. Jefferson Co. S to U.S. 27)
6. Madison Co.
7. Lake City
8. Gainesville
9. Ocala (incl. NE tip of Lake Co.)
10. Groveland (excl. NE tip of Lake Co.)
11. Polk Co.
12. Osceola Co.
13. Arcadia
14. Sebring
15. Lake Okeechobee (W to Palmdale, E to Indiantown & 809)
16. Everglades (E. to U.S. 41)
17. Pensacola
18. Panama City (excl. NE tip of Bay Co.)
19. Apalachicola
20. St. Marks (incl. Jefferson Co. N to U.S. 27)
21. Perry
22. Suwannee Delta
23. Brooksville
24. Tampa
25. Fort Myers
26. Collier Co. (incl. extreme N. Monroe Co.)
27. Jacksonville
28. Volusia Co.
29. Cocoa
30. Fort Pierce
31. Lower East Coast (W to U.S. 441)
32. Dade Co. (Incl. Cape Sable area)
33. Florida Keys (Incl. Fla. Bay keys)
3. Regions Represented by Quantitative Field Data of Birds in Summer


seasonal distribution for each species per county, based on actual sight reports and specimen records. In our work we have adopted the basic symbols he used in order to create the same type of map for Florida. Although a breeding-bird atlas is currently in the making, our maps will differ from it in several ways. We include maps for only those species with five or more accepted reports in the state (at any time of year) rather than those observed during the breeding season only. (Maps were not prepared for some species of escaped and introduced birds.) Each of our maps depicts the entire historical distribution for each species rather than just a recent five- or six-year study. The text of the present work informs the reader of any changes in the species' range from past to present.
The data used to plot seasonal reports are those described earlier and used for the species accounts. As Kincaid (in Oberholser 1974) pointed out, there are certain "favorite" areas that have been well worked and for which an abundance of published reports exist. In Florida they include Duval, Leon, Brevard, Orange, Palm Beach, Monroe, and Dade counties, and the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Pensacola, Gainesville, and Lakeland areas. The remainder of the state is represented by seasonal counts, isolated reports, or no published reports at all. Over the years HMS, with the assistance of others, has conducted seasonal counts throughout the state, primarily in summer. These data, many of which are presently unpublished, have been used to fill the gaps in a species' occurrence. We have also used regional check-lists. Though by no means a complete account of each species in each county, these maps give an adequate overview of each species' seasonal range in Florida.
Seasonal and breeding reports are indicated by six symbols described on each map. Solid symbols indicate a specimen or recognizable photograph that we have located and verified. The seasons as defined are spring, March-May; summer, June-July; fall, August-November; and winter, December-February. Most breeding and nonbreeding permanent resident species have been reported in all four seasons in those counties where they reside. For these species, permanent-resident status is usually designated by two or three symbols: winter, spring, or summer, and breeding (where applicable). All seasonal reports for those species outside that permanent range, as well as those for migrant species and seasonal residents, are shown.
There are 67 counties in Florida; five in part comprise Lake Okeechobee. Early naturalists (and even a few more recently) identified the locations for some reports as "Lake Okeechobee," not noting the specific county where the record occurred. For these, the lake
has been treated as a county. Similarly, many rivers form county borders, and many reports note the river but not the county of record. Where a species is scarce, or when such a report provides the only known seasonal occurrence of a species for either or both counties bordered by the river, the symbol is placed on the county line. Likewise, a symbol appears on the county line when an occurrence was reported as being located on the county line, as is also true of some records for Everglades National Parks, Santa Rosa Island, Longboat Key, and Sebastian Inlet for which the county has not been noted. No symbol is meant to show the exact location of a report; pelagic reports are marked within the land borders of the counties off which they were reported.
When more than one race breeds in the state, the approximate breeding boundaries are delineated on the map. Because variation in contiguous breeding populations is clinal, these delineations approximate the area where intermediates have been taken or observed or are expected to occur. Otherwise, the approximate breeding boundaries of isolated populations are shown based upon specimens and observations. The reader must keep in mind that nonbreeding reports may represent the occurrence of other migratory races and should refer to the Variation section of the text for details.
BHA
Attributions
For most of the important reports of sightings herein, and for many others, the accounts cite the published sources. In most other cases, the reports can be found in American Birds or the Florida Field Naturalist, where the observer's name or initials also will be found. Reports attributed to "Sprunt" refer to Alexander Sprunt, Jr.
References
My initial plan was to include in the Bibliography all articles in journals or periodicals published since 1932 that gave specific information about Florida birds in the twentieth century. However, after obtaining some 10,000 entries we began to write the text, and after that time I could review only a few of the journals most likely to add significantly to reports of Florida birds (Auk, Wilson Bulletin, Florida Field Naturalist, American Birds). Omitted are such materials as letters to the editor, book reviews, most photocopied material, newsletters, paintings and photographs without textual material, and field cards. Also omitted are encyclopedias, bibliographies, biographies, and phono-


graph records. Books lacking detailed information, stating only that certain species "occur" in Florida or that their ranges "extend to Florida," were usually omitted from the Bibliography. The References section for most species lists literature not otherwise cited in the species account; works not listed in the Bibliography are cited there in full. The following is a list of references not included in the species accounts, more general in nature, to which the reader may refer for more information about escapes and about species that do not breed or are of only casual occurrence in the state.
HMS
Note: Dr. Stevenson and I had completed the first draft of this manuscript by July 1990. When it became evident that there would be long delays in publication, we began to update various accounts in an effort to provide the reader with what he knew to be the most current Florida status information available until the manuscript went to press. Following Dr. Stevenson's sudden death in 1991, the job became mine alone. A wealth of information was published after writing was begun in 1985, and the act of writing itself precluded the review of much of the literature by either of us (except as explained above). However, since the intent of the Bibliography was to provide the reader with as comprehensive a listing as possible, I have added most references known to either of us, though no thorough or systematic search was conducted from 1985 through the time of this writing. Those references published prior to 1985 and not examined by either of us are so indicated in the Bibliography; most references published after that and examined by either of us are cited in the text.
BHA
Bailey, A.M., and R.J. Niedrach. 1965. Birds of Colorado (2 vols.). Denver: Denver Museum of Nat. History.
Barbour, T. 1943. Cuban Ornithology. Mem. Nuttall Ornith. Club no. 9.
Burleigh, T.D. 1958. Georgia Birds. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.
Cramp, S., K.E.L. Stimmons, J.J. Ferguson-Lees, R. Gill-mor, P.A.D. Hollom, R. Hudson, E.M. Nicholson, M.E. Ogilvie, P.J.S. Olney, K.H. Voous, and J. Wattel. 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Cramp, S., E. Dunn, R. Gillmor, P.A.D. Hollom, R. Hud-
son, E.M. Nicholson, M.E. Ogilvie, P.J.S. Olney, C.S.
Roselaar, K.E.L. Stimmons, K.H. Voous, D.I.M. Wallace,
J. Wattel, and M.G. Wilson. 1985. Handbook of the Birds
of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds
of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 4. Terns to Woodpeckers.
Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Dawson, W.L. 1940. The Birds of California (4 vols.). New
York: Devin Adair Co. Forbush, E. H. 1925-29. Birds of Massachusetts and Other
New England States. Boston: Mass. Dept. Agric. Gabrielson, I.M., and F.C. Lincoln. 1959. The Birds of
Alaska. Washington, DC: Wildl. Mgmt. Inst. Godfrey, W.E. 1966. The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: Natl.
Mus. Canada Bull. no. 203. Heintzelman, D. S. 1978. North American Ducks, Geese, and
Swans. New York: Winchester Press. Kessel, B., and D.D. Gibson. 1978. Studies and distribution
of Alaska birds. Cooper Ornith. Soc., Studies of Avian
Biol., no. 1. Berkeley, CA. King, B.F., and E.C. Dickinson. 1975. The Collins Field
Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia. Lexington, MA:
Stephen Greene Press. Lowery, G. H., Jr. 1974. Louisiana Birds. 3d. ed. Baton
Rouge: La. State Univ. Press. Mengel, R.M. 1965. The Birds of Kentucky. Lawrence, KS:
Amer. Ornith. Union. Ornith. Monr. no. 3. Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1970. A Guide to the Birds of South
America. Narbeth, PA: Livingston Press. (Reprinted by
International Council for Bird Preservation with new addenda, 1982.)
Peterson, R.T. 1990 (3rd rev.). A Field Guide to Western Birds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Peterson, R.T., and E.L. Chalif. 1973. A Field Guide to Mexican Birds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Phillips, A.R., J.T. Marshall, and Gale Monson. 1964. The Birds of Arizona. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press.
Ridgely, R.S. 1981. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
Ridgely, R.S., and G. Tudor. 1989. The Birds of South America. Vol. 1. The oscine passerines. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.
Roberts, T.S. 1932. The Birds of Minnesota (2 vols.). Minneapolis: Univ. of Minn. Press.
Sprunt, A., Jr., and E.B. Chamberlain. 1949. South Carolina Bird Life. Columbia: Univ. South Carolina Press.
Stiles, F. G, and A. F. Skutch. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press.
Wetmore, A., R.F. Pasquier, and S.L. Olson. 1984. 77ie Birds of the Republic of Panama. Vol. 4. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Inst.
HMS


Abbreviations of Museums Referred To in This Work
ABS Archbold Biological Station Lake Placid, FL FMNH Field Mus. of Nat. History Chicago, IL
AMNH American Museum of Nat. Hist. New York, NY FOXB Foxbower Wildlife Museum Spring Hill, FL
ANSP Acad. Nat. Sci. of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA FSM Florida St. Mus. (egg coll.) Fla. Museum of Nat. History
BL Bailey-Law Collection Gainesville, FL
VA Polytechnic Inst. & State Univ. FSU Florida State University
Blacksburg, VA Tallahassee, FL
BMNH British Mus. Nat. Hist. Tring, Hertfordshire, Gt. Britain GEW Glen E. Woolfenden Collection Archbold Biological Station
BMS Buffalo Museum of Science Lake Placid, FL
Buffalo, NY GTB G. T. Bancroft Collection
CARN Carnegie Mus. of Nat. Hist.* HALL Roy Hallman Collection
Pittsburgh, PA HWK Herbert W. Kale II Collection
CAS California Acad, of Science San Francisco, CA Florida Aud. Soc. Casselberry, FL
CHAS Charleston Mus. Charleston, SC KU Univ. of Kansas Lawrence, KS
CHIC Chicago Acad, of Science* Chicago, IL LACM Los Angeles Co. Mus. Los Angeles, CA
CIN Cincinnati Mus. of Nat. Hist. Cincinnati, OH LOX Loxahatchee NWR Loxahatchee, FL
CMU Central Michigan University* Mount Pleasant, MI LP Lennie Pate Collection (private) Pensacola, FL
CON B. Conover Collection Field Mus. of Nat. History LSU Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA
Chicago, IL MCZ Mus. of Comparative Zoology
CU Cornell University* Ithaca, NY Harvard Univ. Cambridge, MA
DEL Delaware Mus. of Nat. Hist. Greenville, DE MONT Univ. of Montana* Missoula, MT
DENV Denver Mus. of Natural Hist. Denver, CO MPM Milwaukee Public Mus.* Milwaukee, WI
DWJ David W. Johnston Collection Fla. Museum of Nat. History Gainesville, FL MVZ Mus. of Vertebrate Zoology Univ. Calif, at Berkeley Berkeley, CA
EC Earlham College Richmond, IN NMC Natl. Museums of Canada* Ottawa, Ont., Canada
ENP Everglades Natl. Park Homestead, FL NYSM New York State Mus.* Albany, NY


Introduction
II
ou Univ. of Oklahoma* Norman, OK UF Fla. Mus. of Nat. Hist, (skins/skeletons)
PB Pierce Brodkorb Collection Gainesville, FL
Fla. Mus. of Nat. History UGA Univ. of Georgia
Gainesville, FL Athens, GA
PU Princeton University Princeton, NJ UJAX Jacksonville Univ. Jacksonville, FL
PUWC Purdue Univ. Wildlife Coll. Lafayette, IN UL Univ. of Louisville* Louisville, KY
RC Rollins College Winter Park, FL UMMZ Mus. of Zoology Univ. of Michigan
RHO Mus. of Rhodesia* Ann Arbor, MI
ROM Royal Ontario Mus.* Toronto, Ont., Canada UMRC Univ. of Miami Res. Coll. Coral Gables, FL
STET Stetson University Deland, FL UND Univ. of North Dakota* Grand Forks, ND
TTRS Tall Timbers Res. Coll. Tallahassee, FL UOX Oxford Univ. Oxford, England
TXAM Texas A&M Univ.* USF Univ. of South Fla. Tampa, FL
College Station, TX
UAZ University of Arizona* Tucson, AZ USNM Natl. Mus. of Nat. History Washington, DC
UBC Univ. of British Columbia* Vancouver, BC, Canada UWGB Univ. Wisconsin at Green Bay* Green Bay, WI
UCF Univ. of Central Florida WFVZ Western Found, of Vert. Zool. Los Angeles, CA
Orlando, FL
UCLA Univ. Calif, at Los Angeles* Los Angeles, CA WSM Washington State Univ. Mus. Pullman, WA
UCO Univ. of Colorado Boulder, CO YPM Yale Peabody Mus. of Nat. Hist. Chicago Acad, of Science Chicago, IL
UCON Univ. of Conn.* Storrs, CT
Note: Many specimens cited in this work have been transferred from the museum indicated to other museums. ?List of Florida specimens sent by museum to HMS.
Other Abbreviations and Symbols
A&A Atherton & Atherton
Acad. academy
ad., ads. adult(s)
AFB Air Force Base
Amer. American
AOU American Ornithologists' Union
Aud. Audubon
avg. average
Bull. bulletin
BHA Bruce H. Anderson
(continued)


BBS Breeding Bird Survey mm millimeter(s)
c central mph miles per hour
ca. circa (about) ms. manuscript
cc. cubic centimeter Mus. museum
cf- compare Nat. natural
cm centimeter Natl. national
Co. county n northern
Coll. collection nc north-central
Comm. committee NM national monument
cos. counties ne northeastern
CBC Christmas Bird Count NE northeast
deer. decrease NNE north-northeast
Dept. department NNW north-northwest
DOR dead on road NW northwest
e eastern nw northwestern
ec east-central NWR National Wildlife Refuge
e.g. for example pers. comm. personal communication
ENE east-northeast pers. obs. personal observation
ENP Everglades National Park ppm parts per million
ESE east-southeast pr., prs. pair(s)
etal. and others Res. resources
et seq. and the following s southern
FAS Florida Audubon Society sc south-central
FBBA Florida breeding bird atlas se southeastern
ff. following SE southeast
FGFWFC Fla. Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Soc. society
ft foot, feet sp., spp. species (sing., plural)
FLMNH Florida Mus. Nat. Hist. SP state park
FOS Florida Ornithol. Soc. sq. square
FOSA Fla. Ornith. Soc. Archives SR State Road
Fla. Museum of Nat. Hist. Gainesville, FL SRA State Recreation Area
FOSRC Fla. Ornith. Soc. Records Comm. SSE south-southeast
Found. foundation SSW south-southwest
Hist. history Stat. station
HMS Henry M. Stevenson subsp., subspecies (sing., plural)
hr(s) hour(s) subspp.
Hwy highway sw southwestern
ibid. in the same place SW southwest
i.e. that is Univ. university
imm., immature(s) USFWS U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
imms. VAB Vehicle Assembly Building
in inch(es) vie. vicinity
incr. increase w western
in litt. in letter wc west-central
I., is. island(s) WCA Water Conservation Area
juv., juvs. juvenile(s) WMA Wildlife Management Area
kg kilogram(s) WNW west-northwest
km kilometer(s) WSW west-southwest
lb(s). pounds yd(s) yard(s)
loc. locality, location yg- young
m meter(s) yr(s) year(s)
mi mile(s) Record accepted by FOSRC
min minute(s) # Extinct or extirpated


Introduction
13
Readers for Various Species Accounts
Species (Taxon)
Procellariiformes Brown Pelican Magnificent Frigatebird Great White Heron
Reddish Egret
Roseate Spoonbill Fulvous Whistling-Duck Greater Flamingo Snail Kite Bald Eagle Black-Hawk Wild Turkey Rails
Sandhill Crane
South Polar Skua
Franklin's Gull
Common Black-headed Gull
Mew (Common) Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
California Gull
Iceland Gull
Thayer's Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Reader
David S. Lee Ralph Schreiber William B. Robertson, Jr. George Powell,
Robertson Richard T. Paul,
Powell, Robertson Powell
Richard E. Turnbull
Robertson
Paul W. Sykes, Jr.
Robertson
Dean Amadon
Lovett E. Williams, Jr.
Storrs Olson
Stephen Nesbitt
Lyn Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Species (Taxon)
Glaucous Gull Great Black-backed Gull Black-legged Kittiwake Sabine's Gull Gull-billed Tern Sandwich Tern Roseate Tern Common Tern Bridled Tern Sooty Tern Brown Noddy Black Noddy White-crowned Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove Ringed Turtle-Dove Carolina Parakeet Other psittacids
Ivory-billed Woodpecker
Other woodpeckers Great Crested Flycatcher Cave Swallow
Florida Scrub Jay Wood Warblers Boat-tailed Grackle
Reader
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Atherton
Henry T. Smith
Robertson
Robertson, H. T. Smith
Mary LeCroy, Robertson
Robertson
Robertson
Robertson
Robertson
W. Thomas Bancroft P. William Smith P.W. Smith Daniel McKinley Bruce Neville,
P.W. Smith James T. Tanner,
Jerome A. Jackson Jackson
Walter K. Taylor P.W. Smith,
Thomas Webber Glen E. Woolfenden Jon Dunn Bancroft




Species Accounts
[ORDER TINAMIFORMES: Family Tinamidae, Tinamous].
Small to medium-sized terrestrial birds with strong legs and elongated, rather weak, curved bills. Plumage mostly browns and grays; cryptic. Sexes alike. Cursorial. Prefer to crouch when threatened; flight is strong but not prolonged. Nest on ground, 1-10 eggs; hatch-lings downy and precocial. Ca. 45 spp. of Neotropical distribution.
[Nothura maculosa (Temminck): Sported Nothura] Distribution: Resident from e Brazil south to Uruguay and e Argentina.
Florida Status: Introduced. In 1966, 49 N.m. annec-tens were released, Ocala Natl. Forest and St. Vincent I.; some "still seen 1967-68" (Bohl & Bump 1970). No published reports since.
ORDER GAVIIFORMES: Family Gaviidae, Loons.
Large swimming and diving birds with webbed front toes and spear-shaped bills. Plumage largely gray to blackish above (brighter in summer) and white below; sexes alike. Wings small and pointed; 11 primaries. Tail short; 16-20 rectrices. Legs far back on body, tarsus markedly compressed; outer toe the longest one. Dive from surface to great depths (using feet and wings) and catch aquatic animals, mostly fish, between the mandibles. Nests built on land; 2 eggs; hatchlings downy and precocial. Five spp. of Holarctic distribution.
References: Anon. 1956g, 1968f; Austin 1961; Bent 1919; Graham 1984; Palmer 1962; Terres 1980; Van Tyne & Berger 1976.
Gavia stellata (Pontoppidan); Red-throated Loon Distribution: Breeds from northernmost Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and n Eurasia south to c Canada, se Quebec, n Newfoundland, the British Isles, s Scandinavia, n Russia, s Siberia, and the Kamchatka
Peninsula; formerly to Vancouver I. and n Lake Superior. Winters from s Alaska to Baja California, from Nova Scotia to Florida, and from Iceland and coast of Norway and s Sweden south to the Mediterranean, Caspian, & Black seas, China and Formosa. Casual inland.
Florida Status: Generally a rare winter resident. About 130 published reports through 1992, possibly only 10-12 from the Keys. Most reports and the highest counts are from n Florida (52, Alligator Point, 25 Jan 1981; 14, same locality 4 Jan 1964). We reject an undocumented report of 14, Gulfport CBC, 26 Dec 1929 (Bird-Lore 32:42), as no Common Loons were listed that day. Howell (1932) mentioned specimens, Amelia I., 13 & 19 Feb 1906 (latter, AMNH 348963), and near Clearwater Harbor, Feb 1880; another old specimen is labeled "Florida, 1884" (CHIC 2812). More recent specimens: lower St. Marks River (TTRS 2827), New Smyrna Beach (GEW 5103), Tallahassee (1-4 Jan 1978; TTRS 3592), Jacksonville (UF 20273), Atlantic Beach (UF 12533), Cedar Key (FSM 12702), South Ponte Vedra Beach (PB 31224), & Ft. George I. (PB 34616). One was photographed, St. Marks Light, 4 Dec 1975 (TTRS P160). This loon reaches Florida in Nov; the earliest credible report, near Jacksonville, 8 Nov 1973, by M. Powell (Edscom 1974a.) Most have left before Apr, but stragglers were seen: St. George I., 27 Apr 1991 (D. Everett); Anna Maria, 6 May 1962 (Mrs. T. Brewer); Ft. Pierce, 3-4 May 1976 (W. & H. Dow-ling & J. Brooks); Big Pine Key, May 1958 (observer?). Summer reports: near mouth of Suwannee River, 4 Jul 1989, L.E. Williams, Jr.; and St. George I., 16-17 Jun 1981, Sam Cole. In addition to the Tallahassee specimen cited above, there are 4 other inland sightings: Winter Park, 3 Feb 1949 (Sprunt 1954d); High Springs (Alachua Co.), 17 Mar 1973; Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), 14 Nov ff., 1981; and Lake Jessup, winter 1982-83.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Cocoa .002, Coot Bay .001, Jacksonville .003, Lower Keys .004, St. Marks


subspecies breeding range
4. Red-throated Loon, Gavia stellata
.001, South Brevard Co. .001, Stuart .002, Titusville .001. An increase was noted in Wakulla & Franklin cos.
Haunts and Habits: Although Red-throated Loons are found chiefly on salt water in winter, a few Florida reports have been in estuaries and the lower parts of rivers. The high counts above show the bird's tendency to congregate in certain favored waters even when there are no others for miles around. Like other loons, they dive from the surface in pursuit of their prey, rarely descending as low as 70 ft. In flight, the wing stroke is deeper than in other loons, and there are reports of their leaping into flight from the water as well as from land (Oberholser 1974). The diet is similar to that of the Common Loon, including various kinds of fishes as well as shrimps, leeches, snails, and aquatic insects even "some aquatic plants" (Palmer 1962).
Problems of Identification: Similar to Pacific Loon, but head, nape, and back paler gray and the slender bill often tilted slightly upward; culmen straight or concave; dorsum with numerous rounded, white spots. (See HMS 1991; also Pacific Loon.) One G. stellata collected 14 Dec 1971, Wakulla River, HMS (TTRS 2783) was originally identified as G. pacifica.
Reference: L. Hubbard 1957b.
Gavia pacifica (Lawrence): Pacific Loon Distribution: Breeds from the Arctic coast of e Sibe-
ria, Alaska, and Canada south to about 56 N in Canada. Winters from e Siberia and se Alaska south to Japan and w Mexico; casual in inland North America and on the Atlantic Coast south to Florida.
Florida Status: Casual in winter; possibly more frequent but may be overlooked among other loons. 17 reports through 1992; 3 not accepted. First record: 1 found dead, Lake Worth, by R. Cointepoix, 21 Nov 1959 (USNM 431142; Langridge 1960b). Other specimens: desiccated remains, Dry Tortugas, B. Kittleson (1976), 20 Apr 1975 (GEW 5000); 1 found sick, Indian Rocks Beach, 12 Apr 1976 (Hopkins & Woolfenden 1977; GEW 5024). Accepted sight reports: Pensacola area, 19 Feb-20 May 1983, R. Duncan (1988a) et al.; 6 Jun 1986, S. Duncan (ibid.); 3 May 1987, A.&D. Forster (ibid.)', 2 on 1 Jun, T. Imhoff & J. Fulton (Jackson 1988, Imhoff 1988) & 1 on 18 Jun 1988, G. Fleming & P. Timmer (Jackson 1988); 18 Feb, P. Tim-mer, & 6 May 1990, A.&D. Forster (Cox 1990); 1-2 on 21 Nov 1990-9 Mar 1991, Duncan et al. (Jackson
1991, Stedman 1991); and 26-27 Oct 1991, R.&I. Ball-man (Jackson 1992). A Pacific Loon was seen, Wakulla Beach, 15 Dec 1979, by competent, experienced observers (James & Stevenson 1980); another was seen and carefully described near Jacksonville, 26 Dec 1983 (Markgraf & Powell 1984). L. Atherton reported 1, St. George I., 30 Nov 1991 (photos, video, FOSA 92-255), and another in basic plumage was seen there 24 May
1992, B. Neville (both records were accepted by FOSRC). One "with a well-defined throat strap" seen off Cedar Key, 28 Nov 1992, was described by B. Pranty (details to FOSRC). We do not know the basis for D. Goodwin's claim of its occurrence, Pinellas Co. in winter (check-list, 1988). Although published as "details to FOSRC a report of 1 seen, Siesta Key (Sarasota Co.), 1-8 Jan 1992, had not reached the Committee Secretary by Mar 1993 (J. L. Baker, pers. comm.), and needed verification for acceptance. A bird "believed to have been an Arctic [Pacific] Loon" (Gaither & Gaither 1968c), 26 Jun-30 Jul 1967, Shalimar, was photographed, but the image could not be distinguished from G. immer in worn plumage. One reported 26 (not 22) Mar 1990, St. George I., was not accepted by the FOSRC.
Haunts and Habits: When not in alternate plumage, the Pacific Loon resembles a small Common Loon with a more slender bill. Like that species, it is partial to salt water during the winter, usually foraging alone. Its diet and habits are similar to those of the Common Loon.
Variation: The AOU Check-list (1983) recognized a single species called the Arctic Loon and including the subspecies G. arctica pacifica and G.a. viridigularis. Based on new evidence, the Committee on Classifica-


subspecies breeding range
5. Pacific Loon, Gavia pacifica
tion and Nomenclature (AOU 1985) recognized the former G.a. pacifica as a distinct species, giving it the name of G. pacifica, the Pacific Loon. G.a. viridigula-ris became G. arctica, the Arctic Loon. The winter ranges of these 2 spp. indicate that the form to be expected in Florida is pacifica; measurements of 2 specimens by G.E. Woolfenden show them to belong to pacifica (GEW 5000 & GEW 5024). Apparently the specimen at USNM has not been identified to subspecies.
Problems of Identification: In basic plumage resembles Common Loon, but smaller; bill shorter and much more slender. Unlike Red-throated Loons, imm. Pacific Loons have light feather edges on the back, not rounded spots (see Imhof 1977, Am. Birds 31:378; HMS 1991).
References: McCaskie, G., J.L. Dunn, C. Roberts, and D. A. Sibley. 1990. Notes on identifying Arctic and Pacific loons in alternate plumage. Birding 22:70-73.
Roberson, D. 1989. Counterpoint: more on Pacific versus Arctic loons. Birding 21:154-57.
Schulenberg, T. 1989. Counterpoint: more on Pacific versus Arctic loons. Birding 21:157-58.
Walsh, T. 1988. Identifying Pacific Loons. Birding 20:12-28.
Langridge 1984b.
Gavia immer (Briinnich): Common Loon
Distribution: Breeds from the Arctic Circle south to ne California, nw Montana, North Dakota, n Indiana, n Ohio, n Pennsylvania, and n New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and se Canada; also in Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland; formerly into the nc U.S. Winters from the Aleutian Is. south to Baja California and Sonora; and from Newfoundland south to Florida and the Gulf Coast. Some individuals remain far south of their breeding range in summer. Migrants occur in most inland states.
Florida Status: A common to fairly common winter resident on the n Gulf Coast, generally uncommon south to Sanibel I. and on the Atlantic to Brevard Co. near to shore. Larger numbers have been found wintering in deeper Atlantic coastal shelf waters. Rare in s Florida and the Keys; small numbers remain into summer. Occasionally winters on inland lakes, where it is more numerous in migration. Robertson & Mason (1965) cited 4 reports, Dry Tortugas, Mar & Apr 1965; others were recorded there, Jan 1953 & 1961, Dec 1960, & Feb 1978. Howell (1932) described a similar status in Florida but made no reference to specimens. We have recorded 20 museum specimens, and surely many others exist. The earliest in fall comes from Crescent Beach, 9 Nov 1971 (PU 934), and the latest in spring was a bird in alternate plumage that landed at the Tallahassee Municipal Airport, 9 Jun 1967 (FSU le). Weston (1965a), considering "birds seen in protracted flight" to be migrants, gave extreme dates, Pensacola area, 13 Oct 1957 & 11 Jun 1950. Cruickshank (1980), making no reference to summering, gave the usual time of arrival, Brevard Co., "late Oct or early Nov," citing abnormal sightings, 10 Sep 1964, 26 Sep 1964, & 5 Oct 1955. Sep observations in the Panhandle may refer to summering individuals. Concentrations: Howell (1932) cited an estimate of 200, Pensacola, 18 Mar 1918, and 100, Palma Sola Bay, 4 Dec 1910. More recent numbers are larger: 600, Gulf Breeze, 25 Jan 1973; "446 Cedar Key CBC, 28 Dec 1991; 370, Port St. Joe CBC, 27 Dec 1980; "339" & "338," Bay Co. CBCs, 1978 & 1982; 300 off Honeymoon I. SRA (Pinellas Co.), 6 Feb 1991. During 1982- 85, Haney (1990) estimated 8700 to 20,000 individuals per year wintering from 15 to 100 km offshore in the South Atlantic Bight between Cape Hatteras, NC, and Cape Canaveral. Birds in basic plumage, Jun-Aug, are considered summering, although Weston (1965a: 16) claimed that some birds "in full nuptial plumage" summer near Pensacola. There seem to be no published reports of such birds being seen daily through much of summer, and some loons in alternate plumage migrate as late as Jun (see above).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. 2.3, Cocoa .25,


subspecies breeding range
6. Common Loon, Gavia immer
Coot Bay .02, Dade Co. .03, Ft. Lauderdale .06, Ft. Pierce .05, Gainesville .004, Jacksonville .04, Key Largo .06, Lakeland .03, Lake Wales .02, Laurel Hill .04, Leon Co. .04, Lower Keys .02, Mt. Dora .01, Naples .01, Pensacola 1.58, St. Marks .53, St. Petersburg .18, Sani-bel .10, Sarasota .17, South Brevard Co. .10, Stuart .08, Tampa .07, Titusville .12, West Palm Beach .03. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 4:1, recent 3:0. Leon Co., increase (small sample); Wakulla/Franklin, no change.
Migration: Palmer (1962) states that some birds begin leaving the Gulf of Mexico by late Mar. This is in line with numerous sight reports of birds flying across the coastline going north. L. Williams (1973a) saw flights beginning in the early morning and lasting until 9:30 a.m.; such flights continue into early May, some birds being seen up to 50 mi from the Gulf. HMS saw 1 flying NE, n Okaloosa Co. at 8:30 a.m., 6 May 1961, and Weston saw 30 going north, Pensacola, 5 Apr 1953. High spring counts based largely on birds seen departing are 73 by Karl Zerbe et al, near St. Marks Light, 6 Apr 1963; and 93 by J. Edscorn et al., Alligator Point, 17 Apr 1971; on both days southerly winds prevailed. Ca. 36 loons landed, Lake City Airport, and others were heard overhead, 23 Apr 1991, J. Krummrich (Cox 1991). Probably fewer reports, and
surely smaller numbers, in fall flights. In Tallahassee, HMS heard 1 flying over at night, 19 Oct 1951, and saw 1 arriving over the Gulf, Panama City, 19 Oct 1985. At Paynes Prairie (Alachua Co.), J. Hintermis-ter saw 20 flying SSW in 3s & 4s, 14 Nov 1976. Ed-scorn & Johnson (HMS 1972d) witnessed a late migration (number not reported) 15-20 mi east of Cocoa, 29 Dec 1971. Banding: 1 banded in Pennsylvania recovered, Holmes Co.; 1 in Minnesota recovered, Sarasota Co.; and 1 in Ohio recovered, Bay Co.
Haunts and Habits: While in Florida, the Common Loon frequents the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, deeper waters of the Atlantic coastal shelf, and the Intracoast-al Waterway. Infrequently, mainly while migrating, immer may be found inland on large lakes. Usually alone, the loons sometimes form loose, small groups and occasionally larger ones. A loon dives for food by compressing its lungs, air sacs, and contour feathers, thus releasing trapped air and making itself less buoyant. Paddling with webbed toes, a loon can reach depths of 30-40 m (Shoryer 1947, Wilson Bull. 59:151-59), infrequently employing its wings as rudders. It eats fishes, shrimps, and crabs, with vegetable matter making up only a small portion of its diet. When in fresh water it takes crayfish, snails, and amphibians. With legs situated far to the rear of the body, an optimum position for diving and swimming, a loon is helpless on land. The Common Loon can take flight only on water, flapping wings and propelling itself with its feet along the surface of the water for a considerable distance until it achieves lift. On land, it pushes itself along while prone on its breast and belly. The eerie, yodel-like call during the breeding season is sometimes heard from night-flying migrants in spring or on Florida waters in winter.
Adverse Factors: Within the last two decades, dead loons have been frequently encountered on Florida beaches, usually as single birds or in small numbers, but occasionally in great numbers. In winter 1969-70 "many hundreds" were killed, Tampa Bay, by an oil spill (HMS 1970d), which reduced the population "for several years" (Clapp, Banks, et al. 1982). Another oil spill killed more than 200 birds, St. Augustine to Flagler Beach, 12-20 Jan 1974, (Nesbitt in HMS 1974). A much more severe die-off occurred, winter 1982-83, ca. 4000 on the Florida Gulf Coast (Kale 1983c) and 1000-5000 farther west (Imhof 1983). Most of these had gastroenteritis caused by an unknown agent (Kale 1983c) or by a species of fluke (Hamel 1983). A smaller kill occurred, winter 1983-84, these birds showing high concentrations of mercury (Alexander 1985), but that was thought not to be the cause of their deaths (Kale 1984). From 1970 to 1974, White, Forrester, & Nesbitt (1976) examined 190 birds for evidence of infectious


diseases; Salmonella sp. was found in 27 (14%) and some evidence of Aspergillus fumigatus in 34 (18%). Anderson & Forrester (1974), examining birds from Stuart and West Palm Beach, found microfilariae of Splendidojilaria fallisensis (a nematode), parasites previously known only from the Anatidae. Palmer (1962: 49) implied that all spp. of loons are occasional food for Eskimos or their dogs. Guns, speedboats, and monofilament fishing line may be equally detrimental. Predatory mammals destroy some nests and eat eggs or chicks.
Problems of Identification: At some distance a loon might be confused with a cormorant, but the loon's bill is straight and pointed, the cormorant's upper mandible indented near the middle and hooked at the tip. (See Pacific Loon.)
References: Alexander 1988, 1991; Hewitt 1986; Lange, Davidson, & Forrester 1983; Mclntyre 1986; Ulmer 1949; White & Forrester 1979; White, Forrester & Nesbitt 1976; Woolfenden 1967d.
ORDER PODICIPEDIFORMES: Family Podicipedidae, Grebes.
Small to medium-sized swimming and diving birds with lobed toes and (in most spp.) pointed bills. Head and neck relatively slender. Tarsus compressed; outer toe longest; claws flattened. Plumages with browns, whites, and grays, brighter in summer (sexes alike); 12 primaries; no true rectrices. Capture fishes and invertebrates under water. The stomach often contains feathers, sometimes up to a volume exceeding 50%; function unknown, but may aid in digestion. Build floating nests and cover their eggs (3-9) when leaving them; hatch-lings downy and precocial. Virtually cosmopolitan; 20 spp.
References: Storer, R.W., W.R. Siegfried, and J. Kinahan. 1975. Sunbathing in grebes. Living Bird 14: 45-56.
Anon. 1956g, Austin 1961, Bent 1919, Palmer 1962, Terres 1980, Van Tyne & Berger 1976.
Tachybaptus dominicus (Linnaeus): Least Grebe Distribution: Resident and breeding from s Baja California, Sinaloa, ne Mexico, s Texas, and the Greater Antilles south to s Peru and n Argentina. Casual or accidental north to s California, s Arizona, e Louisiana, and Florida.
Florida Status: Accidental; 6 reports, 4 probably valid. Visitors from Sweden reported 1 on a pond, Big Pine Key, 3 Oct 1988. From that date to 23 Oct many observers studied and some photographed it (TTRS P482, 16 Oct). A Least Grebe was reported near Lakeland, 4 Dec 1966 to 22 Mar 1967 (Agey 1967a); sev-
eral observers saw the bird, but the "movies" taken by
2 of them have not surfaced. J. Edscorn points out that the published description mentioned neither bill shape nor eye color. A small grebe photographed, Crandon Park (Miami), 27 Nov 1970 (Lohrer & Lohrer 1971), was well described, and the image appears to represent that species (TTRS P50 & P51). According to Mrs. Irma Fisk, a zoo attendant in Crandon Park found a dead bird thought to be of this species, but discarded it. One was identified, Marco I. (Collier Co.),
3 Mar-28 Apr 1990 (Langridge 1990a).* H.W. Kale II saw 1, 27 April 1992, Miami pond. A bird reported on the St. Marks River, 31 Dec 1973 (A. P. Simmons 1974), was not adequately described. The most likely source for Least Grebes in s Florida is the West Indies, but the possibility of birds from Texas (T.d. brachyp-terus) in any part of Florida should not be dismissed. Judging from its long bill, the bird on Big Pine Key was probably T. d. dominicus.
Problems of Identification: Much smaller and darker than any other Florida grebe. Bill slender, straight, pointed, and dark; iris orange to yellow.
References: Storer, R. W. 1976. The behavior and relationships of the Least Grebe. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 18:113-26.
Podilymbus podiceps (Linnaeus): Pied-billed Grebe Distribution: Breeds locally from s Canada to c Chile, s Argentina, and the West Indies, including all of mainland Florida. Most individuals withdraw from Canada and the n U.S. in winter, reaching the Florida Keys in that season.
Florida Status: Locally distributed as a breeding bird throughout mainland Florida, apparently lacking in some areas but rare, uncommon, or fairly common in others. Numbers in winter are greatly augmented by arrivals from the north, at which time the bird is fairly common to common on fresh water but rather uncommon on coastal waters. Howell (1932), noting a similar status, mentioned no specimens, but many exist. Summer reports on the Florida Keys include single birds, Key Largo, 28 Jun 1959 (W.B. Robertson), and Sum-merland Key, 27 Aug 1959 (3 observers; see Breeding). The only report for the Dry Tortugas pertains to 1 seen by Truesdell, 10 Nov 1969 (Robertson 1970). The largest number appears to be an estimate of "a thousand or more," Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), 7 Jan 1928, by H.L. Stoddard (Howell 1932). Recent maxima: "935," Coot Bay, 28 Dec 1969; "926," Merritt I. NWR, 30 Dec 1975; "814," Hamilton Co., 27 Dec 1980 (but number questioned by CBC editor). High summer counts come from flooded agricultural lands, Zellwood


7. Pied-billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
(150, 31 Jul 1983) and near Belle Glade (101, 29 Jul 1978), both counts including many yg. birds.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .82, Cocoa 1.23, Coot Bay .31, Dade Co. .38, Ft. Lauderdale .65, Ft. Pierce .21, Gainesville 1.10, Jackson Co. .32, Jacksonville .25, Key Largo .07, Lakeland 1.65, Lake Wales 1.38, Laurel Hill .14, Leon Co. 3.7, Lower Keys .11, Mt. Dora .93, Myakka 1.88, Naples .21, Orlando 1.53, Pensacola .33, St. Marks 1.16, St. Petersburg .60, Sani-bel .55, Sarasota .47, South Brevard Co. .20, Stuart .09, Tampa .60, Titusville 3.9, West Palm Beach .34. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 7:3; recent 5:3. BBS trends: Fla., no trend.
Migration: The Pied-billed Grebe apparently migrates chiefly at night. Although it is present in Florida throughout the year, a few migration dates have been gleaned from TV tower & lighthouse casualties. Five specimens from the WCTV tower (Leon Co.) suggest spring and fall migration extremes: 17 Feb (2 years), 14 Apr 1974, 23 Sep 1974, & 18 Nov 1974. Birds killed there but not preserved, 28 Aug 1965 (Stoddard & Norris 1967) & 17 Jul 1975 (Ogden 1975b), may have been early fall migrants. Four grebes fell, WDBO tower (Orange Co.), 16 Sep-15 Oct, 1969-71 (Taylor & Anderson 1973). One hit the VAB (Brevard Co.), 1-10 Oct 1970-81 (Taylor & Kershner 1986). Howell (1932) listed dates on which birds struck
lighthouses28 Sep 1902, Cape Canaveral, & 22-25 Mar 1885, Warrington; at Pensacola, where it breeds only rarely, it arrived as early as 1 Sep 1935 and departed 18 Apr 1926. Extreme dates for the lower Keys are 27 Aug 1959 & 29 Mar 1951 (Hundley & Hames 1960). In the Tallahassee area, emigration results in May & Jun frequencies that are only 12-15% of the level in winter in both Leon & the coastal cos.; in Jackson Co., Jul was only 2.1% of Jan frequency. Single birds banded in New Jersey & Michigan were recovered in Florida; 1 banded in Florida was recovered in Virginia.
Breeding: Howell's map (1932: 77) of breeding localities showed reports from Tallahassee south to Sarasota and Orlando, with an isolated report at Hialeah. More recent observations fill in the gaps in the Panhandle and the Peninsula, but there was no positive evidence of nesting on the Keys until an ad. and 5 yg. were found, Stock I., 19 Apr 1990 (TTRS P 513). In s Florida, at least, this grebe nests virtually throughout the year. Extreme dates on which eggs have been collected: 4 Apr 1964, Titusville (WFVZ 78972) & 6 Aug (yr. & loc.?; AMNH). However, J. Kushlan collected a downy juv. 102 mm in length, Monroe Co., 26 Feb 1970 (UMRC 6083). Sight reports extend these extremes: F. Ligas found several nests with eggs, Broward & Dade cos., 15 Oct 1957, and W. Atwater saw 2 downy yg. near Flamingo, 11 Nov 1962. A brood of 6 downy yg. was seen by Tom Savage, Sarasota, 2 Jan 1970. The breeding season in n Florida may not be so prolonged, but HMS & H. Loftin saw a large juv., Wakulla River, 27 Oct 1956. The Pied-billed Grebe's nest is a floating mass of decaying plant matter built by both sexes and attached to submerged or emergent vegetation. Although the number of eggs/nest may vary from 3 to 10, the museum sets we have seen from Florida range from 5 to 7. Incubation begins with the first egg laid and requires about 23 days for the first egg to hatch. When leaving the nest, the incubating parent covers the eggs with vegetation. Downy yg. differ greatly in color from ads., having bold black stripes on the head, neck, and body, but large juvs. lose all but the head and neck stripes.
Haunts and Habits: Like other grebes, the Pied-billed prefers to breed on temporary rain ponds, freshwater lakes, and even sluggish rivers, but unlike the others it ventures only rarely into open salt water in the winter. It is occasionally found in brackish marshes throughout the state at that season. Usually it is not gregarious, though many individuals may share the same body of water during migration and winter. When breeding, the male actively displays before his mate, running over the surface of water and periodically div-


ing to resurface near her. Downy grebe chicks frequently climb onto the back of the ad. even though they are already proficient swimmers and divers. The Pied-billed either dives or submerges to forage underwater for fishes, crayfish, snails, amphibians, leeches, aquatic insects and their larvae, aquatic worms, seeds, and some vegetation.
Adverse Factors: Probably many fall victim to medium-sized or large predators; HMS saw an alligator capture 1, and large turtles probably catch ads. and yg. Delany (1986) has also found this grebe in the stomach of an alligator. Small yg. may be taken by water snakes, large fishes, small turtles, Great Blue Herons, and probably some species of hawks; Great Horned Owls doubtless feed on ads. Although this grebe is not considered a source of human food, a meal of "stewed die-dapper" was relished by W. S. Blatchley (1932: 78). Some probably fall victim to hunters, and those migrants that land on wet paving may become traffic casualties. No doubt some eggs are consumed by snakes; others are lost when ponds dry up and the parents abandon. Grimes (1943a) mentioned a nest abandoned when receding water left it suspended above the surface.
Problems of Identification: Easily distinguished from other Florida grebes by sight, but a prolonged vocalization resembles the song of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
References: Bailey 1936b; King 1985a, 1988a; Leavitt 1957b; Letson 1970; D. Nicholson 1960a; Olson 1961a; Schroder 1940d.
Podiceps auritus (Linnaeus): Horned Grebe Distribution: Breeds from Alaska, nw and c Canada, Nova Scotia, Iceland, n Scotland, and n Eurasia south to e Washington, ne Idaho, w and n Montana, n South Dakota, nw Minnesota, c Wisconsin, w Ontario, s Quebec, New Brunswick, c Russia, Lake Baikal, and Kamchatka. Winters from the Aleutian Is., s Alaska, n U.S., Iceland, the British Isles, and Scandinavia south to California, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, Black & Caspian seas, and from Japan to Korea.
Florida Status: A winter resident, at least locally, throughout the state. On the coast it varies from uncommon to abundant northward and very rare to fairly common southward; inland, from very rare to common northward and rare to uncommon southward. E.R. Greene (1946) saw single birds, Sugarloaf Key, 10 Feb 1940, & Fleming Key, 7 Jan 1941; and E.C. Winte had 3 near Porjoe Key on the late date, 26 May 1957 (Robertson & Stevenson 1957). Unrecorded at Dry Tortugas. Howell (1932) found it in similar numbers and cited no specimens, although 4 were taken, 1890-1900, Lake Weir (Marion Co.; AMNH 67585-7 &
subspecies breeding range
8. Horned Greebe, Podiceps auritus
MPM 12530), and 2, Hillsborough Co., 28 Oct 1900 (ROM 31408 & 34121). Three recent specimens are notable: 1, Ft. George (Duval Co.), 26 Oct 1974 (USNM 500817), is the earliest fall specimen, and singles taken, Wakulla Co., 12 Jun 1969 (FSU lOlh), and near Panacea, 27 Jun 1965 (TTRS 2415), are unusually late. Also numerous sight reports have occurred in the summer and early fall: Pensacola, 1 in alternate plumage to 27 Jul 1956; Florida Bay, 12 Jun 1957; Panama City, 12 Jul 1959; Sanibel I., 21 Jun 1960; Pensacola, 27 Jul 1949, 25 Jul 1954, & to 5 Jul 1961; near Lake Placid, 1 in alternate plumage to 30 Aug 1962 and 1 on 9 Jun 1965; off Spring Creek (Wakulla Co.), 3 Jun 1967; Live Oak Point, 1 photographed, 23 Jun 1967 (TTRS P397); near Panama City, 6 Jun 1969; near Keystone Heights, 28 Jul 1973 & throughout Jul 1974, 1 in alternate plumage capable of flight; off May-port, 11 Aug 1974; Weekiwachee, 3 Jun 1979; Stein-hatchee, 8 Jun 1980; St. Marks, 12 Jul 1991 (basic plumage), D. Morrow. Other early fall sightings: near St. Marks Light, 24 Sep 1967; ENP, 26 Sep 1956; and Pensacola, 27 Sep 1969. The only reference to a large number in Howell (1932) was of "300 to 400" birds, Pensacola, by F. M. Weston. Some recent counts have been higher on the multiparty CBCs: Titusville-Merritt I., "669," 1970; Cocoa, "668," 1976; a one-party estimate of 400, Mexico Beach, 13 Jan 1973 (Purrington


1973b), is noteworthy, as are an inland count of 250 near Lakeland, 29 Dec 1970 (but see below), and a s Florida count of 59, Florida Bay, 12 Jan 1957. We question an estimate of 300, Tampa CBC, 1945, as no Pied-billed Grebes were listed and no other Florida count that winter surpassed 17 Horned Grebes; also doubtful are 323, Coot Bay CBC, 1957, when only 61 Pied-bills were listed. Recent CBCs and the field observations of many individuals in the last decade show a decline in the numbers of Horned Grebes in Florida and elsewhere in its winter range, as well as on its breeding grounds. S. Stedman (1992) has speculated that the reduction in numbers of Horned Grebes along the Gulf Coast is due in part to increasing numbers of this species wintering on rather recently constructed impoundments in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama that are stocked with small fishes. C. Geanangel reported only 11, Polk Co. phosphate pits, 25 Nov 1990 (Paul 1991).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. 1.73, Cocoa 3.1, Coot Bay .05, Dade Co. .01, Ft. Lauderdale .002, Ft. Pierce .006, Gainesville .17, Jackson Co. .02, Jacksonville .10, Key Largo .90, Lakeland 1.86, Lake Wales .12, Laurel Hill .03, Leon Co. .27, Mt. Dora .20, Myakka .001, Naples .003, Orlando .02, Pensacola 1.39, St. Marks 1.04, St. Petersburg .61, Sanibel .18, Sarasota .11, South Brevard Co. .11, Stuart .01, Tampa 1.30, Titusville 1.32, West Palm Beach .001. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 6:1, recent 6:2.
Haunts and Habits: Favoring coastal waters while in Florida, the Horned Grebe often forms loose aggregates; while some individuals irregularly winter on inland lakes, others regularly winter at flooded mines and phosphate pits. The bird forages in typical grebe fashion, leaping up, then plunging the bill downward into the water, or it gradually submerges by releasing air from the lungs and air sacs and that trapped in the contour feathersby compressing the feathers to the body. It rarely exceeds depths of 25 ft, propelling itself with lobed toes, only occasionally using its wings to stabilize or turn. Fishes, crustaceans, small amphibians, and water insects and their larvae comprise the bulk of its diet. The Horned Grebe is usually silent while in Florida.
Problems of Identification: See Eared Grebe. References: Morrow 1948, Nicholson 1953d, Williams 1971.
Podiceps grisegena (Boddaert): Red-necked Grebe Distribution: Breeds from w and c Alaska, n and c Canada, s Scandinavia, and w Russia south to c Washington, n Montana, ne South Dakota, s Minnesota (rarely farther south and east in the U.S.), through e
9. Red-necked Grebe, Podiceps grisegena
Europe to Asia Minor; also from e Siberia to Japan. Winters from its s breeding range south to s California, the n Gulf Coast, and Florida; locally south to the Mediterranean Sea and from Kamchatka south to Korea. Chiefly coastal in winter.
Florida Status: Casual, primarily in winter; very few reports after 1981. Howell (1932) included this grebe in the Florida list based on sight reports in the Halifax River (S.R. Ingersoll), Coconut Grove (F.M. Chapman), near Ft. Pierce (Baynard Christy), Pepperfish Keys (Dixie Co.), near St. Marks, and near Cedar Keys (last 3 sites by A. H. Helme). Howell properly omitted 16, Palma Sola CBC, 25 Dec 1925 (Earle 1926 in Howell), as no Horned Grebes and only 4 Pied-billed Grebes were reported that day. For similar reasons we question 10 reported without details near Tampa 1948-49 (Brookfield 1949). Excluding the above, there have been about 40 reports in Florida, mostly since Howell's time and none involving more than 2 individuals. There are still no known specimens or photographs! We seriously doubt that all of these sight reports were erroneous, though many may have been. Thus we accord the species a place on the Florida list. Two reports considered reliable establish the species' extreme dates in Florida. Mrs. F. Stoutamire saw 1 near St. Marks Light, 11 Oct 1975, & C.S. Gidden found it there later that day. It was not present the next day. A. Cruickshank saw 1, Horseshoe Beach, 16 Apr 1948.


The bill color and throat color were not seen on a bird reported west of Bear Lake (ENP), 24 Apr 1966 (Stim-son 1966b). The westernmost reports come from Bay Co., where Roy Hall man (journal) reported 1 on 30 Jan 1940 (not "1946"), & Pensacola, 6-11 Apr 1967 (Kahn & Weston in Imhof 1967). We find only a single, undocumented report for Florida's interior, Winter Park (Orange Co.), 3 Feb 1949 (Brookfield 1949). The last 3 published reports for Florida: St. George I., 17 Jan 1980, N. Warner; Stuart, 3-10 Jan 1981, H. & W. Dowling et al.; and Honeymoon I. SRA, 11 Jan 1992, W. R. Goodge. One reported, St. Marks NWR, 23 or 24 Nov 1990, in the sightings log (Jide B. Pranty in litt.); details of this observation were not submitted to FOSRC.
Haunts and Habits: This large grebe, like most other grebe species, inhabits freshwater lakes on its northern prairie breeding grounds. During migration and winter, this species is usually found singly or in small groups, preferring coastal waters beyond the breakers. Those strays reaching Florida are usually alone. The diet is mostly animal matter, including fishes, small crustaceans, and marine worms.
Problems of Identification: Twice as large as Florida's common grebes, but near size of rare Western Grebe. Latter has a very long and slender neck, white in front, black behind. The Red-necked Grebe has a red foreneck only in the breeding season and is never contrastingly black and white.
Reference: Pitts 1968a.
Podiceps nigricollis (Brehm): Eared Grebe Distribution: Breeds from c British Columbia, sw Manitoba, w Minnesota, and ne Illinois south to n Baja California, New Mexico, and sc Texas (locally into Mexico and n South America); also from n Europe and c Asia south to the Mediterranean Sea and Asia Minor (locally into Africa). Winters from s British Columbia to Guatemala (locally into South America) and east to the s Atlantic coastal states; also from the British Isles, Germany, Poland, and sw Russia south to the Mediterranean, e Africa, Iran, and n India, and from Japan to s China.
Florida Status: A rare to uncommon winter resident throughout most of the state though locally more numerous; reports south to Miami and near Immokalee (1 undocumented report from the Keys). The first Florida reports were too recent for inclusion in Howell (1932) or Sprunt (1954d). The first bird identified was collected near Boca Raton, 5 Dec 1952 (USNM 479512). Others taken: Pensacola Beach, 15 Apr 1959 (LSU 23210); near St. James (Franklin Co.), 19 Dec 1974 (TTRS 3480); Lake Trafford, 14 Sep 1980 (earli-
Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding range
10. Eared Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
est fall specimen; GEW 5269); & Port St. Joe, 27 Dec
1980 (TTRS 3683). Photographs on file: Auburndale, 11 Jan 1970 (ENP R3a & R3b); Loxahatchee NWR, 4-5 Dec 1962 (TTRS P2); St. Joseph Peninsula, 7 Feb
1981 (TTRS P313); & near St. Marks Light, 21 Oct 1981 (TTRS P358). Including sight reports, the total for Florida was 80 or more by 1992. The second state report was a bird seen, Pensacola, 20 Dec 1953, by F.M. Weston et al. Available reports indicate that Eared Grebes usually reach Florida earlier than Horned Grebes. Earliest arrivals: Kingsley Lake (Clay Co.), 11 Sep 1973 & 14 Sep 1976; 2, Belle Glade, and 1, Lake Trafford (above), 14 Sep 1980; Jackson Lake (Walton Co.), 28 Sep 1975. The latest in spring were 3 near Bartow, 23 May 1981 (C. Geanangel et al. in Kale 1981a). The only instance of summering also occurred near Bartow, 10 Jul-10 Oct 1981 (A&A 1981). The southernmost acceptable reports were near Miami, 21 Nov-19 Dec 1964, Jan-Feb 1966, & 10 Dec 1965, ENP (Olson & Stimson 1966). One reported, Summerland Key, 31 Dec 1977 (HMS 1978c), needs verification. The largest numbers have been reported from phosphate mines, Polk Co.: 20 on 11 Feb 1984 (Hoffman 1984); 8 on 11 Nov 1990 (Cox 1991); and 27 (date?; P. Fellers in Robertson & Woolfenden 1992). Five were on the St. Joseph Peninsula, 12 Feb 1981.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .001, Cocoa .001, Lakeland .002, Leon Co. .004, St. Marks .002,


St. Petersburg .001, Titusville .001. Trends: Increasing, at least up to 1983-84.
Migration: One banded in Saskatchewan was recovered in Escambia Co. (See also Jehl & Yochum 1986.)
Haunts and Habits: The Eared Grebe is a social species even while on its western breeding grounds. Individuals reaching Florida are found in coastal waters or on lakes. Occasionally the bird associates with Horned Grebes, and its diet and behavior resemble those of that species.
Problems of Identification: In basic (winter) plumage, this grebe bears a general resemblance to the Horned Grebe, but differs in having the dark area (gray) behind the eye extending to almost the entire throatwhich is white in the Horned Grebe until late winter and spring, when it also becomes gray for a short time. More subtle differences are the more slender bill with flattened culmen and the more slender neck and head of nigricollis. As birds go into alternate plumage, the throat of the Eared Grebe becomes black, and that of the Horned Grebe a brownish red.
References: Kaufman, K. 1992. Identifying monochrome grebes in winter. Am. Birds 46:1187-90.
Edscorn 1971a; Buckley 1968; Weston 1959, 1960b.
Aechmophorus occidentalis (Lawrence): Western Grebe
Distribution: Breeds from sw Alaska, nw Alberta, and sc parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba south to s California, w Nevada, n Utah, sw Colorado, n New Mexico, nw Iowa, and w Minnesota; also locally in n Mexico. Winters chiefly on the Pacific coast from se Alaska south to Baja California and Jalisco, rarely inland to w Nevada and Puebla; casually east to the Atlantic Coast, including Florida.
Florida Status: Casual, primarily in winter. Known to Florida on the basis of no more than ca. 5 or 6 credible reports (of ca. 16) through 1992, including 3 photos. The first photo, taken by Marvin Wass, Mullet Key, 20 Nov 1954, was examined and confirmed by HMS but was later lost. Also photographed were single birds: Tampa, 4 May 1975 (TTRS P38 & P124), & St. Johns River near Jacksonville, 30 Mar-14 Apr 1965 (TTRS P62 & 63). A photo of a putative Western Grebe, St. Lucie River, Oct 1958 (TTRS P3-4), surely does not represent a grebe but is not identifiable. We consider the following sight reports probably reliable: Pensacola, 12 Nov 1917, F.M. Weston (Sprunt 1954d); Merritt I., 17 Dec 1978, H. Cruickshank et al (Eich-horn 1979), and presumably the same bird, 29 Dec 1978, H. Cruickshank et al. (A. Cruickshank 1980). Other unverified reports come from Cocoa, 2 Jan 1950 & 29 Dec 1958, A. Cruickshank (1980) agreeing that
subspecies breeding range
11. Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
they are dubious; Tampa Bay, 6-14 Jan 1957; Bay Co., 22 Nov 1966 (Loftin et al, 1987); Jacksonville, 27 Dec 1970; Perdido Bay (Fla. or Ala.?), 15 May 1972; Holmes Beach (Manatee Co.), 27 Dec 1973; Tamiami Canal near Shark Valley (ENP), Nov. 1974 and Jan & Mar 1975. Two reports, Lake Worth, 2 Dec 1986, and St. Marks NWR, 25 Nov 1991, were not accepted by FOSRC.
Haunts and Habits: Aechmophorus grebes, largest of the family in the U.S., regularly winter in large flocks along the Pacific coast. Stragglers that reach Florida occur on open water. The birds' manner of diving and feeding resembles that of other grebes. A variety of small fishes and crustaceans comprise the bulk of the diet.
Problems of Identification: Near size of Red-necked Grebe, but neck longer and more slender. Color pattern black above and white below. Clark's Grebe (A. clarkii), not known to occur in Florida, is very similar but its black cap does not extend down to the level of the eye; its bill is orange-yellow, and that of the Western greenish-yellow (L. Atherton in litt.).
Reference: Veronee 1959a.
ORDER PROCELLARIIFORMES.
Small to very large marine birds (total length ca. 7-50 in). Bill covering partitioned; nostrils opening through external tubes. Wings long and narrow; 11 primaries;


Shearwaters and Petrels: Black-capped Petrel
25
12-16 rectrices. Toes webbed except the reduced hallux. Seldom seen from land.
References: Austin 1961, Harrison 1983, Murphy 1936 (vols. 1-2), Palmer 1962, Terres 1980, Van Tyne & Berger 1976.
Family Diomedeidae, Albatrosses.
Very large marine birds, some with a wingspread up to 11 ft. Nostril tubes separated by the culmen. Hallux very small or lacking. Colonial nesters with elaborate courtships; only 1 egg per clutch (on the ground), the larger spp. nesting only in alternate years. Hatchlings altricial, but downy. Mostly in s oceans; 13 spp.
References: Jameson, William. 1959. The Wandering Albatross. New York: William Morrow & Co.
Bourne 1964, 1967, Fisher & Lockley 1954; McDan-iel 1973, Warham et al. 1974.
[Diomedea exulans Linnaeus: Wandering Albatross] Distribution: Southern oceans, breeding on Antarctic, South Pacific, and South Atlantic is. Accidental in California, Panama, and the North Atlantic.
Florida Status: Known from 2 reports. Howell (1932) recounted the report of a bird identified to this species by A. A. Howlett at the mouth of the St. Johns River and reported by Coues (1885 in Howell 1932). Another was reported, Tampa Bay (Baird et al. 1884 in Howell 1932). It has been considered of hypothetical status since 1932 and remains in that category.
[Diomedea melanophris Temminck: Black-browed Albatross.]
Distribution: Breeds on is. in the s oceans, rarely ranging north as far as the North Atlantic.
Florida Status: One report 21 mi off Cape Canaveral, 13 Sep 1974, a bird seen by J. Johnson, Frank Frear, & Fred Kruse (Edscorn 1975a; Cruickshank 1980).
References: McDaniel 1973.
Diomedea chlororhynchos Gmelin: Yellow-nosed Albatross.
Distribution: Breeds on is. at s latitudes in the Atlantic & Indian oceans and seldom ranges into n oceans. However, there are several sight reports for North American waters, including offshore Florida (specimen).
Florida Status: One bird spent part of 3 Jul 1982 in the vicinity of St. Marks Light, where it was recognizably photographed by its discoverers, Mr. & Mrs. G. Valpey-Toussignant (TTRS P416-20). Its "gray head" was considered "typical of the nominate race," D.c. chlororhynchos (Paul 1983). A prior sighting was
made off Brevard Co., 13 Jul 1958, J. Johnson (HMS 1958a). The first specimen for Florida was a male found alive, 27 May 1992, Key Largo, and brought to a rehabilitation center, where it died 2 days later (GEW 5866).
Family Procellariidae, Shearwaters and Petrels.
Large to medium-sized marine birds (total length ca. 12-35 in.). Nostril tubes contiguous on culmen. Hind toe much reduced. Birds pick food off surface of water. All regurgitate a musky oil for preening themselves and feeding yg. Nest colonially in burrows and rock crevices, sometimes on bare ground; 1 egg; yg. altricial and downy. All oceans; 55 spp.
References: Lockley, R.M. 1942. Shearwaters. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd.
Pterodroma hasitata (Kuhl): Black-capped Petrel Distribution: Breeds in mountains of the Greater Antilles, including Hispaniola, e Cuba, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, and possibly Dominica and Martinique. Occasional visitor in Atlantic waters from Maine to Florida.
Florida Status: Rare to uncommon (perhaps locally common) on Atlantic, spring through fall; accidental inland. Haney (1987a) surveyed areas in w North Atlantic, 1982-85, and found that this species' primary nonbreeding range is within the South Atlantic Bight (ca. 150-250 km from shore), Brevard Co. to North Carolina; these petrels were observed offshore Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina each month except Jan, when few counts were made (greatest abundance, n Georgia northward). Howell (1932) knew of only 1 recorda specimen from Indian River Inlet, winter, 1846-47 (AMNH 3212). Three more recent specimens: n Leon Co., where H.L. Stoddard found a bird that struck the WCTV tower, 11 Sep 1974, during Hurricane Alma (TTRS 6); Melbourne Beach, 14 Jun 1972 (GEW 4707); & Ponce Inlet, 21 May 1977 (USNM 527749). The total number of published Florida reports (ca. 20 through 1992) has increased largely because of the increased number of pelagic trips for birders: off Cocoa16 Jul 1974 & 18 May 1976, J. Johnson; off Ponce Inlet7 on 29 Apr 1978, Langridge et al., 3 on 27 May 1978, P. Sykes et al., 3 on 14 Apr 1979 and 38 on 3 May 1979, D. Starks, P. Sykes, et al., & 3 on 27 Apr 1980, P. Sykes et al; off New Smyrna, 12 Oct 1980 (FOS; not "first fall record"); off Ponce Inlet, 16 May 1981, Sykes et al; off Cape Canaveral, 7 Oct 1981 and 15 May 1982, J. Johnson, & 14 May 1983, J. Johnson et al; off Palm Beach, 9 May 1982, Langridge et al, and others, 16 May 1982, Ron Naveen et al. The second winter report in Florida was a bird said to have been photographed (but photo not seen by HMS and


12. Black-capped Petrel, Pterodroma hasitata
BHA) 45 mi off Canaveral, 2 Feb 1977 (Lee & Booth 1979); photo or documentation needed for accreditation.
Haney (op. cit.) suggested that Black-cappeds migrate northward from breeding colonies by way of the Antilles Current; this could account for the virtual lack of reports from the Gulf. The only published reports from the Florida Straits and the Gulf are of single birds by Sibley et al, 12 mi off Islamorada, 4 May 1988, and east of the Dry Tortugas, 28 Apr 1989, although the WCTV specimen (above) undoubtedly came inland from the Gulf.
Haunts and Habits: The gadfly petrels of tropical waters usually fly well above the water's surface with wings bent downward at the wrist, first flapping, then making lengthy glides while tilting to one side. The Black-capped Petrel is called Diablotin, "little devil," by the native West Indians, possibly due to its noisy nocturnal activities at the breeding colonies. Years of heavy predation by man, as well as by the rats, cats, and the Mongoose (Herpestes myula) that man introduced, caused a tremendous decline in the species' numbers. Recent studies have shown that the present population remains stable. The Black-capped may swim to feed but more frequently picks up squids and small crustaceans from the water's surface. In Florida Haney (1987a) found that this petrel fed in shallower water and closer to land than it did farther north.
References: Wingate, D.B. 1964. Discovery of breeding Black-capped Petrels on Hispaniola. Auk 81:147-59.
Woolfenden & Kale 1974.
[Bulweria bulwerii (Jardine & Selby): Bulwer's Petrel]
Distribution: Breeds in the Hawaiian Is., on is. off the China coast, and various other is. in the Pacific Ocean, and (in the Atlantic) the Azores, Madeira, Canary, & Cape Verde is. Ranges at sea to e Asia, England, the Cape Verde Is., the Mediterranean Sea, the w Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.
Florida Status: Known from only 2 sight reports, both well offshore. J. Taylor (1972) identified a "probable" Bulwer's Petrel, 14 May 1969, ca. 45 mi west of Key West, and Haney & Wainwright (1985) reported one, 102 mi east of Jacksonville, 1 May 1984. The latter individual was well described.
Calonectris diomedea (Scopoli): Cory's Shearwater Distribution: Breeds on is. in the e Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, ranging across the Atlantic to North America (Newfoundland south to Florida and Brazil); also occasionally to England and France.
Florida Status: A frequent and regular summer visitant off the e coast; ca. 50 Florida reports through 1992. The species was unknown in the state until a carcass of C.d. borealis was found, Palm Beach, 14 Nov 1958 (Langridge 1959b); it was sent to USNM but could not be found there, 1987. The only other specimen of borealis was taken 7 mi east of St. Augustine, 20 May 1965 (UF 11215). Specimens of C.d. diomedea were taken 7 mi east of Tavernier, 7 Oct 1961 (FSU 330a; TTRS 2785; CARN 140299) & 6 Oct 1961 (UMRC 4720 & 4791); St. Augustine, 8 May 1972 (UF 19536); & 20 mi. off Brevard Co., 15 Jul 1974 (UCF 1941). The ff. specimens may not have been identified to subspecies: Ormond Beach, 5 Nov 1962 (TTRS 3585); Jacksonville, 16 Jun 1969 (UF 18923); St. Augustine, 8 May 1972 (UF 18924); Vero Beach, 9 Dec 1976 (GEW 5104); Marineland, 27 Aug 1980 (UF 20892); New Smyrna Beach, 27 Sep 1963 (UF 10934); Crescent Beach, 1 Sep 1969 (PB 29740); Jacksonville Beach, 28 May 1973 (PB 35238); & Turtle Mound (Volusia Co.), 10 Sep 1989 (UCF 2063). Among numerous sight reports, 4 are much later (17-21 Dec) than the latest fall specimenLake Worth, off Canaveral (2 reports), & at West Palm Beach. The earliest in spring was 1 off Deerfield Beach, 22 Apr 1975, T. Moore (Kale 1975c). Comparatively few reports and no specimens have come from the Gulf of Mexico. In a series of offshore trips, Buhrman & Hopkins (1978a) had a


Shearwaters and Petrels: Greater Shearwater
27
13. Cory's Shearwater, Calonectris diomedea
total of 9 birds, 8-60 mi off Clearwater, 31 Jul-25 Sep, 1976-78. Two were reported 25 mi NW of the Dry Tortugas, 23 May 1978 (Kale 1978h); 5 off Pensacola Beach, 24 Jul 1977 (R. Duncan 1981b), & another, 1 Jun 1988 (Imhof 1988); & 8-10, Cape San Bias (Gulf Co.), Sep 1976-Aug 1978 (Duncan & Ha-vard 1980). Imhof (in litt.) studied 1 off Santa Rosa I., 1 Jun 1987. However, these reports in the n Gulf of Mexico need documentation. A few large concentrations have been recorded: 700 off Canaveral, 19 Oct 1977; 500 off St. Augustine, 14 Aug 1965, and 200 a week later; 300 off St. Augustine, 4 Sep 1975; and 300 off Canaveral, 15 Nov 1974.
Haunts and Habits: Of the species of shearwaters regularly occurring off our coast, Cory's has the least contrasting colors (except for the all-dark Sooty), and its wings are usually noticeably bent at the wrist. Its wingbeats are typically slower and deeper than those of other shearwaters, and it is the only species to soar frequently. It usually occurs singly or in small groups, occasionally associating with Greater and Sooty shearwaters, but large flocks have also been recorded. It forages in flight or while sitting in the water, picking up food from the water's surface or diving below the surface, sometimes swimming underwater, to capture its prey. However, Haney & McGillivary (1985) found Cory's to be dependent on areas of the Atlantic coastal
shelf where prey concentrates near the water's surface. This is perhaps due to the longer wings and less-developed sterna of Calonectris spp. than those of Puffinus, rendering them less suited for deep diving (Brown, Bourne, & Wahl 1978, Condor 80:123-25). Its diet includes small fishes, crabs, offal, and carrion.
Problems of Identification: See Greater Shearwater.
References: Hudson 1963a, Lesser & Williams 1967, C.R. Mason 1964b, Pulich 1982, W.K. Taylor 1976a.
Pufjinus gravis (O'Reilly): Greater Shearwater Distribution: Breeds on several is. in the South Atlantic Ocean and ranges as far north as Greenland and Iceland and south to Tierra del Fuego and South Africa.
Florida Status: A rather irregular visitor to Florida coasts, chiefly in the warmer months and with substantially more reports on the e coast than on the w; accidental inland. It was known in Howell's time (1932) from only 3 reports, 2 being collected specimens off Jacksonville & West Palm Beach. Overlooked by Howell, however, was an earlier specimen taken, fall 1889 near St. Augustine, W.C. Southwick (MPM 89); the first for the Gulf Coast was found dead, Dog I. (not "St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge"; Franklin Co.), W. H. Cross, 29 Jan 1950 (TTRS 2786). Of about 35 known specimens, only 3 or 4 are from the Gulf CoastDog I. (above) & off Shired L, 30 Jul 1974, L. Williams et al. (UF 19137); Ozona (Pinellas Co.), 17 Jul 1976 (GEW); and near Tampa (see below). There are no specimens from the Florida Keys. One was captured and photographed (not seen by us) off Panama City, 12 Sep 1975, J. Harbison (Purrington 1976). The months of Nov-May are represented by only 5 specimens: Ponce Inlet, 26 Nov 1977, B.&S. Stedman (TTRS 3593); 10 mi north, Palm Beach, Dec 1913, T. Knight (in Howell 1932; not found); Indialantic Beach, 10 Dec 1974, M. Seegers (GEW skeleton); Dog I., 29 Jan 1950 (see above); and Jacksonville, 18 Apr 1967, DeWeese (PB 26770). The latest sight observation was "flocks within 50 feet of boat" 15 mi east, Cocoa Beach, 20 Feb 1967, J. Johnson (Cruickshank 1980). The only inland record involved a bird found dead near Tampa (ca. 30 mi from Gulf) by Wayne Hoffman, 28 Sep 1980 (T. R. Huels no. 1085); Hoffman believes the bird may have been transported there. R. Paul (fide B. Pranty in litt.) on 7 Aug 1992 observed a shearwater sp. inland over 1-75, south of Sun City (Hillsborough Co.)possibly this sp. As with Cory's Shearwater, large aggregations are sometimes seen: 200 off Canaveral, 1 Jul 1975, & 100 "dead or dying," s Brevard Co., early Jul 1975 (Ogden 1975b). The highest count in the Gulf is 27 off Panama City, 11 Nov 1974 (Purrington 1975).


14. Greater Shearwater, Puffinus gravis
There are more reports of this shearwater species in the Gulf than of any other.
Haunts and Habits: Highly gregarious the year round, the Greater Shearwater often occurs in flocks of 50-100 or more. When off the U. S. coast, it remains well offshore, usually near the edge of the Continental Shelf, where the water is cooler and food more abundant. Its diet includes small fishes, squid, and crustaceans, taken from the water's surface or just below by diving from the air or while swimming. As with most shearwater species, the Greater is a notorious scavenger, following sea vessels and feeding on waste thrown overboard; it also feeds on fish or mammalian carrion floating on the water's surface. It is especially fond of oily foods. On long, narrow wings, it launches into the air from the crest of a wave. On calm water or land it must run while flapping its wings to become airborne, similar to some diving ducks. Once airborne, shearwaters present a distinctive form with their long, cylindrical bodies and long, narrow wings, flapping, then gliding close to the water's surface on air thermals caused by wave action. When captured or threatened, shearwaters usually regurgitate, or project from their tubular nostrils a smelly, oily fluid. This vitamin-rich oil, similar to that from the oil gland, is regurgitated also when the birds preen and is used to feed their yg. as well. The oil's musty odor lingers on the breeding
grounds long after the birds depart and on museum skins for years.
Problems of Identification: Similar to Cory's Shearwater, but dark cap on head contrasts with lower sides and chin, and bill is dark.
References: Dickie 1948, Duncan & Havard 1980, Imhof 1977b, Kale 1963.
Puffinus griseus (Gmelin): Sooty Shearwater
Distribution: Breeds on is. off the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, and s South America. Ranges virtually throughout the Pacific & Atlantic oceans and into the Mediterranean Sea. A few inland records in the U. S. after storms.
Florida Status: An occasional visitor to all Florida coasts, chiefly in the warmer months; only 7 of ca. 60 reports through 1992 were for Dec-Feb.; rare on the e coast, very rare and irregular along the w, with several reports on the Florida Keys & Dry Tortugas (contra Langridge 1992). Howell (1932) cited 4 reports, 3 based on specimens at New Smyrna (AMNH 349271), Day-tona Beach, & "in the Gulf Stream" (presumably off s Florida), but we have found only 1 of these. Subsequent specimens came from Pensacola, 3 Jan 1935 (skeleton, USNM 345726); Jacksonville Beach, Jul 1957 (GEW 1557), summer 1957 (UF 3005), & Jun 1973 (UF 18925); Vero Beach, 30 May 1969 (GEW 4073); off Windley Key, 21 May 1975 (UMRC 9658); Ft. Lauderdale, 10 Aug 1975 (UMRC 9657); Anastasia River, "May or June" (yr.?; MCZ 226309); Volusia Co., 6 Jun 1991 (UCF 2064); Cocoa Beach, 23 May 1992 (UCF 2079). Among some 50 sight reports, the earliest in spring are 2 between Key West & the Dry Tortugas, 30 Mar 1951, and the latest in fall off Navarre (Santa Rosa Co.), 30 Nov 1986. Winter reports: Pensacola, 3 Jan 1935 & 8 Jan 1950; off Miami, 4 Dec 1952 & 7 Feb 1959; near Key West, 29 Dec 1940; off Cocoa, 27 Dec 1968; & in Florida Bay, 12 Dec 1979. The report of 1 inland, over Guana River SP (St. Johns Co.) 7 Oct 1992 (Pranty 1993a) needs confirmation. Highest counts: 12 off Miami, 25 Nov 1952 (Castenholz 1954), and 6 off Brevard Co. (date?; Cruickshank 1980).
Haunts and Habits: The Sooty Shearwater is the most abundant shearwater species along the U. S. Pacific Coast, but along our Atlantic Coast it is usually outnumbered by Audubon's, Greater, and Cory's. Highly gregarious on the breeding grounds and while migrating, these shearwaters are usually scattered among groups of other shearwater spp. while in our waters, unlike the enormous, unmixed flocks of Sooty Shearwaters that occur along the Pacific Coast. Though pelagic when not breeding, it sometimes feeds close enough to land to be seen from the shore. Occasion-


Shearwaters and Petrels: Manx Shearwater
29
15. Sooty Shearwater, Puffinus griseus
ally it comes into a bay or inlet to feed. Its flight pattern is usually several quick flaps, then a long glide. It feeds in typical shearwater fashion and uses its wings as well as its webbed feet for occasional underwater pursuit of prey. Its diet in the Atlantic is primarily squid, but it also takes small fishes, crustaceans, and carrion.
References: Anon. 1947a, Longstreet 1930.
Puffinus puffinus (Briinnich): Manx Shearwater Distribution: Breeds on is. of the North Atlantic from Iceland around the British Isles to w France, Madeira, and the Azores, and in the Mediterranean Sea; also on is. off Newfoundland and Massachusetts. Ranges throughout the North Atlantic north to Iceland, Norway, and Newfoundland south to the Canary Is. and Argentina; also throughout the Mediterranean & Black seas and rarely into the Gulf of Mexico; occasionally to Greenland, South Africa, and s Australia.
Florida Status: An occasional visitant, chiefly off the Atlantic Coast. The first Florida record was a bird found, Juno Beach, 30 Oct 1960 (Mrs. D. Green; USNM 473608), although some earlier sight reports attributed to Audubon's Shearwater may have been this species. Other specimens have been taken off Key Largo, 8 Dec 1969 (USNM 566279; P.p. puffinus); Vero Beach, 18 Jun 1978 (H. Kale 1961; PB 38434, skeleton);
Sebastian Inlet, 1 Jan 1979 (GEW 5302); Santa Rosa I., 16 Jan 1981 (C. & D. Brownold; UF 20622; P.p. puffinus); Upper Matecumbe Key (Monroe Co.), 10 Apr 1989 (ABS 84). Ca. 20 sight reports through 1992, but only the above record, Santa Rosa I., was on the Gulf Coast. A bird recovered, Jacksonville, 21 Nov 1982 (preserved?), had been banded in the Atlantic Ocean ca. 4500 mi to the ENE (Meade & Hudson 1983). Of the remaining sightings, 8 have been off Canaveral & the others off Grant, Miami Beach, Ft. Pierce, & Sebastian Inlet. The earliest sight reports, fall: 2, Grant (Brevard Co.), 31 Aug 1967, and 3 off Canaveral, 9 Oct 1974 (both sightings by J. Johnson); and 3 other Oct sightings. The latest seen in spring: 18 mi off Canaveral, 7 Apr 1975, R. Barber & J. Johnson; Monroe Co., 10 Apr 1989 (see above); 27 mi off Cocoa, 11 Apr 1988, D. Heathcote & J. Johnson; off Miami Beach, 8 May 1976, J.B. Edscorn & J. Abram-son; and the summer specimen (above). One each was reported on the NE Florida Pelagic CBC, 2 Jan 1988; on the St. Augustine CBC, 16 Dec 1989; and SW of Marquesas, 11 June 1977, Alachua Aud. Soc. (Edscorn 1977b). All were published without details.
Haunts and Habits: The Manx Shearwater is a slightly larger version of Audubon's Shearwater. Its flight pattern differs from the latter species' in the slower wingbeats and longer periods of gliding. It is a
16. Manx Shearwater, Puffinus puffinus


proficient swimmer both on and below the water's surface, where it forages. The species is also known to dive from the air. If feeds on small fishes, crustaceans, and squids. The acute homing ability of this species has been demonstrated in a number of experiments that captured ads. on the nest and released them at some distant site. In one such experiment, 2 individuals were captured off the coast of Wales and released in Boston, MA. One individual was back on its nest 12V2 days later, having traveled 3200 statute mi, thus averaging 244 miles/ day.
Problems of Identification: Color pattern as in Audubon's Shearwater, except for its white undertail coverts; body slightly larger and tail less wedge-shaped.
References: Harris, M.P. 1966. Breeding biology of the Manx Shearwater, Puffinus puffinus. Ibis 108: 17-33.
Duncan 1988a, Langridge 1983a.
[Puffinus assimilis Gould: Little Shearwater]
Distribution: Breeds in the e Atlantic and off Australia & New Zealand; ranges at sea in s Atlantic & Indian oceans. Accidental in Hawaiian Is., Nova Scotia, & South Carolina; sight records from Puerto Rico & off the North Carolina coast (AOU 1983).
Florida Status: D. Lee (1988) reported the description of a dead shearwater provided to him by R. Barber (Oct 1985) that Lee believed might refer to this species. The bird was found by Barber, Playalinda Beach (Brevard Co.), 18 Aug 1971, but was not preserved. Barber described the bird as having blue feet.
Problems of Identification: Audubon's, Manx, and Little are black-and-white shearwaters that are difficult to identify in life. Lee (ibid.) gives an excellent account for their identifications.
Puffinus Iherminieri Lesson: Audubon's Shearwater Distribution: Breeds in Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, on is. off the Greater Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, and the Virgin Is.: also on is. in the e Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, and the Pacific Ocean. Ranges as far north as Massachusetts, south to Costa Rica and Panama, and west to Louisiana and Texas; in the Pacific, from Oaxaca to Panama and Colombia; also to Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia.
Florida Status: A frequent and regular summer visitant off the e coast, less numerous in the Keys & the Gulf of Mexico. Howell (1932) knew of several reports, including 4 specimens; those attributed to H. H. Bailey off Miami Beach are probably UF 15521 & 15522, taken 28 Apr & 21 May 1931. An old specimen not listed by Howell came from Green Key (Tampa Bay),
17. Audubon's Shearwater, Puffinus Iherminieri
"April 1884" (AMNH 3815). Possibly 150 reports (including ca. 50 specimens) through 1992. Audubon Shearwaters have been reported in every month of the year. When transcribing published reports and specimens, we found that most occurred Apr-Oct, but there were no reports after 3 Nov and through 19 Nov, nor between 8 Mar and 29 Mar. Between 20 Nov & 8 Mar, we found 17 reports, only 5 after 23 Jan. Winter specimens: Biscayne Bay, 21 Dec 1968 (UMRC 7063); off Plantation Key, 1 Jan 1970 (UF 15850); & Ft. Pierce, 11 Dec 1976 (GEW). The disposition of 2 reported dead, 1 at MacArthur SP Beach (Palm Beach Co.), 3 Feb 1988, and another near Vero Beach, 4 Mar 1976, is unknown. A putative Audubon's Shearwater was photographed off Cape Canaveral, 23 Jan 1977, by R. D. Barber (TTRS P437), but the slide did not show the features necessary to distinguish it from the Manx Shearwater (D. Lee, in litt., 8 Jul 1987). "Decayed remains" found 3 Dec 1963, Vilano Beach, were of 1 that probably had died in Nov (skull, TTRS 3586). Of ca. 94 reports through 1979, 67 came from the e coast, 22 from the Keys, and 5 from the w coast (Clapp, Banks et al. 1982). A bird collected at Santa Rosa I., 1 Oct 1954 (LSU 20342), and the Green Key bird are the only specimens from the Gulf Coast. Highest counts: 420 off Islamorada, 8 May 1977; "more than 400" off Marathon, 30 May 1968. As to a report of 18 off Miami, 25 Nov 1952, note that sight reports in


winter may pertain to P. puffinus, although that species has yet to be reported in such numbers in Florida. The only published overland report pertains to 1 bird seen flying over U.S. Hwy. A1A, Guano River (St. Johns Co.), following Hurricane Dora, 10 Sep 1964.
Haunts and Habits: During winter and early spring, Audubon's Shearwaters breed on tropical is. not far from Florida, digging burrows or finding rocky crevices. One white egg is the normal clutch. The birds are largely nocturnal at this season. Away from the colony they are usually silent, but when leaving and returning to the nest they are very vocal. Unlike the highly migratory, temperate-zone spp. of shearwaters, these tropical birds have no true migration pattern but disperse throughout the breeding areas, usually not wandering for great distances. Audubon's Shearwater flies with rapid, fluttering wingbeats and short glides close to the water's surface. Its feeding habits are similar to those of larger shearwaters. Its diet is primarily squid and small fishes. Along with petrels, other shearwaters, and some other sea birds, Audubon's Shearwater is often storm-borne beyond its usual range.
Problems of Identification: See Manx Shearwater.
References: Bailey 1933b, Duncan & Havard 1980, Murray 1954, Palmer 1931, Pantelidis 1967a.
Specimen Sight record report
")Sr Breeding /\ Spring Summer
V Fal1 I I Winter
Season Unknown
Questionable report
Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding rang
18. Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Oceanites oceanicus
Family Oceanitidae, Storm-Petrels.
(Olson [1987] has pointed out that the synonym Hy-drobatidae [AOU 1983] is held to be invalid by a number of authors.) Small marine birds of mostly dark plumage; up to ca. 10 in. in total length. The single nostril tube is divided along the middle. The birds hover low over water while feeding. Nest in burrows or crevices; 1 egg; yg. altricial and downy. All oceans; 22 spp.
Oceanites oceanicus (Kuhl): Wilson's Storm-Petrel Distribution: Breeds on is. in the s extremities of Atlantic, Pacific, & Indian oceans. Ranges north (summer) in the Atlantic to Labrador and the British Isles, in the Mediterranean, throughout the Indian Ocean, and in the Pacific north to Peru and (rarely) Ecuador.
Florida Status: Probably a regular summer visitant offshore, though usually in small numbers. Howell (1932) listed only a few reports and no specimens, but the far greater numbers of observers going offshore in recent decades have made such observations commonplace (ca. 100 reports through 1992). The first Florida specimen was collected 20 mi off Cape Canaveral, 5 Aug 1960, HMS (TTRS 3523); a second came from Ormond Beach, 27 Jun 1969, Mrs. H. Starkey (1969-70; UCF 192), & a third, from 15 mi off Ponce Inlet, 15 Aug 1973 (PB 35806; now UF 22194). According to Clapp, Banks, et al. (1982) there were 56 reports in
Florida through 197926 on the e coast, 18 on the w coast, and 12 on the Keys. Extreme dates come from near Canaveral14 Apr 1981 & 3 Nov 1974. Loftin et al. (1987) is the only published Mar occurrence of a storm-petrel in Florida, but the birds were not identified to species. Four inland sightings have been reported, 1 at Bivin's Arm, near Gainesville, 10 Jun 1948 (Sprunt IV 1949; in litt., Nov 1986); another, on the Marco River "several miles east of the Gulf," 25 Apr 1977 (Kale 1977a), was nevertheless over salt water. Two other inland occurrences have been referred to this species: 1, Lake Parker (Polk Co.), 16 Jul 1980, was assumed for unstated reason to be a Wilson's; and 1, 16 mi SW of Mariana (Jackson Co.), 25 Sep 1975 (2 days after the passage of Hurricane Eloise) was initially called Wilson's but later was considered "unidentified" (Gray & Scott 1976, HMS 1977a, Purrington 1977). Maxima: 1000 were seen off Tavernier, 31 May 1992 (R. Sawicki fide B. Pranty in litt.). A. Cruick-shank (1980), referring to Brevard Co., mentioned numbers of "over 100 on several occasions." Grayce (1952), summer 1952, saw 70 off s Florida, but it is not clear whether the number represents a total for more than 1 day. Other high counts are: 60, Seven-Mile Bridge (Keys), 26 Jul 1973; 54 off Ponce Inlet, 21(?) May 1977; "up to 50" off Duck Key, 16-21 May 1962. It should be mentioned, however, that when wander-


ing seabirds appear as scattered individuals or small flocks over a large area with no landmarks, precise counts are infeasible. Several recent observations are of birds within sight of land: Key Biscayne, 5 May 1990, V. Edens; Snake Bight Channel (Dade Co.), 14 May 1990, D. Ligget; Flagler Beach, 24 May 1991, L. Bremer & P. Powell; & Ft. Clinch SP (Nassau Co.), 27 May 1991, H. Tyner.
Haunts and Habits: Wilson's Storm-Petrel is considered by some authorities to be the most abundant avian species in the world. When migrating and summering in the Northern Hemisphere, it usually occurs singly or in small flocks, often following in the wake of ships or fishing boats, where it finds food brought to the surface of the churned water. Most food is picked up off the surface while the bird is either flying or floating on the water. It feeds mainly on plankton, especially euphausiid crustaceans, small cephalopods, and fishes, as well as food scraps thrown from sea vessels. Its flight is like that of a swallow, graceful and fluttering, with intermittent gliding. With its bill pointed downward, long feet dangling, and toes often touching the water, it appears to dance across the surface.
Problems of Identification: Similar to other Florida storm-petrels, but covering of tarsus is not divided into scales, and webbing is yellowish; tail not notched or forked.
References: Pantelidis 1966a, Pantelidis & Pantelidis 1967a.
[Fregetta grallaria (Vieillot): White-bellied Storm-Petrel]
Distribution: Breeds on is. in s oceans, ranging northward to near the equator.
Florida Status: The Florida record of 7 specimens caught on hook and line, St. Marks, 1800s (Howell 1932), referred to the Black-bellied Storm-Petrel (F. tropica), but Bourne (1964, and in Palmer 1962) determined from measurements reported by G.N. Lawrence that those birds belonged to the present species. None of the 7 specimens are presently known to exist.
Reference: HMS 1976.
Oceanodroma leucorhoa (Vieillot): Leach's Storm-Petrel
Distribution: Breeds in the n Atlantic & Pacific oceans and on their coasts, south to n Scotland, Massachusetts, Baja California, and n Japan, ranging to South America, n & e South America, Indonesia, New Guinea, Hawaii, and the Galapagos Is.; casual in w Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.
Florida Status: Rare on both coasts in summer; accidental inland. Howell (1932) included this species in
19. Leach's Storm-Petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa
his Hypothetical List, having only H. H. Bailey's comment that it occurred in migration in the Gulf Stream. There were ca. 50 reports through 1992. The first certain report for the state was of a disabled bird caught, Daytona Beach, 12 May 1944, but apparently the specimen was not preserved (Longstreet 1945d). Nineteen specimens have been located: Eau Gallie (Brevard Co.), 11 Sep 1960 (TTRS 2808); Anna Maria I. (Manatee Co.), 30 May 1965 (GEW 2727); Daytona Beach, 19 Jun 1967 (UCF 34); St. Augustine Beach, 30 May 1972 (UF 20813); Bear Lake (Seminole Co.), 10 Jun 1973 (UF 20813); Tallahassee, 4 Jul 1976 (TTRS 3483); near Stuart, 19 Oct 1978 (TTRS 3685); Martin Co., 7 Nov 1979 (UF 20313); St. Johns Co., 25 May 1991 (UCF 2062); & 10 others picked up dead on beaches, Nassau & Duval cos., 23-26 May 1991 (UF) following a storm. The specimens from Seminole Co. & Tallahassee represent inland occurrences, & W. H. Cross saw 1 at very close range over Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), 13 Jun 1947. Another inland report published without details referred to a moribund bird evidently not salvaged, Lakeland (Polk Co.), 2 Jun 1972, and is questionable (Edscorn 1980a). Other sightings came from St. Joseph Bay (Hallman in Sprunt 1954d), Anna Maria I., Ft. Pierce, Cocoa, Mayport, Canaveral, Clearwater, Ponce Inlet, Jensen Beach, Florida Bay, Martin Co., & Boyn-ton Beach. Through 1979, there were 10 reports off the


e coast, & 6 off the w coast (Clapp, Banks, et al., 1982), and 3 inland reports. Maximum: 4 off Ft. Pierce, 31 May 1965.
Migration: Northward passage through Florida is late, the earliest sighting being 29 Apr 1978 off Ponce Inlet, & 9 reports in Jun & Jul probably represent northbound birds, the latest, 15 Jul 1974. Some apparently migrate at night, as the Tallahassee specimen listed above fell into a parking lot near midnight. Birds considered southbound have been reported, 15 Aug 1976-7 Nov 1979 (above), though the latter bird may have been held in captivity for a few days before its death. However, the lateness of this postulated spring migration may suggest that some non-breeders are remaining south of the breeding range, as Bent (1922) found fresh eggs in Jun and heavily incubated eggs at 2 sites in Jul.
Haunts and Habits: Nighthawk-like, Leach's Storm-Petrel flies erratically above the surface of the water with deep wingbeats. It rarely dangles its feet, pattering the water's surface, as does Wilson's Storm-Petrel. Unlike that species, Leach's seldom follows ocean vessels closely, but will scavenge food scraps thrown overboard. Its diet is primarily small crustaceans, mollusks, and fishes. It rarely dives for food but usually picks it up from the water's surface while flying or floating on the water.
Problems of Identification: Similar to other Florida storm-petrels in size and color pattern, but tail definitely forked. Tarsus scaled (reticulate); webbing dark. Dark central vein (shaft) on the white rump feathers (D. Lee, in litt., Dec 1987).
References: Wilbur, A.M. 1969. The breeding biology of Leach's Petrel. Auk 86:433-42.
Buhrman & Hopkins 1978b, Mager 1968, Rohwer & Woolfenden 1968a, Sprunt IV 1949.
Oceanodroma castro (Harcourt): Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
Distribution: Breeds on various is. in the Atlantic & Pacific oceans. Ranges from its breeding grounds to various points on the Atlantic Coast of North & South America and to the British Isles.
Florida Status: Very rare visitor along both coasts; ca. 15 published reports through 1992. Haney (1985a) found it to be rare to uncommon ca. 30-100 km offshore along the South Atlantic Bight, from Volusia Co. northward, 29 Apr (1984) to 4 Sep (1983). Specimens-Key West, 21-29 Oct 1958, kept alive for 8 days (Sprunt 1963c) (TTRS 2835); 35 mi off Cape San Bias (Gulf Co.), 6 Dec 1958 (TTRS 2788); Pensacola Beach, 20 Aug 1969 (LSU 67960); Pass-a-Grille, 10 Oct 1977 (GEW 5122). Sight reports: Upper Matecumbe Key, 1
subspecies breeding range
20. Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Oceanodroma castro
Jun 1973, 1 caught, measured, photographed (TTRS P228), & released (Kale 1973b); off Cape Canaveral, 15 Sep 1974 (Edscorn 1975a); off Boynton Beach, 11 Jul 1982 (Paul 1982); (number?) ca. 102 mi east of Jacksonville Beach, 1 May 1984 (Haney 1985a). Other reports have been published without details: Ft. Jefferson NM, 24 Apr, and between Dry Tortugas & Key West, 12 May 1991, W. Biggs et ah, 2, off Canaveral National Seashore, 30 Oct 1991, H. Robinson (Cox 1992); Rebecca Shoals (Monroe Co.), 21 Apr 1992, D. Sibley & P. Holt; near Key West, 1 May 1992, "J.H." et al.\ and ca. 30 mi east of Sebastian Inlet (Brevard Co.), 30 May 1992, D. Goodwin et al. A storm-petrel reported inland, 16 mi SW of Mariana (Jackson Co.), originally identified as Wilson's, was later considered "unidentified'' because the observers were unable to rule out Band-rumped as a possibility (Gray & Scott 1976, HMS 1977a, Purrington 1977).
Haunts and Habits: Away from its breeding grounds, the Band-rumped Storm-Petrel is usually a solitary wanderer. In flight it is less erratic than Leach's Storm-petrel and it frequently glides. Little is known about its post-breeding movements and diet. Band-rumpeds apparently prefer upwellings along the outer coastal shelf where large concentrations of zooplankton and nekton occur and may be used as food (Haney 1985a).
Problems of Identification: Differs from other Flor-


ida storm-petrels in its combination of a square-tipped tail, reticulate tarsus, and dark webbing between toes. The white upper tail coverts are dark-tipped but without dark shafts (D. Lee in litt., Dec 1987). Any undocumented report of this species is questionable.
References: Baxter 1970; Hallman 1966a; Hames 1959; Sykes, Langridge, & Trotsky 1984.
ORDER PELECANIFORMES:
Six families of aquatic, often marine, birds of medium to large size, with webbing attached to all 4 toes (toti-palmate) and usually with a gular pouch. Wings long; 11 primaries; 12-14 rectrices. Nostrils reduced or lacking. Legs short and stout. Largely piscivorous. Mostly colonial nesters. Both sexes incubate the eggs and feed yg. by regurgitation. Families: tropicbirds, pelicans, boobies, cormorants, anhingas, and frigatebirds.
References: Austin 1961, Bent 1922, Huizinga 1971, Lanham 1947, Murphy 1936 (vol. 2), Owre 1962a, Palmer 1962, Van Tyne & Berger 1976.
Family Phaethontidae, Tropicbirds.
Three medium-sized spp. of highly pelagic birds with mostly white plumage, but with some black on head, wings, and tail; sexes alike. Tarsi and toes small; wings long and pointed; central rectrices elongate. Bill dagger-shaped and gular pouch lacking; culmen decurved; nostrils open. Birds live in tropical seas, usually far offshore, and capture prey by plunge-diving. One egg, laid on bare cliffs on islands; yg. downy, altricial. 3 spp.
Phaethon lepturus Daudin: White-tailed Tropicbird Distribution: Breeds on scattered is. in the Indian, Pacific, & Atlantic oceans (including Bermuda, the Bahamas, Greater & Lesser Antilles) from 30 N to 20 S of the Equator. Ranges to South Africa, Australia, and in the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina southward and, casually, in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Florida Status: A casual summer visitor in the Florida Keys and off the e coast; accidental in the n Gulf of Mexico. Howell (1932) knew of the species on the basis of 3 rather indefinite reports and a specimen from near Merritt I., 21 Apr 1886 (earliest in spring; MCZ 219094). We know of 13 other specimens that have been preserved since: Satellite Beach, 17 Jun 1972 (UCF 1153); Brevard Co., 1977 (LACM 86080); Alachua Co. (only inland specimen), 12 Aug 1955 (UF 3225); Ft. Lauderdale, 1 on 21 Jul 1973 & 2 on 21 Jul 1974 (UMRC 8175, 9283, & 9659); Upper Matecumbe Key, 2 Jul 1957 (UMRC 1536); Pinellas Co., 31 Aug 1977 (GEW 5107); St. Johns Co., 22 May 1977 (UF 19535); St. Augustine, 24 Sep 1979 (UF 20896); Vero
21. White-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus
Beach, 6 Sep 1973 (PB 35282), & near there, 20 Oct
1973 (PB 35396); & Hobe Sound (Martin Co.), 19 Sep 1983 (TTRS 3734). Clapp, Banks, et al. (1982) gave a total of 40 reports through 1979, but this number appears low in view of Cruickshank's (1980) claim of 20 reports from Brevard Co. alone (some not previously published); 8 additional reports there, 1980-84. There are few reports in the Gulf north of the Dry Tortugas, including 1 seen off Siesta Key, 31 May 1977, 1 found near St. Petersburg, 31 Aug 1977 (GEW 5107), and dubious reports off St. Marks based on descriptions (Howell 1932; Ogden & Stevenson 1965). We are unaware of the basis for D. Goodwin's claim of a summer occurrence, Pinellas Co. (check-list, 1988). Extreme dates: earliest, mid-Mar 1983, Dry Tortugas (Kale 1983c); latest, 20 Oct (specimen cited above). Not accepted: Palm Beach, 24 Dec 1932 (Bland 1933); Navarre Beach, 27 Jan 1989 (Muth 1990); Hobe Sound, 3 Feb 1988 (Ogden 1988). Maxima: 8-10, Dry Tortugas, Summer 1832, J.J. Audubon (Howell 1932); up to 6 there, 1983 & 1984, and 8-10, 1992 (date?; Robertson & Woolfenden 1992).
Breeding: Not definitely known to nest in Florida, but breeding suggested by the appearance of 1-2 prs., Dry Tortugas, with 1 in "courtship displays," spring
1974 (Kale 1974b), and in "courtship flight," early Apr
1975 (Kale 1975c). In spring 1984 a bird sat in Ft. Jefferson "in incubating position" until 25 Jun (Paul 1984).


It has been reported there almost every year, in spring, since early 1970s. On its nearest breeding grounds it nests in spring on cliffs that are remotely simulated by this fort on Garden Key (Dry Tortugas).
Haunts and Habits: Not far from our coast, this tro-picbird breeds in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles, where limestone cliffs provide caves and crevices in which it lays a single, spotted egg early in spring. The species is essentially pelagic year-round, traveling as far as 100 mi from its breeding sites to feed. Its flight is tern-like with rapid wingbeats, and it sometimes glides or soars for brief periods. It forages from high in the air, then banks and plunges like a tern below the water's surface, securing its preymostly flying fishes and squids. The tropicbird sometimes rests on the water, where it holds its tail erect.
Problems of Identification: See Red-billed Tropic-bird.
References: Grimes 1951a, Lee et al. 1981, Longstreet 1960b, McKay 1951b.
Phaethon aethereus Linnaeus: Red-billed Tropicbird Distribution: Breeds on various is. in the Indian & Pacific oceans from about the latitude of Hawaii south to n Australia. Ranges in the Atlantic Ocean from Rhode Island and New York south to Brazil, in the Pacific from the Gulf of California south to Peru, and in the n Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf.
Florida Status: Casual off the Atlantic coast. Unknown to Florida until J. Johnson saw one 31 mi off Cape Canaveral, 9 Jul 1964. It gained full acceptance to the state list, 9 Oct 1975, when 1 was captured and photographed, Ponte Vedra Beach, later becoming a museum specimen (Ron Davis; UF 19291). Another specimen was provided by a moribund bird found, Hutchinson I. (Martin Co.), 1 Sep 1979, which died 5 Sep (GEW 5223). One was found moribund, 27 Aug 1986, Hutchinson I. (St. Lucie Co.), J.M. Brooks; it died 3 Sep and reportedly the carcass was donated to USF (A&A 1987); however, G.E. Woolfenden (in. litt., Feb 1992) had no knowledge of the whereabouts of this bird. The number given by Robertson & Woolfenden (1992), "ca. 10," included unpublished reports known to them (W. B. Robertson, Jr., pers. comm.).
Problems of Identification: As compared with P. lepturus, the bill is red and thick (ca. 20-21 mm deep at exposed base, vs. 18 in lepturus) and shafts of central rectrices are white; in lepturus, bill is yellow to orange, and shafts of central rectrices are dark above. P. lepturus has cross-barring on the back, and the tail length (middle rectrices) sometimes exceeds 700 mm in ads.; aethereus lacks the cross bars and its tail length is less than 500 mm. The Red-billed Tropicbird has 14
rectrices, the White-tailed only 12. One specimen (UF 19535), St. Johns Co., 22 May 1977, originally identified as aethereus, was reidentified as lepturus.
Family Sulidae, Boobies and Gannets.
Large marine birds with relatively straight, somewhat compressed bills with serrations on the cutting edges. Bill not hooked at top; nostrils closed; gular pouch small. Tarsi short, but feet large. Tail wedge-shaped. Ads. of most spp. largely white with some black in wings; facial skin and toes brightly colored. Feed by plunge-diving. Nest on ground (including cliffs) or in trees; 1-3 eggs; yg. naked, altricial. Tropical & temperate oceans; 9 spp.
References: Nelson, J.B. 1978. The Sulidae: Gannets and Boobies. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Sula dactylatra Lesson: Masked Booby Distribution: Breeds on is. in Atlantic Ocean from the s Bahamas & Dry Tortugas (1984) through the Lesser Antilles to is. off Venezuela and Brazil; in the Pacific from Mexico and Hawaii south to the Galapagos, Chile, and e Australia; in the Indian Ocean south to nw Australia. Ranges north to the Gulf of Mexico and North Carolina, and south to e Australia and South Africa.
Florida Status: Regular in small numbers on the Dry Tortugas; a casual visitor (chiefly in summer) to other parts of the Florida coast. Howell (1932) referred to records by Bartsch, Dry Tortugas, including a specimen, 16 May 1919 (USNM 255252), and 1 seen off Palm Beach Co., H.H. Bailey, 1922. By 1992 there were ca. 150 reports, including the following additional specimens: St. Petersburg, 14-20 Sep 1971 (GEW 4560); Dade Co., Apr 1973 (UMRC 9911); Bald Point (Franklin Co.), 8 Sep 1979 (skull; TTRS 3657); Panama City, 8 Jun 1981 (USNM 571355); Dog I. (Franklin Co.), 26 Oct 1985 (UF 21242); off Key West, 22 Feb 1941, originally identified as Blue-footed Booby, S. nebouxii (skeleton; UMRC 2110). Photographs: near Ft. Pierce, 18 Feb 1979 (TTRS P181-2); Destin, 14 Aug 1982 (TTRS P356); near Panama City, summer 1984, 1 seen by HMS & many others, photo in Panama City News-Herald (11 Sep 1984). Winter reports: 2, Dry Tortugas, 1 Jan 1955; Crandon Park (Miami), mid-Feb 1964; Brevard Co., 8 Jan 1968 (Cruickshank 1980); Destin, 23 Nov 1974, Ft. Pierce, 27 Dec 1976. Maxima: The Dry Tortugas had 31 on 27 Apr 1985 (Middle Key), 17 on 29 Apr 1971, & 10 on 25 Mar 1984; St. George I. had 9 on 21 Apr 1984 (G. Graves in Kale 1984); Robertson & Woolfenden (1992) reported "up to ca. 50 individuals" (emphasis added), Dry Tortugas, but provided no date.
Breeding: An increase of this booby on the Dry Tor-


subspecies breeding range
22. Masked Booby, Sula dactylatra
tugas was noted in May 1982, when 14 were counted (Kale 1982). On 25 Mar 1984, T. Rutledge saw 10 on seldom-visited Middle Key, 1 of which was incubating an egg (Kale 1984). This attempt failed due to high tides in May, but T. Rutledge had found an egg of this booby on East Key, less than 2 mi distant from Middle Key, 13 Mar 1984 (Clapp & Robertson 1986). In winter 1984-85, a pr. "attempted to breed at Hospital Key" (Hoffman 1985). Kale (1985) stated that, despite the presence of 31 on Middle Key, 27 Apr 1985, there was "no evidence of nesting . this season," but in Apr & May 1986 "several pairs" attempted to nest there but failed (Langridge 1986; also see Clapp & Robertson 1986); 24 were counted there, 1987 (B. Basham in Langridge 1987). One "fairly well-grown juvenile at Hospital Key, ca. 1 March 1988" (P. W. Smith, in litt.). Three appeared to be incubating there, 1989 (Langridge 1989a). Although we were unable to find any published report of nesting in 1990 or 1992, Robertson & Woolfenden (1992) reported that the species has nested there annually since 1984. Two large chicks were observed there, 26 Feb 1991 (Ogden 1991), and 2 nests with eggs "washed away" (Langridge 1991a).
Haunts and Habits: The 6 spp. of boobies (Sula) are tropical sea birds, usually breeding and roosting on small oceanic is. Though occasionally traveling as far as 100 mi from the breeding colony to feed, most ads.
remain in the vicinity of the colony year-round. Some ads. and most yg. disperse and remain at sea until ready to breed. A few wash up on our shores as dead or dying individuals; others are carried inland during storms or rest on sea vessels, being thus transported into coastal waters. Boobies forage at varying heights above water, alternately flapping their wings and gliding, sometimes soaring. They dive from above the water or from its surface, feeding mainly on fishes, especially species of flying fish (Exocoetus spp.), sometimes taking squids. Air spaces located subcutaneously in the neck and breast are inflated prior to diving and cushion the aerial plunge. Boobies are frequently robbed of their prey by large frigatebirds that harass them until they disgorge their food, which is then caught in midair by the agile frigates. The Masked Booby usually rests on beaches or sandbars. It tends to wander farther from its breeding grounds than do other spp. of boobies.
Problems of Identification: Ad. resembles ad. Red-footed Booby (light morph) and Northern Gannet, but black at hind edge of stretched wing extends to body, and tail is black; imm. differs from ad. Brown Booby in having light patch on back. Imm. may also resemble brown morph of Red-footed Booby.
References: J. Russell 1937b, HMS 1980b.
[Sula variegata (Tschudi): Peruvian Booby] Distribution: "Breeds on is. off coasts of Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, and ranges at sea off western South America. Accidental off the Pacific coast of Panama" (AOU 1987).
Florida Status: Robertson & Woolfenden (1992) reported a specimen of this booby at ANSP (5323) labeled "Florida" and "J.J. Audubon" as donor, without a date. These authors point out that ANSP 5322, another variegata, is labeled "Peru indicating that the Florida location may be spurious. Having included several extralimital spp. in Birds of America (1927-38), Audubon would not likely have omitted this species from that work if he believed that the booby had been taken in Florida.
Reference: Aid, C.S., G.G. Montgomery, and D.W. Mock. 1985. Extension of the Peruvian Booby to Panama during the 1983 El Nino. Colonial Waterbirds 8:67-68.
Sula leucogaster (Boddaert): Brown Booby Distribution: Breeds on is. in the tropics and sub-tropics of the Atlantic, Pacific, & Indian oceans. Strays to Massachusetts, Bermuda, and the n Gulf Coast; from California to Ecuador; and to Hawaii, Japan, and Australia; rarely to Nova Scotia, the lower Colorado River, and New Zealand.


Florida Status: Apparently a rare but regular resident at the Dry Tortugas and an occasional visitor on other parts of the Florida coast; accidental inland. Ca. 140 published reports through 1992. Howell (1932) cited reports from St. Augustine, Cape Canaveral, near Micco (Brevard Co.), Volusia Co., & Key West (specimen). The specimen is probably the bird listed in the USNM catalog under "Sula? taken, Key West, 23 Oct 1929 (as in Howell), but the specimen is now missing. Sixteen additional specimens have been found: 5 from the Dry Tortugas, 4 from the Florida Keys, 2 from St. Lucie Co., 1 from "Florida," and 1 each from Dade Co., Lee Co., Hutchinson I., and the Strait of Florida. It is surprising that all 16 specimens came from s Florida, as many sight reports exist for c Florida (more than 20 from Brevard Co.) and n Florida. The location of a specimen taken by Shannon, 13 Dec 1932, Mosquito Lagoon (Longstreet 1953), is unknown; 1 was photographed, Jan 1968, Tampa, by G.E. Woolfenden et al. (HMS 1968b; "photo to FSU"). N Florida sightings come from Pensacola, Destin, Panama City, St. Joseph Point, St. Vincent I., Mayport, Seahorse Key, and Volusia, Brevard, & Duval cos., and various other points. Two birds have been reported from Lake Okeechobee, the only inland observations: Port Myakka, 27 Nov 1980 (P. Sykes), & near Clewis-ton, 17 Jan 1983 (R. Cooper). A sight report attributed to R.J. Longstreet at Coronado (Howell 1932) was later retracted (Longstreet 1953). Maxima: R.P. Allen saw 14 off the sw Florida coast, 3 May 1956 (HMS 1956b); Frank M. Chapman saw 12 off the mouth of the St. Johns River, 11 Mar 1907 (Grimes 1943b); and John & Lauri DeWeese (1955) counted 8, Dry Tortugas, 1 Jan 1955.
Breeding: Howell (1932) cited breeding reports of Audubon's, Dry Tortugas, 1832, but this record was discounted because the nests were placed in bushes and contained only 1 egg (or hatchling) each. HMS found a 2-egg set, UF collection (no. 358), labeled "Sula leu-cogastra, near Key West, Jun 1891." Tom Webber agreed to compare these eggs with those known of the Brown Booby and other members of the Pelecani-formes. He was unable to match them with any Sula or Phalacrocorax; HMS had previously determined that they were not eggs of the Brown Pelican. Thus the breeding of this species of booby cannot be accredited to Florida at this time. The Brown Booby nests on the ground, typically laying 1-2 eggs.
Haunts and Habits: S. leucogaster is the species of booby most likely to be seen from shore, as it sometimes ventures into shallow waters along our coast to feed. Diving from as high as 50 ft and plunging into water like a Brown Pelican, it secures its prey, mainly
23. Brown Booby, Sula leucogaster
flying fishes (Exocoetus spp.) and mullets (Mugil spp.). Like other boobies, it is buoyant and sits high on the water's surface, where it may rest or dive to fish. Unlike the Masked Booby, it prefers to rest and roost on an elevated perch such as a tree, buoy, piling, or ship's rigging. The Brown Booby is frequently harassed by frigatebirds for its food cache.
Problems of Identification: See Masked Booby.
References: Collett 1972, Hampton 1969, C.R. Mason 1960d, Nicholson 1960b, Saunders 1969.
Sula sula (Linnaeus): Red-footed Booby Distribution: Breeds on is. in tropical and subtropical parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, & Indian oceans, straying to Cuba, Florida, the Hawaiian Is., Middle and Central America, and the Bay of Bengal.
Florida Status: Known from 15-20 recent reports as a casual visitor to the Dry Tortugas, Apr-Sep, and virtually accidental at other points in s Florida. Howell (1932) stated, without explanation, that Bartsch's reports of this species, Dry Tortugas, 1919-20, "refer instead" to the Masked (Blue-faced) Booby. He also (1932:473) rejected Bangs' report of large numbers fishing off Brevard Co., 16 Feb 1895, even though Bangs was able to compare their size with that of the Brown Boobies also seen there. A third doubtful report is that of D.J. Nicholson (1955a), whose identification of an


24. Red-footed Booby, Sula sula
imm. off Neptune Beach was based on R. C. Murphy's alleged statement "that this is the only species of North American booby [in] which young are of a solid dark coloration." Note, however, Palmer's (1962:290-91) description of the Brown Booby in first-year plumage.
The first positive record in Florida was a sick bird found, Clearwater Beach, 30 Sep 1963 (GEW 2325; Woolfenden 1965a). A second bird was photographed, Dry Tortugas, 1964 (ENP R5a-f and TTRS P64), where it was present 14-30 Jun. Another bird was photographed, Tortugas, 27-28 Jul 1968 (photo not seen). The species continued to visit there in early summer in 1970, 1974, 1977, 1978 (20 mi NW), 1979, & 1982 and most yrs. thereafter, including 1 reported 19 Mar 1991, P.W. Smith. Others have been reported, with few or no details, off Cocoa Beach, 18 Sep 1975 (Cruickshank 1980); off Bahia Honda Key, 6 May 1978 (Kale 1979); & at Lake Worth, spring 1980 (Kale 1980). A second specimen was obtained, Dog I. (Franklin Co.), after a hurricane, 26 Oct 1985 (UF 21242). Extreme dates: 19 Mar & 26 Oct; no more than 2-3 seen at a time.
Haunts and Habits: The Red-footed Booby is the smallest and most sedentary of our Sulids. It prefers to rest in a bush or tree, on a buoy, or on the rigging of ships. Its foraging habits and diet are similar to those of other booby species. However, squids comprise a larger proportion of its diet, many taken under crepus-
cular conditions when they come closer to the water's surface. This booby has proportionately larger eyes than those of other boobies, enabling it to locate the cepha-lopod prey under these low-light conditions.
Problems of Identification: The brown morph is the form most likely to be seen in Florida and is the only form thus far reported. See Masked Booby.
Moms bassanus (Linnaeus): Northern Gannet
Distribution: Breeds on is. in the n Atlantic Ocean south to New Brunswick, Great Britain, and n Norway. Winters from Massachusetts south to the Florida Keys and west to Texas; also from European breeding range south to nw Africa and Mediterranean Sea.
Florida Status: An uncommon to common (occasionally abundant) winter resident on the upper e coast, generally rare to uncommon in s Florida and on the Gulf Coast; occasional in summer; casual inland. Although Longstreet (1953) mentioned a decrease, 1930s & 1940s, there is little doubt that gannets have greatly increased in Florida during this century. Howell (1932) listed several sight reports from both coasts and a specimen, West Palm Beach, 1902 (UF 14191); other old specimens: St. Augustine, Dec 1885 (FMNH 33506); Deerfield (Beach?), 1 Mar 1914 (MPM 11709); & Key Biscayne, 26 Feb 1924 (BL 4468). Early fall specimens: St. Vincent I., 19 Sep 1980 (TTRS 3677); w Santa Rosa I., 23 Sep 1979 (USF 1021). Late spring specimens: Treasure I. (Pinellas Co.), 15 Jun 1978 (USF 1015); Broward Co., 10 May 1970 (UMRC 6149). Occurrence at the Dry Tortugas is substantiated by a skeleton found, 28 Mar 1967 (C. Petrovic; UMRC 5224), & inland records by 1 from Sanford, 15 Feb 1940 (H.G. Gut; LACM 86430). Inland sightings come from Bunnell, 16 Dec 1960, F. Ackermann (HMS 1961a), & Orlando, 22 Feb 1966 (Hundley & Mager 1966). The number of known Florida specimens through 1980 was 27. Large concentrations: H. Robinson reported 1050 off Canaveral Natl. Seashore, 9 Nov 1991 (Cox 1992); 3000 and 2800 off Cape Canaveral, 14 Feb & 9 Jan 1982, respectively (J. Johnson); 520 was a high count for s Florida, off Lake Worth, 9 Dec 1987, H.P. Langridge et al. (Ogden 1988). Longstreet (1953) wrote of "thousands" near Daytona Beach, 13 Feb 1926. High counts, CBCs: 1275, Flagler Beach, 23 Dec 1972; 522, Jacksonville, 26 Dec 1987; 517, St. Augustine, 16 Dec 1989.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .02, Cocoa .65, Dade Co. .31, Ft. Lauderdale .24, Ft. Pierce .26, Jacksonville .31, Pensacola .03, South Brevard Co. .13, St. Petersburg .003, Stuart .15, Titusville 2.1, West Palm Beach .26. Trends (incr.:decr.): early 4:1, recent 6:1. Big Bend: Increase on coast.
Migration: The observed movements of gannets in


subspecies breeding range
25. Northern Gannet, Moms bassanus
Florida, as well as their occasional presence in summer, are puzzling. Kuerzi (1938-39) noted northward flights off Ft. Pierce, 30 Jan and 29 Dec 1937, but others were southbound on comparable dates: 16 Jan 1937, Vero Beach, & 4 Jan 1937, Ft. Pierce; numbers per flight ranged, 25-500. O. Smith et al. observed hundreds moving south off Key Biscayne, 22 Dec 1989 (Cox 1991). At Pensacola, Weston (1931b) saw birds flying west, 5 Apr & 6 May 1931; 4 Feb 1934 (Weston 1934a), 77 were flying west. In 1943 (Weston 1943) he considered the species a "regular late winter and spring migrant" there, "always flying westward." He later added (1946b) that "with hardly an exception . they are seen flying steadily westward." At Indian Rocks Key (Pinellas Co.), however, Pangburn (1935) saw 14 flying south, 9 Apr 1934, and J. Nichols (1935) reported 100 off the Florida Keys, "apparently in northward" migration, Apr 1935. Maxwell (1972) reported that the northward migration of ads. began late Feb. In Brevard Co., Cruickshank (1980) cited flights northward involving several hundred birds, 3-4 Mar 1958. But what route do the Pensacola birds take in returning to their n breeding grounds? The species is unrecorded on coasts of Middle & Central America and in the interior south of the Great Lakes (AOU 1983). Might the return trip occur farther offshore and out of sight? Although there is no evidence to support this postulation,
it should be noted that Buhrman & Hopkins (1978a) repeatedly saw gannets, 1977 & 1978, up to 90 nautical mi off Pinellas Co., 16 in Feb (10 dates) & 42 on 9 Apr 1978, but direction of flight was not stated. In Wakulla & Franklin cos., where the bird is less numerous, 2 mentions of flight direction involved 44 birds flying west, 10 Apr 1965 (J. Ogden in Cunningham 1964a), and 100s flying west off St. George I., spring 1991, R. West (Cox 1991), but an occasional bird in May or Jun has been flying east. Banding records: 108 birds banded in Quebec have been recovered in Florida.
Equally puzzling is the status of the bird in Florida waters in summer and early fall. Such reports occurred 12 mi off Key West, 27 Jun 1947 (Sprunt 1948h), but none before that year; Pensacola, 19 Jun 1955, F. M. Weston; off Pensacola, 8 Sep 1957, Monroe & Weston; Ft. Walton Beach, 2 Aug 1957, S. Gauthreaux et al; St. George I., 29 Jul 1980 (Sam Cole); Panama City Beach, Aug 1978 (photo, TTRS PI23). These off-season reports increased, 1980s. A number of these out-of-season birds have been dead or moribund on beaches. It hardly seems likely that some migration continues throughout summer. Have a few nonbreeders begun to summer in s waters since 1946? At least some of these were in ad. plumage.
Haunts and Habits: Gannets breed in temperate waters in both the Northern & Southern Hemisphere and are highly gregarious birds. The Northern Gannet, the only representative in the Northern Hemisphere, breeds on the ledges and tops of coastal, rocky islands. Yg. gannets take about 4 yrs. to reach sexual maturity and spend their first 3 yrs. at sea. It is predominantly these imm. birds that show up along our coasts. Many birds feed along the Continental Shelf, out of sight of land, but storms or lack of food will bring them to within sight of land. A gannet will forage from 50 ft or more above the water's surface until prey is detected. Then it banks, partly closing its wings, and plunges into the water. Once underwater, it sometimes must chase its prey, using its feet and perhaps its wings for propulsion. Subcutaneous air sacs in the neck and upper breast act as a cushion to the bird's body when it dives.
Problems of Identification: The gannet is similar to boobies in form but much larger. Imms. differ from those of boobies in having white spots dorsally. See also Masked Booby.
References: Fisher, James, and H.G. Vevers. The breeding distribution, history and population of the North Atlantic Gannet (Sula bassana). Part 1. A history of gannet colonies and the census in 1939. J. Animal Ecol. 12:173-213.
Nelson, J.B. 1983. The Gannet. Berkhamsted, England: T. & A. D. Poyser.


Nettleship, D.N. 1976. Gannets in North America: present numbers and recent population changes. Wilson Bull. 88:300-13.
Ford 1940, Gunter & Burke 1977, King 1984a, Mul-holland & Percival 1985.
Family Pelecanidae, Pelicans.
Very large swimming birds, some with a wing span up to 9 ft. Plumage (both sexes) mostly white or rather dull. Wings large and broad; 11 primaries. Tail and legs short; neck long. Bill long, straight, and hooked at tip, subtended by a large, fleshy, distensible pouch. Most spp. inhabit fresh water and capture prey (usually fishes) while swimming on surface. Ads. essentially mute. Build nests in trees, bushes, or on ground; 1-4 eggs; hatchlings naked, altricial. Widespread in tropical and temperate areas; 6 spp. Reference: Crivelli & Schreiber 1984.
Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Gmelin: American White Pelican
Distribution: Breeds from s British Columbia, n Alberta, n Saskatchewan, c Manitoba, and sw Ontario south to n California, Great Salt Lake, n Colorado, ne South Dakota, and sw Minnesota; also occasionally on the Texas coast. Winters from c California, s Arizona, the n Gulf of Mexico, and Florida south to Tabasco and Yucatan.
Florida Status: A locally distributed winter resident and migrant, ranging from very rare to abundant; increasing; 2 reports on Dry Tortugas. Also remains into (or throughout) summer on occasion. No breeding reports have been confirmed. Howell (1932) mentioned "the capture of 5 birds at Shell Point, June 20, 1886," but we found none of those specimens. However, the species was taken at the following localities before 1932: Hernando Co., 2; [New] Smyrna, 4; Palm Beach, 2 (MCZ), Cedar Keys (AMNH), and Cape Sable (UMRC). Recent specimens: Lake Apopka, Bartow, Mantanzas River (19 Jul 1959; UF 8863), Alligator Point, Lakeland, Sanibel I., Highlands Co., Homo-sassa, Hamilton Co., & Lake Okeechobee. Howell (1932) mentioned no concentrations larger than 200 (Banana River, 1881), but much larger flocks were reported after 1932Ten Thousand Is. (Monroe Co.), ca. 1000, 21 Dec 1934 (May 1935a); Lake Tohopekal-iga, 3000, early Mar 1979; Everglade City to Biscayne Bay, 5240, Dec 1976 (Kushlan 1978a); phosphate mines (Polk Co.), 8000, 25 Nov 1990 (Cox 1991). High numbers on CBCs include 6500, Lakeland (1984), "4599," Coot Bay (1964), "3822," Lakeland (1981). An estimate of 5000 was made, ENP, winter 1956-57, but an estimate of 5000 in summer, Tampa Bay, 13 Jul 1956
26. American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
(Clapp, Banks et al., 1982) appears much too high. Although the species is usually rare on the Keys, ca. 30 were at Tavernier, Jan 1981 (HMS 1981a). Birds were seen, Dry Tortugas, 12 Jun 1966 (Mason & Steffee 1966); 16 remained there through winter 1986-87 (Langridge 1987), 1 remaining until 1 May 1987 (L. Atherton in litt.). Robertson & Woolfenden (1992) reported that "ca. 10,000 to 12,000 winter in Florida"
Flocks remaining into summer usually disappear before Aug, but the following remained unusually late or reappeared very early: Wakulla Co. (number?), 29 Aug 1913 (Howell 1932); 3, St. Marks Light, 15 Aug 1968; 75, Citrus Co., 31 Aug 1971; Naples, 12 flying south, 19 Aug 1983; Hickory Mound Impoundment (Taylor Co.), ca. 60 on 26 Aug 1990. Although this pelican is rare in the interior of nw Florida, Howell (1932) cited a report, Lake Jackson, 4 Oct 1925, & others were in that area in the dry years 1953-56 & again, 1968-69 (many observers). HMS & G. Menk saw 1 near Mari-anna, 16 Dec 1978, and 8 were observed, 14 Mar 1992, Lake Seminole (Jackson Co.), where they "apparently wintered," T. Menart (Cox 1992).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .15, Cocoa 3.3, Coot Bay 9.2, Jackson Co. .001, Jacksonville .003, Key Largo .34, Lakeland 7.0, Lake Wales 2.6, Myakka .09, Naples .21, Orlando .07, Pensacola .07, St. Marks .12,


St. Petersburg .001, Sanibel .41, Sarasota .08, South Brevard Co. .84, West Palm Beach .001. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 2:3, recent 5:1.
Migration: In the Panhandle, at least, the migrations of the American White Pelican, unlike those of the gannet, are simple and straightforward. W. E. Shannon, who kept notes for many years at Ft. Walton, listed at least 13 reports of its movements, 1945-63. Birds seen in spring (19 Mar & 29 Apr) were flying west, numbering "85 to 100" and 50, respectively; those seen in fall & early winter flew east between the inclusive dates 13 Oct & 8 Dec, numbering 25-300. These dates, numbers, & flight directions accord well with reports, Wakulla & Franklin cos., although some have appeared earlier in fall & spring in these 2 cos. Weston (1965a) also saw these spring & fall flights, a particularly large one consisting of ca. 700 birds, 24 Nov 1959. Flights are generally very near the coastline but occasionally occur several mi. inland. Banding reports: The following birds were banded in the states and provinces and numbers designated and recovered in Florida: Minnesota 1, Colorado 1, Montana 5, North Dakota 30, South Dakota 1, Ontario 3, Saskatchewan 12.
Haunts and Habits: During migration periods and in winter the American White Pelican frequents large inland lakes, rivers, and shallow coastal waters. One of the largest and heaviest birds in North America, it flies in V-formation, straight lines, or diagonal lines, and frequently soars on thermal currents. Unlike the Brown Pelican, it does not dive from the air to capture its prey but lands on the water, dipping its head below the surface to scoop up its catch in its large gular pouch. Sometimes a flock will form a semicircle around a school of fish, driving them into shallow water by beating their wings on the water's surface. When the fish are concentrated in shallow water, they are easily scooped up by the pelicans. The American White Pelican feeds almost exclusively on fish. In flight, it alternately flaps its wings and glides, keeping its neck folded.
Problems of Identification: When soaring at a distance, may be mistaken for Wood Stork.
References: Bartholomew, G. A., et al. 1953. A field study of temperature regulation in young White Pelicans, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos. Ecology 34:554-60.
Sidle, J.G., W.H. Koonz, and Keith Roner. 1985. Status of the American White Pelican: an update. Am. Birds. 39:859-64.
Anon. 1964r, Chapman & Loftus 1987, Clark 1978a, E. Davis 1941, Dinsmore 1974, Green 1959b, Holland & Holland 1968, Lies & Behle 1966, May 1935a, Mc-Daniel & Patterson 1966, W. Nicholson 1933, Oglesby 1960b, Ryder 1981, D. Smith 1970, Strait & Sloan 1975, Thompson 1933.
Pelecanus occidentalis Linnaeus: Brown Pelican Distribution: Breeds locally on is. along the Atlantic & Pacific coasts from c California and North Carolina through Middle & Central Americas and the West Indies to Chile and Venezuela. Nonbreeders range north to British Columbia and New England and casually inland.
Florida Status: Pelicans occur all around the Florida coast, but numbers are somewhat reduced in the Panhandle. Although Howell (1932) listed no inland reports, he had previously (1921 in Howell 1932) referred to one at Paradise Key (ENP), but he overlooked the report of "a few" at Orlando after a storm, Oct 1910 (Nicholson 1927, 1951d). Since 1932 there have been more than 40 published inland reports (becoming increasingly common in the 1980s), but none were west of Leon Co. During the late 1980s, Smith & Goguen (1993) observed mostly imm. pelicans, "up to 90" (emphasis added), from winter through summer, Lake Okeechobee. By 1991 the Brown Pelican was established there as a breeding resident (ibid.). Three inland specimens are knownLake Maggiore (Pinellas Co.), 12 Feb 1970 (LACM 86269); Lake Okeechobee, 1916 (UF 2396); & Gainesville, winter 1972-73 (UF 19072). Other high inland counts include: 20, Winter Haven (Polk Co.), 20 Apr 1992; 5, Archbold Biol. Stat. (Highlands Co.), 14 Apr 1991; and 3, Newnan's Lake (Alachua Co.), 29 Apr 1991 (Cox 1991).
Historically, the Brown Pelican's breeding range in Florida has contracted, then expanded. Howell (1932) listed breeding reports ca. 1860, Dry Tortugas & St. George I., and on the Marquesas, 1889, but these colonies later disappeared. Until recently the n breeding limits were Seahorse Key (Levy Co.) on the Gulf Coast and Port Orange on the Atlantic Coast. In 1971 a small colony developed on a spoil island off Port St. Joe (Hallman 1971) and nested there again, 1972 & 1976, after which the island was washed away by currents and a hurricane. In summer 1982 a colony appeared in St. Andrews Bay off Panama City, apparently the westernmost Florida nesting in history (Loftin et al. 1987). For the first time in more than 100 years, Brown Pelicans nested, Bush Key (Dry Tortugas), Jun 1974 (Schreiber, Below, & Robertson 1975), and continued through 1979 (Schreiber 1980a).
We find no early estimates of Florida's total pelican population, but the CBCs from the late 1920s to the 1940s (e.g., Jacksonville & St. Petersburg) showed much higher rates of abundance than those in the 1950s & 1960s. CBC data analyzed by Schreiber & Schreiber (1973) for the years 1943-72, along with data of HMS & collaborators, Wakulla & Franklin cos., 1946-83, show a marked decrease of pelicans from about the


mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, especially in the Florida Panhandle. Also, Weston (1961c) wrote from Pensacola that the pelican "is still rare here and sometimes a whole month passes without a single bird being recorded." In fact, due partly to the destructiveness of Hurricane Audrey to a Louisiana breeding colony, 1957, the species almost disappeared from nw Florida. At Ft. Walton, Shannon (field notes) recorded a total of about 75, 1944-50, but only a single bird, 1951-60. Pelicans are also reduced along coasts with large human populations, such as Florida's lower e coast. A slow increase started in the late 1960s and continues, and by 1979 the state's nesting population was put at 16,000 (Nesbitt, Cowan et al. 1981). Counts were made of 9078 nests, 1985, and 10,900 prs., 1987, by FGFWFC personnel. S. Nesbitt (Paul 1989) estimated the 1989 nesting population at 12,300 prs., indicating further increases. However, Kushlan & Frohring (1985) and Paul (in Smith & Goguen 1993) reported declines in some large local populations (e.g., Florida & Tampa bays).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. 1.82, Cocoa 10.4, Coot Bay 3.9, Dade Co. 4.7, Ft. Lauderdale .82, Ft. Pierce 8.1, Jacksonville 3.7, Key Largo 7.0, Lower Keys 8.0, Naples 3.9, Pensacola .01, St. Marks .41, St. Petersburg 6.4, Sanibel 5.7, South Brevard Co. 6.7, Sarasota 7.2, Stuart 7.4, Tampa 1.44, Titusville 4.0, West Palm Beach .83. Trends (incr.:decr.): early 3:4, recent 8:2. BBS Trends: Fla., no trend.
Migration: Flocks of Brown Pelicans have been seen along the coast of Wakulla & Franklin cos. flying west in spring (earliest, 2 flocks, 18 Feb 1956) and east in fall. Most flights were recorded in Mar, Apr, Oct, & Nov. "Small groups . most in westward flight" were also reported, Pensacola, spring 1967 (Imhof 1967). Williams (1972c) states that banding records show that most South Carolina breeders "spend much of their first three years ... in Florida." Banding records, in fact, show a great deal about movements of Brown Pelicans. From about 1925 to 1944 more than 200 recoveries of some 1500 birds banded on Florida's e coast showed that some individuals had wandered to Ohio, New York, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia (13), and Nicaragua. Most recoveries were in Florida (but only 19 on the w coast), many in Cuba, a few in the Bahamas, and 1 in Yucatan (Longstreet 1945a, Mason 1945). From 1969 to 1972 more than 1200 were banded and color-marked in Florida, mostly on the w coast, and almost 1000 in South Carolina. Of the latter group, 519 were later sighted on the Florida e coast and Keys. Those banded on the w coast (Tampa Bay) also reached the Keys, and single birds appeared on the Dry Tortugas and the Bahamas (Schreiber 1976b).
Breeding: Sets of Brown Pelican eggs have been taken in Florida from coastal points around the state except in the nw parts, and in every month of the year except Nov; inland records at Gainesville (USNM 18374) and near Eureka (WFVZ 95373) are doubtless mislabeled. Nesting inland was confirmed, Lake Okeechobee (Glades Co.), Mar-Jul 1991; 3 nests found in Casuarina fledged 1 yg. In 1992, 14 nests were counted, Feb ff., 7-8 of which fledged yg. (Smith & Goguen 1993). The breeding season varies both geographically and temporally. Those breeding in s Florida generally begin in fall, but nesting farther north begins in late winter or spring, when their plumage and soft parts reach the height of color (Schreiber 1980b). On Tarpon Key they usually begin nesting in Mar but sometimes start in Jan in mild winters. The time of nesting may represent selection against the hurricane season. The first fledglings were noted, 25 Apr-9 Jul (Schreiber 1980a). In the 1920s the well-known colony on Pelican I. first began nesting in fall, but gradually shifted the breeding cycle backward to spring. Shannon (1933) gave this account of nesting pelicans, Mosquito Lagoon: Nests were built of twigs and lined with Salicor-nia in trees or on the ground. Most clutches consisted of 3 eggs, but 2 nests held 4 each. The incubation period was usually 30 days (31 & 34 also noted). Hatch-lings were naked until down appeared by the 10th day, but within 7 weeks could clamber from the nest and run. A study, Tarpon Key, 1969-70, showed an avg. clutch size of 2.9 eggs, but nests disturbed by humans averaged only 2.25 eggs and had much lower hatching percentages (Schreiber & Risebrough 1972). Hiatt's statement (1931) that birds in Mosquito Lagoon nested twice a year (Feb & Aug) has not been confirmed. However, birds may sometimes lay again if the first eggs or yg. are lost (Clapp, Banks et al., 1982). Nesting success, Tampa Bay area, 1969-76, was 65-69% for early and midseason nests, but only 43% for late nests; hatching success also decreased from early nests to late nests (Schreiber 1979). An avg. of slightly less than 1 fledgling per nest was noted. Raising 1 bird to fledging size requires at least 25 kilograms (ca. 55 lbs.) of food and 76-90 days (Schreiber 1980b).
For years the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary took care of injured pelicans. From 1974 to 1979 a number of confined Brown Pelicans mated there and laid 115 eggs, of which 110 hatched and 70 yg. fledged. According to the authors (Nesbitt et al. 1980), only 1 previous record of pelicans breeding in captivity was known.
Haunts and Habits: Whether circling high above the main, gliding effortlessly just above the waves, plunging headlong into the water, or loafing on a dock, Brown Pelicans are a typical part of the Florida seas-


27. Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis
cape. According to 3 authorities, they fly at a maximum speed of 25-30 mph, but their dives from a height are much swifter. Diving is the typical method of fishing, this being the only species of pelican that plunge-dives (Schreiber 1980b). With the bill slightly open, the force of the water on impact causes the pouch to expandas does the action of the muscle M. ptery-goideus (Burton 1977)to a potential capacity of about 10,000 cc. When the maxilla (upper mandible) then clamps down, fish are trapped in the pouch. As the bill is raised above the water, pointed downward, the water runs out and leaves the prey entrapped (Schreiber, Woolfenden, & Curtsinger 1975). Pelicans seldom dive completely below the surface, and when fish were hard to obtain near the surface in the severe winter 1977-78, some individuals starved at St. Petersburg, Cedar Key, New Smyrna Beach, and Bradenton. Those more accustomed to humans were fed by them.
This species occasionally uses other methods of feeding. Perhaps the most frequent of these is scoop-feeding, the usual method employed by American White Pelicans. This type of feeding occurs more often when Brown Pelicans are associated with other piscivorous birds, such as white pelicans and Wood Storks (Dins-more 1974, Rodgers 1978a). Shannon (1933) once saw about 50 Brown Pelicans pursuing a Caspian Tern and stealing its prey, and another pursued an Osprey with a fish "for several minutes," but the outcome was not
seen (Kale 1974b). On the other hand, both Laughing & Bonaparte's gulls have stolen fish from Brown Pelicans' bills (Cruickshank & Cruickshank 1958). A pelican on a freshwater pond at Panama City Beach took food from the flowers of water lilies (Nymphaea sp.; Stedman 1974). Nestlings sometimes add to the variety in feeding. Shannon (1933) saw one feeding its sibling in the nest, and Harris (1933) saw one swallow an infertile egg. Davis (1934) reported a 5-week-old nestling swallowing a smaller bird from another nest, but later regurgitating it.
Early studies indicated that menhaden (Brevoortia sp.) sometimes make up at least 90% of the diet, the remainder also consisting of noncommercial varieties of fish (Clapp et al., 1982), but a study of regurgitates on both coasts of Florida (Fogarty et al., 1981), showed the proportion of menhaden by weight to be only 14% as against mullets (Mugil sp.) 17.0%, Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides) 8.4%, drums (Sciaenidae) 19.4%, and Atlantic Threadfin (Polydactylus octonemus) 27.2%. More than 20 other spp. were taken in smaller amounts. Other studies add Sardinella and pipefish (Syngnathus sp.) to the pelican's fare. Smith & Goguen (1993) found ads. feeding 1 yg. with Mugil cephalus and Lepomis spp., Lake Okeechobee.
Voice: Statements that ad. pelicans are mute are very close to the truth, but Hiatt (1931) spoke of "subdued grunting" from birds when replacing their mates on the nest. Nestlings evidently have no such affliction. Reimann (1940) referred to the "unearthly din . set up by their voices" as they "incessantly call for food . throughout the day," and sometimes "all night."
Adverse Factors: Although their large size doubtless reduces the number of potential predators, Brown Pelicans do have their share of vicissitudes. During severe winters ads. at Apalachicola had their webbing and gular pouches frozen, but the greatest loss from cold has been in reproduction. Schreiber (1980a) refers to yg. killed by cold, winter 1978-79. Miller (1950) recounts that 600-700 yg. died, Pelican I., 1906, probably due to cold, and that in 1907 the second brood was drowned "by a cold storm and high water." In 1914, after an early beginning, ads. deserted their yg., and in 1918 fishermen killed about 400. Howell (1932) also mentioned the slaughter of "more than a thousand" on the Brevard Reservation by fishermen, 1924, and many by a storm, 1925. Schreiber & Risebrough (1972) attest that the most serious loss of eggs on Tarpon Key, 1969-70, was to Fish Crows. Kale (1972b) wrote of "occasional predation" of nestlings by Wood Storks. Bogart (1953) found a partly eaten bird, ENP, May 1953; fresh tracks identified the predator as a Bobcat (Lynx rufus). Two observers comment on food para-


sitism by Laughing Gulls (Meyerriecks & Meyerriecks 1965).
Pelicans are infested by a number of parasites. Peters (1936) identified 3 spp. of biting lice from Florida pelicansEsthiopterum forficulatus, Ferrisia unci-ferum, and Tetrophthalmus titan. Pence & Courtney (1973) described 2 new spp. of Acarina from pelicans in Florida (Venice & Sanibel I.) and LouisianaPha-lacrodectes pelecani and P. apunctatus. Courtney & Ernst (1975) described a new species of coccidean, Eimeria pelecani, from the feces of nestlings, Lee Co. is.
As is true of many other organisms, however, the Brown Pelican's chief enemy in recent years has been humans. Instances of wanton slaughter cited above are only 2 of many. Although such attacks are almost unknown today, humans have unwittingly or uncaringly unleashed a more subtle but quite effective enemy, the chlorinated hydrocarbons and other pesticides. Although the concentration of these pollutants decimated the breeding pelicans of California, their adverse effects in Florida have been mild thus far. However, a high content of organochlorides, especially DDT, DDE, and the PCBs, has been found in the yolk of some Florida eggs. Some cases of eggshell thinning occur in Florida (less than the critical level of 15%) but fewer than in other states where pelicans nest (Schreiber 1980b). Keeping the pesticide levels at acceptable rates in Florida birds will become increasingly difficult with the projected growth of the human population here. Fishhooks and monofilament fishing lines have contributed to some loss of life, and oil spills are at least potentially lethal. Despite such perils, some pelicans survive for more than 20 years. One found dead, Turtle Mound, 15 Nov 1964, had been banded, Sep 1933, as a "young bird," and thus had died at the age of 31 (Mason 1967d). Another banded bird near Tampa had reached the age of 25 by 1974 or 1975 (Schreiber 1975d). The Brown Pelican has been designated a Species of Special Concern by the FGFWFC (Wood 1991).
Variation: The common, breeding race of Brown Pelican in the e U. S. is Pelecanus o. carolinensis, but Wetmore (1945) reported a specimen in the USNM taken, Mar 1885, Pensacola, that was "typical in color of the under surface and in size" of P.o. occidentalis (culmen length 257 mm; minimum for carolinensis is 280 mm).
References: Schmidt-Nielsen, Klaus, and R. Fange. 1958. The function of the salt gland in the Brown Pelican. Auk 75:282-89.
Anderson & Hickey 1970; Anon. 1930b, 1937b, 1941d, 1944a, 1954a, 1968h, 1972d, 1979g, 1980a, 1982d; Below & Schreiber 1978; Blus 1970, 1982; Blus,
Belisle & Prouty 1974; Blus, Cromartie et al. 1979; Blus, Heath et al. 1971; Blus, Joanen et al. 1975; Blus, Lamont & Neely 1979; Blus, Neely et al. 1974, 1977; Blus & Prouty 1979; Brown 1983; Carl 1987; Courtney, Courtney & Forrester 1974; Courtney, Forrester & White 1977; Crabb 1971; Dustman et al. 1971; Elliott & Lawrence 1971; England 1975; Fisher 1982; Ford 1938; T.L. Francis 1981; Geanangel 1986; Greve 1986; Guravich & Brown 1983; Harrison 1971c; Herbert & Schreiber 1975; Humphrey, Courtney & Forrester 1978; Huston 1972; King et al. 1985; Laycock 1969a, 1974a, 1979; Lincer et al. 1979; Longstreet 1931c, 1933b, 1934a, 1941a, c, 1944c; Longstreet, Davis & Davis 1936; Mahoney 1984; Mason 1941; Maxwell & Kale 1974; M. Miller 1978e; Mills 1934, 1935, 1937; Nesbitt 1977d; Nesbitt & Barber 1979; Nesbitt & Fisher 1984; Nesbitt, Fogerty & Williams 1977; Nesbitt, Williams et al. 1978; O'Keefe 1974b; Portnoy et al. 1981; Rodgers 1986a; Schnell & Hellack 1978; Schreiber 1975a, e, 1976a, c, 1977a, b; Schreiber & Mock 1987, 1988; Schreiber & Schreiber 1982, 1983; Schreiber, Schreiber & Anderson 1989; Schreiber & Williams 1973; Schultz 1935, 1936, 1941; G. Smith 1969b; M. Smith 1966a, 1969b, 1970b; Spotte 1972; Stephens 1963, Stullken 1949; Sykes & Langridge 1991; Thompson et al. 1977; USF&WS 1979c; Waller 1955a; Westfall 1937a, 1941; Williams 1979b; Williams & Joanen 1974; Williams & Martin 1968, 1969, 1971; Wolf et al. 1985.
Family Phalacrocoracidae, Cormorants.
Large birds similar to boobies in body form, but neck longer and head more slender. Plumage usually blackish to brownish, with sexes alike; not completely waterproof. Eyes and facial skin usually brightly colored. Legs placed far back; tarsi short and laterally compressed, but toes long; middle claw finely serrate (pectinate). Bill strongly hooked and more slender than in boobies; nostrils closed; gular pouch moderately developed. Rectrices 12-14; primaries 11. Inhabit marine or fresh water and capture food (rarely of commercial importance) by diving from surface of water, sometimes to depth of 100 ft. Nest colonially on ground (often cliffs) or in trees; 2-4 eggs; yg. naked, altricial. Cosmopolitan except n Asia and certain Pacific is.; 30 spp.
Phalacrocorax carbo (Linnaeus): Great Cormorant Distribution: Breeds in se Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Greenland; also from Iceland, n Europe, and c Asia south to the Mediterranean Sea, se Europe and east to China, Formosa, and Japan; also in New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand.
Florida Status: An occasional winter visitor, chiefly on the coast of the Peninsula; accidental in summer.


T
X
Specimen record
""jJc Breeding /\ Spring (^) Summer
V Fa"
[~~| Winter
Season Unknown
Questionable report
Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding range
28. Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
During the 1970s reports of Great Cormorants increased and the species was of regular occurrence in the state; however, there have been fewer published reports since the early 1980s. The only specimens were collected at Virginia Key, Dade Co., 4 Feb 1961 (D. Paulson; UMRC 4179), & Lake Talquin, Leon Co., 10 Nov 1970 (HMS; TTRS 2789). Among recognizable photos, a bird at Lake Maggiore (St. Petersburg), 22 Jun 1977, noticeably larger than a nearby P. auritus, furnishes the first summer record and one of the few inland records (L. Hopkins; TTRS P125); Pinellas Co., 9 Apr 1977 (TTRS P171; same bird as TTRS P172?); Ft. Lauderdale, Jan 1977 (TTRS P237-8); Wakulla Springs, Jan 1970 (TTRS P277); Gulf Breeze, 29 Oct 1972 (TTRS P317). A cormorant identified by many as P. carbo was photographed, Port Everglades, 20 May 1973 but the photo (TTRS P66) is unidentifiable. Sprunt (1954d) reported that a bird banded by Harrison Lewis, Quebec, 25 Jul 1930, was recovered at Vista (Levy Co.), 5 Dec 1930, but Clapp, Banks, et al (1982) indicated that Lewis could not recall a recovery of that species so far south. Another summer report was provided by a bird that remained summer 1978 to 8 Oct, Port Canaveral (Cruickshank 1980). The same locality provided the earliest fall report, 23 Oct 1980. The total number of acceptable reports was ca. 50 through 1992. Some locality reports not mentioned above are Old Tampa Bay, Pensacola Bay (29 Oct 1972, R. Duncan
1973a), Jacksonville Beach, Naples, Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), Ft. Lauderdale, New Smyrna Beach, Bis-cayne Bay, St. Petersburg, Ft. Pierce, Mayport, Ponce Inlet, Sebastian Inlet, Boynton Beach, Hickory Mound Lake (Taylor Co.), Suwannee River (inland Levy Co., 17-22 Apr 1992; Cox 1992), Virginia Key, Coot Bay, Delray Beach, & Key West (J. Tanner & F. Hames, 24 Jan-Feb 1984).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Coot Bay .001, Ft. Lauderdale .004, Jacksonville .001, St. Marks .001.
Haunts and Habits: In North America the Great Cormorant is a coastal species inhabiting rocky cliffs and islets. Those individuals that wander south of New England's rocky coast perch on buoys, pilings, or other elevated objects. Though larger than the Double-crested, it does not differ appreciably from that species in behavior or diet, and some authorities speculate that this competition is the limiting factor that prevents this wide-ranging, Eurasian species from expanding its breeding range on our continent.
Problems of Identification: Imm. differs from Double-crested Cormorant in having a dark breast separating the whitish abdomen from the white chin and throat; also whitish behind eye. At close range the median line of feathers dividing the gular pouch may be visible (lacking in P. auritus). Ads., rarely seen in Florida, are blackish with white on flanks and sides of head.
References: Hebard 1948a, Imhof & Peavy 1972, HMS 1970c, Woolfenden & Lohrer 1968.
Phalacrocorax auritus (Lesson): Double-crested Cormorant
Distribution: Breeds from sw Alaska and s Canada locally south to Baja California, Sonora, sw Arizona, s New Mexico, nc and se Texas, the Gulf Coast, the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Isle of Pines. Winters from the Aleutians, s Alaska, s & c U.S. south to British Honduras, the Greater Antilles, and the Bahamas.
Florida Status: Generally common to abundant winter resident throughout, but mostly absent from the interior of the Panhandle in winter (occasionally seen there in migration); occurs locally as a breeding summer resident throughout the Peninsula and Keys NW to Wakulla & Calhoun cos., ranging from abundant (including the Keys) to rare; rare or absent in Panhandle in summer. Present in small numbers irregularly on Dry Tortugas at any time of year, but 50 were there 12 Jan 1964 (Robertson & Mason 1965). Increasing. Howell (1932) called this cormorant "very abundant on the Gulf Coast" and less so on the e coast & inland, his map (p. 91) showing 14 breeding sites. However, the greatest numbers in recent years (at least in winter) have regularly come from multiparty CBCs on


subspecies breeding range
29. Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
the e coast, although occasionally a large concentration has been reported from the w coast. Howell (op. cit.) cited maximum estimates of 5000-6000, Tierra Ceia Bay, 21 Jan 1919, and 10,000, Passage Key, 4 Dec 1910; Pangburn (1919 in Howell) estimated 12,000, Pass-a-Grille, 11 Feb 1918. CBC maxima: North Pinellas Co., 15,100, 22 Dec 1984; Hamilton Co., "7592," 2 Jan 1983; South Brevard Co., 7400, 2 Jan 1978, & "8191," 29 Dec 1990. Other maxima: B. Pranty estimated ca. 25,000 off Anclote Key, 15 Jan 1991; 7000 were reported, Polk Co. phosphate mines, 26 Dec 1992, P. Fellers, for a high inland Peninsula count (Pranty 1993a). The largest numbers from CBCs in the Panhandle are close to 2000. The total number of breeding birds in Florida was estimated at more than 20,000 "along the coast" (Clapp, Banks, et al., 1982) and about 22,000 on the Atlantic Coast & the Keys (Portnoy et al., 1981). Among the numerous museum specimens, 1, Dry Tortugas, 16 Jul (UF 8466), vouches for the occurrence of cormorants at that outpost and presumably represents P.a. floridanus.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. 10.4, Cocoa 26.3, Coot Bay 10.2, Dade Co. 11.6, Ft. Lauderdale .95, Ft. Pierce 3.4, Gainesville 3.3, Jackson Co. .79, Jacksonville 6.1, Key Largo 10.8, Lakeland 12.0, Lake Wales .28, Leon Co. 6.2, Lower Keys 14.0, Mt. Dora .81, Myakka .22, Naples 6.3, Orlando .39, Pensacola
2.9, St. Marks 6.8, St. Petersburg 9.6, Sanibel 4.6, Sarasota 4.8, South Brevard Co. 29.6, Stuart 2.5, Tampa 2.3, Titusville 18.2, West Palm Beach .33. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 8:1, recent 8:1. BBS trends: Fla., decrease (523:473); 23 routes, decrease at Plantation Key. Big Bend: Leon Co., increase; Franklin/Wakulla, increase.
Migration: Although P.a. floridanus breeds north to North Carolina, we treat here all cormorants coming into Florida for the winter as examples of P.a. auritus. Indeed, this is surely the case for all banded cormorants referred to here. Banding data from the Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory in Laurel, MD, list a bird recovered in Florida as early as 9 Oct 1935, and some individuals lingering into May & Jun; a few in Jul-Sep may have remained all summer. Sight reports of obviously migrating birds were recorded as early as 17 Sep 1934, Pensacola (50 flying east; Weston 1955) & 25 Sep 1954, Spring Creek (7 flying SW high overhead; HMS 1955a). The proportion of cormorants summering in Florida away from breeding areas that belong to the race auritus is conjectural. The most southerly reports of auritus come from Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay, and the Florida Keys. One from Bear Cut (Dade Co.), 13 Apr 1970 (UMRC 6165), was banded in the nest, Maine, 12 Jun 1969. States and provinces from which banded birds have reached Florida and the numbers of such recoveries are: Maine 246, Massachusetts 4, New York 1, Michigan 1, Wisconsin 2, North Dakota 1, South Dakota 2, Manitoba 1, New Brunswick 3, Ontario 34, Quebec 3, Saskatchewan 5. Also, numerous museum specimens have been identified as P.a. auritus.
Breeding: Howell's map (1932:91) showed breeding colonies from the s tip of the Peninsula north to the Chassahowitzka River & Merritt I. (near Titusville), though failing to show those on "several of the Florida Keys"; an outlying colony was shown on the Wacissa River. Old records of egg sets perhaps not known to Howell come from Gainesville, 31 May 1894 (WFVZ 54298); Oklawaha River, 8 Apr 1918 (WFVZ 2904); Wakulla River, 20 Mar 1887 (AMNH 194); and St. George I. (date?; USNM 2949 & 2950). New breeding sites discovered since 1932 include Paynes Prairie, 1973 (Ogden 1974b); Polk & Hillsborough cos. (Layne et al., 1977); Occidental Chemical Company, Hamilton Co., since 1970s; and Calhoun Co., late 1980s (B. Pranty, in litt.). According to Schreiber & Schreiber (1978), the breeding season lasts from early Dec to late Sep, but this surely varies with latitude, locality, and year. Eggs were taken, Monroe Co., as early as 23 Jan 1933 (WFVZ 27693), & Pelican I. (Indian River Co.), as late as 4 Oct 1931 (DEL 2187-88). A set of "cormorant" eggs taken by L. Whitfield, Dog I. (Franklin


Co.), 27 May 1885 (FMNH 1148), is best considered unidentified, the eggs being near the size of an Anhin-ga's.
Double-crested Cormorants nest in colonies along the coast or at inland lakes. Nests are built on the ground or rocky cliffs in some parts of the range, but in Florida probably all cormorants nest in large bushes or trees, the latter often dead. A single clutch of 3-4 eggs/season (a few with 5 or 6 in Florida) may hatch in 24-25 days (25-29, Harrison 1975), both sexes incubating. Yg. may leave nest on foot at 3-4 weeks, fly at 35-42 days (Terres 1980). Colony site may persist for years, many old nests being rebuilt.
Haunts and Habits: Cormorants are found throughout the state on lakes, rivers, and along the coast. The species is gregarious year-round, roosting in trees, bushes, or on the ground. It flies with the neck extended, using shallow, steady wingbeats. Often long lines of individuals fly just above the water. It does not dive from the air, but from the surface of the water it may plunge forward or gradually submerge, as does a loon. It swims well, both above and below the surface, and is capable of reaching depths of 100 ft, using its wings as stabilizers and its fully webbed toes for propulsion. Fishes make up most of its diet and include Gafftopsail Catfish (Bagre marinus), herring (Clupei-dae), Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens), Pigfish (Orthopristis chry-sopterus), bullheads (Ictalurus spp.), crappies (Pomoxis spp.), sunfishes (Centrarchidae), toadfishes (Batrach-oididae), drums (Sciaenidae), eels (Anguillidae), and flounder (Paralichthys spp.). Crustaceans, mollusks, marine worms, salamanders, and reptiles are also taken. Prey is caught in the bird's hooked bill, then brought to the surface, where it is tossed into the air or maneuvered in the bill to be swallowed head first. Where cormorants roost or breed over the water, their droppings enrich the water with nitrates and phosphates, promoting algal growth, a basic component of the food chain.
Adverse Factors: Cormorants are sometimes caught on fishhooks or entangled in monofilament fishing lines. Oil spills constitute another menace, as a few were killed by oil, Tampa Bay, 1970 (Clapp, Banks, et al. 1982). Large predators take some, one being found in the stomach of a caiman, Caiman crocodylus (T. M. Ellis 1980). Threlfall (1982a) found 19 of 76 Florida birds to be infested by the following endoparasites: 8 spp. of Digenea, 1 cestode, 7 of nematodes, and 3 of Acanthocephala. Funderburg (1963) related an instance of all nestlings in a colony near Lakeland being killed by a hard freeze in Dec. Predators of eggs and small yg. include Fish Crows, vultures, and probably large
rat snakes (Elaphe sp.). Ingestion of pesticides thins the eggshells, but the degree of thinning in Florida apparently has not reached the critical stage.
Problems of Identification: The possibility of a Neo-tropic Cormorant (P. brasilianus) in Florida cannot be dismissed, but the difference between it and the Double-crested in basic plumage is subtle indeed. One small individual photographed 3 Mar 1983, near Seven Mile Bridge (Monroe Co.), and identified by its observer to be a Neotropic was unanimously determined by the FOSRC to be a small example of auritus (FOSA 83-041). Bond (1974), however, described "the relatively long tail of the smaller olivaceus [brasilianus]" as being "its most distinctive feature." When sitting on the water at some distance, cormorants are sometimes mistaken for loons. (See also Great Cormorant.)
Variation: As indicated under Migration, P.a. flo-ridanus is the breeding race in Florida, and P. a. auritus migrates into the state for the winter. Although floridanus is darker and averages smaller, the two subspp. are inseparable in the field, as their measurements overlap in every instance. However, any Double-crested Cormorant with a wing length greater than 310 mm may be put down as auritus (Palmer 1962).
References: Gress, F., et al. 1973. Reproductive failures of Double-crested Cormorants in s California and Baja California. Wilson Bull. 85:197-208.
Lewis, J. F. 1929. The Natural History of the Double-crested Cormorant ("Phalacrocorax auritus [Lesson]). Ottawa: Ru-Mi-Lou Books.
Casler 1973; Dilley 1954a; Dolbeer 1991; T.L. Francis 1981; Funderburg 1963; Hennemann 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988; Johnston 1948; Kury & Cadbury 1970; Kushlan & McEwan 1982; Layne et al. 1977; Lehman 1938, 1939; Longstreet 1930c, 1944b; Mahoney 1981, 1984; Mendall 1936; Meyerriecks 1972; Mills 1934, 1935, 1937; Myers et al. 1989; O'Meara, Marion et al. 1985; Owre 1967a; J. Russell 1946c; Scattergood 1950; Schram et al. 1984; Schultz 1935, 1936, 1941; Shannon 1934; Threlfall 1982a, b; Westfall 1937a; White & Forrester 1979.
Family Anhingidae, Darters.
Two spp. of aquatic birds partial to fresh water. Plumage mostly black to dark brown; 11 primaries. Neck long and slender, head small. Bill serrate and dagger-shaped, nostrils reduced and closed; gular pouch small. Tarsi short and toes long. Eighth and ninth cervical vertebrae hinge-like. The darters fly laboriously, but also soar frequently. Control depth in water by regulating amount of air in body. Lure prey in water by spreading wings to form shadow; grab or spear prey (fishes, etc.). Nest in trees or bushes over water; 3-6 eggs; yg.


48
Darters: Anhinga
naked & altricial. Tropical & temperate parts of Eastern & Western Hemisphere; 2 spp.
Anhinga anhinga (Linnaeus): Anhinga Distribution: Breeds in lowlands from Sinaloa, c Texas, se Oklahoma, s & e Arkansas, w Tennessee, nc Mississippi, c Alabama, s Georgia, and coastal North Carolina south to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, n Argentina, and Uruguay. Winters in the s parts of breeding range north to the Gulf coast, s Georgia, and c South Carolina.
Florida Status: A resident breeding bird through most of the mainland, varying in abundance from very rare to abundant, according to local conditions; may be accidental in parts of extreme w Florida, and rare to uncommon in remainder of the Panhandle; casual on the Keys and accidental on the Dry Tortugas. One report, Marquesas, 14 May 1962, Paulson & Robertson (Paulson & Stevenson 1962). Howell (1932) considered the Anhinga a breeding bird throughout the state, but cited no specimens. A spirit specimen taken by Dr. Holder, Dry Tortugas, 7 Feb 1861, is listed in the catalog at MCZ (21718), but it is probably not there now (R. Paynter, Jr., in litt., 12 Mar 1987). Despite discrepancies, this may be the specimen "secured by Woodbury" there, 1860 (Sprunt 1950a; no details). We have found several specimens; there are doubtless others for most parts of the state. Howell (1932) did not refer to high counts, but Phelps (1914 in Howell) estimated 400-500 nesting, Corkscrew Swamp. The highest modern counts come from Lakeland CBCs "891," 1983 & "701," 1981. Frank Ligas' estimate of 150 occupied nests, Loxahatchee NWR, Mar 1958, indicates ca. 300 ads.
Anhingas have increased in numbers and extended their winter range northward in recent decades. None were found, Leon Co., 7 CBCs, 1911-28, and none, 1946-51, but 4 were counted, 1952 CBC, and they have been seen regularly there since the late 1950s. The winter range reached Jackson Co. by 1966; 1 was seen south of Paxton (Walton Co.), 23 Dec 1969 (F. James 1970a); another visited Bear Lake (Santa Rosa Co.), 8 Feb 1975 (Hamilton 1975a). It has been listed on the Choctawhatchee CBC several times since 1977. Although rare on the Keys, a flock of 12 was observed migrating over Big Pine Key, 4 Oct 1987 (A&A 1988).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .02, Cocoa .54, Coot Bay .35, Dade Co. .46, Ft. Lauderdale .78, Ft. Pierce .41, Gainesville 1.43, Jackson Co. .07, Jacksonville .18, Key Largo .005, Lakeland 4.2, Lake Wales .54, Laurel Hill .03, Leon Co. .18, Lower Keys .002, Mt. Dora .64, Myakka .73, Naples .38, Orlando .85, St. Marks .48, St. Petersburg .43, Sanibel 1.34, Sara-
30. Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga
sota .76, South Brevard Co. .35, Stuart .50, Tampa .53, Titusville .91, West Palm Beach .71. CBC trends (incr.: deer.): early 9:1, recent 9:0. BBS trends: Fla., no trend; 23 routes, 1:3. Big Bend: Leon Co., no trend; Franklin/ Wakulla, uncertain.
Migration: Before the Anhinga's winter range was nearly statewide, Weston (1965) reported its extreme dates, Pensacola, 20 Apr & 14 Sep. HMS (1947a) saw the first of spring, Leon Co., 16 Mar 1947, & Grimes (1943b) found the earliest, Jacksonville area, 10 Mar 1935, although a nest & 2 eggs found there, 15 Mar 1936 surely represented an earlier arrival. Most reports of visible migration are in fall: Cruickshank (1980) reported northbound flights, 5 Mar (38) & 8 Apr (3 flocks totaling 82 birds); southbound flocks occurred, 20 Sep 1958 (40) & 15 Oct 1967 (26). F. Ligas (in litt., Mar 1987) saw a migrating flock on an unrecorded fall date, Collier Co. During the 1961 drought in s Florida, southbound flights of 70, Key Biscayne, 22 Oct, and 60, Tavernier, 20 Oct, were reported (HMS 1962b). On Key West, where the species is rare, a group of 18, 26 Oct 1980 (A&A 1981) surely must have been migrants. Quantitative data, Wakulla & Pranklin cos., suggest that immigration of Anhingas may actually lead to greater abundance in winter than in summer.
Breeding: Although many nesting colonies exist in the Peninsula, the Anhinga nests only at scattered lo-


Darters: Anhinga
49
cations in the Panhandle. Howell (1932) listed only n Escambia Co. as a breeding site, but Moore (1908 in Howell) mentioned several breeding at Lake Cassidy (Holmes Co.), near DeFuniak Springs. H. & A. Gaither found it breeding in that vicinity, late 1960s. FBBA surveyors did not find it nesting west of Holmes Co., 1986-91 (B. Pranty, pers. comm.). Baynard (1913 in Howell) gave the beginning date for egg laying, 10 Mar, but eggs have been collected, s Florida, Jan. & Feb. (WFVZ 59284, Monroe Co.; NYSM 14995, Dade Co.; FSM 445, Okeechobee Co., etc.). The latest clutches were taken near Kissimmee, 6 Aug 1930 (AMNH 15707-9), but a nest of 2 downy yg. was at Wakulla Springs, 2 Oct 1975 (HMS in Edscorn 1976), & 30 nests of large yg., s Florida, 20 Oct 1957 (HMS 1958a). Funderburg (1963) observed nestlings near Lakeland, 12-13 Dec 1962.
Anhingas nest in colonies that sometimes include spp. of wading birds, usually near fresh water, but offshore nesting is known on Sanibel I., Tarpon Key, and an unnamed islet in Barnes Sound (USNM 226505-6 and 226524). Somewhat flattened nests of sticks and green vegetation are built by both sexes at greatly varying heights in trees or bushes, the maximum diameter of the nest being ca. 20 in. The 3-5 eggs probably are not laid on consecutive days, and incubation (by both sexes) begins with the first laid egg. Incubation period ca. 25-29 days. Sometimes two-brooded. Before capable of flight, yg. may clamber about on limbs or dive into the water. Natal down changes from gray to tan, then to white (Harriott 1970). After several weeks, yg. practice juggling by throwing sticks into the air, then catching them (ibid.).
Haunts and Habits: The Anhinga is primarily a freshwater species, inhabiting woodland swamps, lakes, ponds, and sluggish rivers. Locally along the coast it inhabits brackish ponds and sloughs deep enough for swimming and, to a limited extent, mangrove swamps. It forages under water, propelling itself with its webbed toes and stabilizing itself with partially opened wings. It spears its prey with its pointed bill, rises to the surface, then tosses its catch into the air, catching it headfirst with opened mandibles. Food consists of catfish (Ictaluridae), pickerels (Esox sp.), mullet (Mugil sp.), sunfishes (Centrarchidae), and Gizzard Shad, as well as insects, crayfish, leeches, frogs, snakes, small terrapins, and occasionally yg. alligators. The Anhinga enters the water by diving from a perch in a tree or shrub, walking from shore, or landing on the surface while in flight. It sometimes swims with just its head and upper neck above water, earning it the name of snakebird; the former vernacular name of Water Turkey alluded to its broad turkey-like tail. Like the cormorants, the
Anhinga's plumage is inadequately waterproofed and the bird spends much time out of water with wings and tail spread to dry. Appearing like a cross in the sky with its long neck outstretched and its long tail behind, it alternately flaps and glides in sustained flight, sometimes ascending on air thermals to great heights, at times with vultures, hawks, or storks.
Adverse Factors: Funderburg (1963) referred to all the nestlings in a second brood near Lakeland being killed during a freeze, 12-13 Dec 1962. No doubt some birds are victims of fishhooks or monofilament lines, and a few may be shot by fishermen and hunters. Croc-odilians are probably among the few predators; e.g., see Delany (1986). Ohlendorf et al. (1978a) pointed out that eggshell thinning in Merritt I. birds was not noticeable, 1940s-1970s. Huizinga(1971) found the nema-toid Contracaecum multipapillatum in the stomachs of 6 birds from Placida, but Owre (1962a) postulated that nematodes in this species and others in its order may help in digestion. In the same paper, however, he reported 2 dead or dying American White Pelicans with masses of nematodes in their stomachs, and Oglesby (1960b) reported a dead American White Pelican off Shell Point (Wakulla Co.), in which the "gut was totally empty, except for the presence in the stomach of well over 1100 nematodes." Pesticides are a potential menace; Johnston (1976b) found over 20 ppm of DDE and DDTs in adipose tissue of 1 specimen, Oct 1972.
Problems of Identification: Although Anhingas, poorly seen, may be mistaken for cormorants, there are several obvious differences between the two.
References: T. Allen 1961; Anon. 1979e; Becker 1986a; Casler 1973; A.M. Francis 1981; W.E. Henne-mann 1985; W.W. Hennemann 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988; Hotchkiss 1954; W. Hughes 1963d; Lee & Lee 1977; Mahoney 1981, 1984; Mueller 1981; Naggiar 1975b; Nesbitt, Ogden et al. 1982; Nicholson 1961a; Olendorf et al. 1977, 1979; Owre 1967a; Waller 1954a; Wellen-stein & Wiegmann 1986.
Family Fregatidae, Frigatebirds.
Large marine birds of soaring habits. Plumage largely blackish. Wings long and slender; 11 primaries; tail long and deeply forked; 12 rectrices. Flight buoyant and graceful. Bill long, slender, and hooked at tip; culmen concave toward middle; nostrils reduced. Tarsi especially short, but toes long; webbing between toes incised. Gular pouch of males colorful and inflated during courtship. In flight, the birds capture prey from surface water, yg. turtles from beaches, or yg. birds from nests; often rob boobies and terns of their prey. Build nests on various substrates on is.; 1 egg; yg. naked, altricial. Largely tropical; 5 spp.


References: Nelson, J.S. 1975. The breeding biology of frigatebirds: A comparative review. Living Bird 14:113-55.
Fregata magnijicens Mathews: Magnificent Frigatebird
Distribution: Breeds on is. and coastal mainland from Baja California south to the Equator and from the Bahama Is., Marquesas Keys (Florida), and e Mexico to s Brazil; also in the Cape Verde Is. Wanders from breeding range to n California, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and north along coast to North Carolina; also south to Peru. Storm-borne individuals range much farther north both along coasts and inland.
Florida Status: A permanent resident along the coast in s Florida, uncommon to abundant in summer & rare to fairly common in winter; on the coast of n Florida it is of casual occurrence in winter & rare to uncommon in summer (Apr-Dec); 4 were reported, Port St. Joe CBC, 2 Jan 1985 (HMS 1985). Howell (1932) referred to frigatebirds at various points on the coast, but cited no specimens; he discounted Audubon's claim of their nesting on the Keys. Specimens were collected before 1932: Indian Key, Jan 1858 (MCZ 6906); 5 from Hernando-Tampa Bay area, 1876-79 (MCZ); 2, Dry Tortugas, 30 Apr 1957 (USNM 6542-43); Marquesas Keys, (Mar?) 1948, (USNM 588042); Clearwater, 31 Jan 1880 (PU 4856); & St. Marks, 17 Dec 1915 (ANSP 72791). Two recent specimens were taken in nw Florida: near Apalachicola, 6 Jun 1966 (PUWC 2776), & St. Marks Light, 1 found dead, 27 Dec 1973 (TTRS 2807). Total number of Florida specimens ca. 50. There are many inland sight reports, usually during or following tropical disturbances: Orange Co. (Howell 1932), Paradise Key, Orlando, Winter Park, Lake Miccosukee (Leon Co.), Tallahassee, lower Ochlockonee River, Moore Haven, St. Johns River, Okeechobee, Lakeland, Casselberry, Gainesville, Lakeland, Plant City, Corkscrew Swamp, near Lake Placid, near Bronson, Lake Butler, Guana River WMA, and Lake Wales (Dec). Maxima: "several thousand," Marquesas, 9 Jul 1938; "thousands" near Pine Key, 16 May 1886 (Scott 1887b in Howell); 1500, Boca Ciega Bay, 4 Aug 1935; 1000, Dry Tortugas, 1911 (month?); 2000, Pine I. Sound, 9 Aug 1967; up to 1000, Tarpon Key, "summer"; "thousands," Indian Key Refuge, summers 1922 & 1923 (Howell 1932). Numbers in n Florida may reach or exceed 100 in some areas during tropical storms. The largest inland number was 150, Polk Co., during Hurricane Elena, 1 Sep 1985 (A&A 1986). There are large, established summer roosts in the Keys and along both coasts. The one farthest north on the w coast, Seahorse Key (Levy Co.), routinely holds more
subspecies breeding range
31. Magnificent Frigatebird, Fregata magnijicens
than 1000 birds, most of which leave by Nov. On the e coast they roost north to is. in the Banana River & Mosquito Lagoon (Brevard Co.), Jul-Sep, where A. Cruickshank (1980) reported as many as 86 birds (date?). High counts, CBCs: 222, Lower Keys, 19 Dec 1987, and 233 on 15 Dec 1991; 210, Vero Beach, 2 Jan 1967, is a high count for the e peninsula and evidently pertained to a winter roost on Pelican I. (A. D. Cruickshank in Robertson 1967).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Cocoa .01, Coot Bay .04, Dade Co. .03, Ft. Lauderdale .04, Ft. Pierce .02, Key Largo .50, Lower Keys .85, St. Petersburg .004, Sani-bel .20, Sarasota .009, South Brevard Co. .05, Stuart .02, Titusville .002, West Palm Beach .009. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 0:1, recent 3:2. BBS trends: Fla., small sample.
Breeding: Howell (1932) dismissed the breeding reports of frigatebirds in Florida, specifically that of Audubon's in the Florida Keys, 1833, but perhaps was unaware of collected eggs that had been attributed to the species. The first egg was collected by J.W. Velie, the label bearing the information "Florida, 1872" (FMNH 1884); the second listed no collector and was taken, "South Florida Keys," 2 Feb 1896 (FSM). In examining these eggs, HMS was convinced they could have been those of Fregata, butas with many other


egg collectionsthe accuracy of the data is open to question. The records, however, seem more plausible because a colony was found nesting on the Marquesas, 1969, and produced 54 yg. by 7 Aug, J. Ogden (1969b), A. Sprunt IV, & W. B. Robertson, Jr. This colony was evidently less productive, 1970 (Ogden 1970b), but ca. 100 were incubating there, Aug 1971 (Ogden 1971b). The published record is incomplete thereafter, but the account through 1986 is as follows: 7 May 1974, 25 prs. incubating; 26 Apr 1975, 450-500 birds, 115 nests; 10 Jul 1976, 250 nests; May-Jun 1977, 75 nests; 22 Feb 1978, 50 nests; 20 May 1979, 150 nests (Sykes in Kale 1979), but no birds present, 20 Jun (Ogden 1979), nor for the next several years. In 1986, however, 13 yg. fledged there (T. Wilmers in Paul 1987), and the species nested for the first time of record, on the Dry Tortugas (Ogden 1988) and has continued to do so. Layne et al. (1977) quoted J. Edscorn (pers. comm.) as saying (without documentation?) that breeding reports on the Marquesas date back to 1964. However, nesting there apparently stopped after 1989 (Robertson & Woolfenden 1992), probably due to the increase of boat traffic and human disturbance. Cox (1991) reported a "new breeding colony off Ft. Myers;" H.W. Kale II (pers. comm.) has observed frigatebirds roosting on pelican nests, making them appear to be nesting. He reported that nesting north of the Marquesas Keys and Dry Tortugas was never verified, 1986-91, by the FBBA surveyors.
Magnificent Frigatebirds north of the equator usually lay eggs between Dec & May. Twigs obtained from trees or from other nesting birds are used in building the nest, usually in mangroves over water; nest is rather shabby and seemingly insubstantial. The single egg is alternately incubated by each sex and hatches in "about 40 days." Younger nestlings (and sometimes older ones) are fed by regurgitation. Age at first flight unknown (Palmer 1962).
Haunts and Habits: Weighing 2-3 pounds and having a wingspan of 7-8 ft, the frigatebird has the greatest ratio of wing surface area to body weight of all living birds. This fact, together with the bird's very long, deeply forked tail, makes the frigatebird aerodynami-cally unrivaled for soaring and maneuvering. Although a marine species, the frigatebird is rarely found very far from land, though Buhrman & Hopkins (1978a) logged single birds at 25, 40, & 81 mi off Clearwater. When not breeding, it roostsoften in mangroveswith pelicans, wading birds, or other frigatebirds, often where pelicans are breeding. It is a true opportunist when foraging. Lacking waterproof plumage and possessing relatively small feet, the frigate is ill-equipped for diving or swimming and procures most of its food from
the water's surface with its bill. In those areas frequented by pelicans, cormorants, tropicbirds, and boobies, the extremely agile frigatebird occasionally harasses these spp. in flight, sometimes grasping the victim's tail in its bill until the pursued regurgitates its catch, which the frigate intercepts in mid-air. Its diet includes flying fishes (Exocoetes spp.), mullets (Mugil spp.), herring (Clupeidae), menhaden (Bevoortia spp.), Pinfish, Gafftopsail Catfish, Weakfish (Cynoscion regalis), jelly-fishes, and crustaceans. Over land, it captures yg. birds, especially tern chicks (as at the Dry Tortugas) and sea turtle hatchlings, and occasionally it scavenges carrion from the beaches. Early in the breeding season, the male frigate's gular sac, normally small and inconspicuous, becomes inflatable, like a large, red balloon, upon which its head rests. Prior to egg laying, he sits on the nest with the sac inflated. When his mate approaches, he throws his head back, shaking it from side to side, making a variety of cackles, croaks, and whistles, then rapidly clacks his mandibles together.
Adverse Factors: Humans, cats, rats, and sometimes other predators may be very destructive to breeding colonies, and humans also may destroy the breeding habitat or cause it to be unsuitable (see Breeding). When incubating birds are frightened off their nests, eggs may roll out and break.
Problems of Identification: Barring the occurrence of another species of Fregata, no problems are likely, although a novice might mistake a poorly seen imm. for an American Swallow-tailed Kite.
References: Diamond, A. W. 1973. Notes on the breeding biology and behavior of the Magnificent Frigatebird. Condor 75:200-9.
Anon. 1970v; Beard 1939a; Eckelberry 1939a; Funderburg 1966; Geanangel 1985-86a; Harrington, Schreiber, & Woolfenden 1972; C.R. Mason 1951a; J. Nelson 1975; Robertson 1978c; Weigley & Weigley 1966.
ORDER CICONIIFORMES:
Bitterns, Herons, Ibises, Spoonbills, Storks,
and American Vultures.
Long-legged wading birds, with the lower tibia bare (except American Vultures). The 4 toes are long, at about the same level, and partly webbed in some spp. Bill and neck long (except American Vultures); some skin on head usually bare. Tail short. Plumage alike in both sexes, but different in yg. The long-legged waders typically feed on aquatic animals while wading or standing in shallow water. American Vultures typically feed on carrion. Most long-legged waders nest in trees or bushes (usually colonially); American Vultures, typically solitary or loosely colonial, nest on the ground or in


hollows. Clutches have fewer than 5 eggs; hatchlings altricial.
Many spp. of waders (not American Vultures) in this order have undergone great declines in populations that were once thought to number as many as 2.5 million in s Florida, 1800s (Robertson 1965), although such large numbers are doubted by some (e.g., Hancock 1984). The most drastic decreases took place during the plume-hunting days, late 1800s and well into the 1900s ("unabated until the 1920's"Hancock 1984). C.W. Ward (1914) made "a conservative calculation" of 500,000 in a heronry on a single island near Punta Rassa, 1879-80, but when he returned in 1886 he found no nests of Great Egrets, "less than six of Snowy Egrets," and much reduced numbers of Little Blue & Tricolored herons. Population estimates of waders in Florida increased to 500,000, 1920s, & 1.2 million, 1930; Allen (1934a) estimated 1 million in the Shark Rjver Valley (ENP) alone. Then, with reduced water supplies and altered wetlands, 300,000, 1960, & 150,000, 1970 (Robertson & Kushlan 1974). However, an unsubstantiated report (Warner 1963) spoke of as many as 500,000 in a single colony, Myakka River SP. Estimates of other observers, though, dropped to 130,000, 1975 (Nesbitt, Ogden, et al., 1982). Montalbano, Foote, Olinde & Perrin (1979) presented evidence of decreases of 8 spp. of waders following channelization of the Kis-simmee River.
References: Allen, Sprunt & Sprunt 1958; Anon. 1991g, i, 1992c; Austin 1961; Bancroft 1981; Bent 1926, 1937 (vol. 1); Bissland 1959; Black et al. 1984; Bundy 1959; Burton et al. 1979; Byrd 1978; Collopy & Jelks 1989; Conservation Foundation 1968; Cox 1957; Custer & Osborn 1975, 1977b; Custer, Osborn & Stout 1980; Dusi & Dusi 1987; Edman, Day & Walker 1984; Erwin 1985; Forrester et al. 1977a; Frederick & Collopy 1988, 1989a, b, c; Kent 1986b, c, 1987; Kushlan 1976e, 1977f, 1978b, e, 1979c, e, 1981, 1983, 1986; Kushlan, Bauman & Ewan 1978; Kushlan, Morales & Frohring 1985; Kushlan & White 1977b; Lehman 1938, 1939; Letson 1963a, c; C.R. Mason 1959e; Maxwell & Kale 1977b; Meyerrieks 1957, 1960a; H.R. Mills 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1944, 1949; Mills 1939, 1946, 1947, 1948; J. Moore 1953c; Ogden 1977d, 1978b; Ogden, Kale & Nesbitt 1980; Ogden, Kushlan, Tilmant 1978; Ogden & Sprunt 1988; Ohlendorf, Klass & Kaiser 1977, 1979; Palmer 1962; P. Pope 1974; G. Powell 1987; Powell & Bjork 1990; Powell, Bjork et al. 1989; Roderick 1968; Rodgers 1986b; Rodgers & Nesbitt 1979; Runde, Gore et al. 1991; Russell 1938; Russell & Russell 1937; Schreiber & Schreiber 1978; Schultz 1935, 1936, 1941; Sprunt IV, Ogden & Winckler 1978; J. Storer 1958a, b, 1962; Van Tyne & Berger 1976; Wiese 1978b; Zaffke 1984.
Family Ardeidae, Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets.
Wading birds with long legs, long necks (often S-shaped in flight), and a compressed, spear-shaped bill; lores bare. Middle toe has a pectinate claw. Plumage usually alike in both sexes; 11 primaries; 8-12 rectrices. Some spp. have plumes and powder down in the breeding season. The long-legged waders feed by striking and grasping prey with bill. Most nest colonially in trees or bushes, laying 3-6 eggs; hatchlings altricial with little down. Cosmopolitan; 58 spp.
References: Adams et al. 1975, Anon. 1956j, 1957i, k, 1965m, 1965-66, 1992a; Child 1969; Dickinson 1947; Dusi & Dusi 1987; Edman et al. 1984; Ellis 1980; Erwin 1985; Gaston & Johnson 1977; Greene 1960; Grossman 1965; W. Hughes 1963a; Jenni 1964, 1969; Kale 1965; Kovak 1973; Kushlan 1978f; Leposky 1974; Lof-tin 1961; Loftin & Olson 1966; Maxwell & Kale 1974, 1977a; McVaugh 1975; Meyerriecks 1959, 1960a, 1966, 1971; Meyerriecks & Nellis 1967; Miele 1954; Murton 1971; Nesbitt, Ogden et al. 1982; Ohlendorf, Swineford & Locke 1979; Olson & Johnson 1971; Parkes 1955; Payne & Risley 1976; Recher 1972; Recher & Recher 1980; Reed 1971; Rodgers 1980c, 1983a, 1986b; Wiese & Crawford 1974; Woodward 1966; Woolford 1955.
Botaurus lentiginosus (Rackett): American Bittern
Distribution: Breeds from se Alaska and the middle latitudes of Canada south to California, s New Mexico, c parts of Kansas & Missouri, w Kentucky, c Tennessee, c Ohio, s Pennsylvania, ne West Virginia, e Maryland, and e Virginia; casually in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puebla. Winters from sw British Columbia, Utah, Arizona, c New Mexico, c Oklahoma, c Arkansas, the Ohio Valley, and New York south to s Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Greater Antilles; casually outside this range at any time of year.
Florida Status: A generally rare to casual (locally uncommon) winter resident throughout; occasional in summer. Howell (1932) considered it "moderately common" in winter, citing no specimens, but mentioning sight reports throughout Florida. There are 30 or more specimens from all parts of mainland Florida and ca. 8 published sightings on the lower Keys through 1992, but none east of Marathon. Sprunt (1950a) referred to a specimen from the Dry Tortugas, 1860, but we have no knowledge of its existence. High counts: 22, Monroe CBC, 23 Dec 1943; West Palm Beach CBCs (including part of Loxahatchee NWR), 98 (1983), 67 (1975), and 65 (1967).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .02, Cocoa .01, Coot Bay .06, Ft. Lauderdale .02, Ft. Pierce .005, Gainesville .01, Jackson Co. .001, Lower Keys .006, Mt. Dora .004, Myakka .003, Naples .01, Orlando .005,


subspecies breeding range
32. American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus
Pensacola .003, St. Marks .01, St. Petersburg .03, Sani-bel .007, Sarasota .002, South Brevard Co. .004, Stuart .004, Tampa .02, Titusville .02, West Palm Beach .27. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 0:1, recent 3:2. BBS trends: Fla., small sample. Big Bend: Leon Co., no trend; Franklin/Wakulla, increase.
Migration: The presence of a few summering bitterns militates against arbitrary decisions of which individuals represent early arrivals or late departures, but a bird felled by the WCTV tower (Leon Co.), 15 Sep 1959 (TTRS 41), was surely in migration, and a specimen from a small island off Lanark, 16 Sep 1967 (USNM 500874), probably is in the same category. An earlier WCTV casualty (not preserved), 3 Sep 1965 (Stoddard & Norris 1967), may be the earliest known migrant. Several birds, late Jul or Aug, may have been very early migrants: Zellwood, 16 Aug 1971 (Ogden 1971b); Lakeland, 1 photographed (photo not seen), 15 Aug 1972 (HMS 1973d); near Belle Glade, 26 Aug 1979 (A&A 1980); ENP, photographed, 19 Aug 1983; Escambia Co., 6 Aug 1983 (Purrington 1984); near Belle Glade, 29 Jul 1984 (Paul 1984). Howell (1932) reported a late spring observation from Wakulla Co., 10 May 1919; other May reports: Wakulla Co., 8 May 1962; Myakka River SP, 6 May 1970; & Pensacola, 27 May 1962. A few have been seen on the Dry Tortugas: 26 Mar 1967 (Petrovic & King 1973) and/or 30 Mar 1967 (Petrovic in Robertson 1967); 22 Mar 1972; in
fall, 26 Oct-7 Nov 1969. The total numbers that struck the WCTV tower per month, Sep 1955-Sep 1980 (Stoddard & Norris 1967; Crawford 1981a), are 1 each in Feb, Oct, & Dec; 2 in Jan; 4 in Apr; 6 in Sep; & 11 in Mar. The reports in mid-Dec, early Jan, and early Feb are enigmatic. One hit the WDBO TV tower (Orange Co.) 29 Sep 1970 (UCF 503). One banded in Minnesota was recovered in Florida.
Breeding: Howell (1932) listed 6 breeding reports mostly on hearsay evidence (Royal Palm Hammock, Dade Co., near Chokoloskee, Lake Apopka, Micanopy, & the St. Johns River marshes); he added summer records for Lake Hancock, near Bradenton, & Lake Mic-cosukee. FBBA surveyors reported 2 nests with yg., Glades Co., 1989 (B. Pranty, pers. comm.). Tangible evidence of breeding is still lacking, but ad. specimens were collected at Seven Oaks, 26 May 1901 (AMNH 436081), and Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), 2 Jul 1958 (FSU 1280h); also in 1958, HMS et al. saw 3 at the latter site, 17 Jul. Other summer and early fall reports come from St. Johns Co., Everglades area, Bartow, Zellwood, Lakeland, Lake Trafford, Orange Lake, St. Johns River, near St. Marks Light (juv., 5 Aug 1977), Escambia Co., & near Belle Glade (29 Jul; under Migration).
Haunts and Habits: This large bittern roosts and forages amid tall, aquatic vegetation such as cattails (Typha. sp.) and Sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) in marshes and along the borders of lakes and ponds. Infrequently it leaves this dense cover, seeking food in the open in shallow water or a field, neck outstretched, standing motionless or walking slowly. It preys on fishes, mollusks, amphibians, snakes, and small mammals. Well known for its ability to mimic surrounding vegetation, the bittern freezes when alarmed, its streaked neck sometimes extended and bill pointed skyward, resembling dead reeds or grass. When the wind blows the vegetation, the bittern may also sway its neck and head back and forth. Its unique pumping vocalizations during spring and summer are seldom heard in Florida, where the species is mainly a winter resident.
Problems of Identification: The buffy brown, unspotted back, black neck stripe, and blackish remiges separate the bittern from other herons with ventral streaking (imm. Green Heron & imm. night-herons).
Reference: Anon. 1957k.
Ixobrychus exilis (Gmelin): Least Bittern Distribution: Breeds locally on and near the Pacific Coast from Oregon to Baja California and s Sonora; also in the east from s Canada (Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec) and the n U.S. south (ow&s Texas, the n Gulf Coast, s Florida, and the Greater Antilles; also


locally in Middle & South America. Winters in its s breeding range north to s California, s Texas, and n Florida.
Florida Status: Howell (1932) called the Least Bittern "a permanent resident throughout the State," but gave no records to document its wintering. The only specimen he cited came from the Dry Tortugas, 1860. It is now an occasional to fairly common breeding summer resident but quite rare in winter in n Florida and, locally, a fairly common breeder southward. At least 23 specimens exist, and the following were very late or wintering; Lukens (Levy Co.), 18 Dec 1905 (BL 13301) & 18 Feb 1907 (DEL 5664); Eau Gallie, 22 Jan 1914 (FMNH 74433); near Shell Point (Wakulla Co.), 23 Nov 1966 (FSU 1290f); Paynes Prairie (Alachua Co.), 4 Jan 1969 (UF 13389). In 1886 at Tampa, Charles Cory collected a dark morph then thought to represent a new taxon, "Cory's Least Bittern" (FMNH 2001). Sight reports of Least Bitterns exist throughout the state in all seasons, and possibly 20-30 of the dark morph have been published. A very high winter count of Least Bitterns is 79, West Palm Beach CBC, 1983, and a high summer count totaled 54 near Belle Glade, 29 Jul 1984.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Cocoa .03, Coot Bay .004, Dade Co. .004, Ft. Lauderdale .01, Ft. Pierce .009, Gainesville .001, Jacksonville .000+, Key Largo .005, Lakeland .007, Lake Wales .004, Lower Keys .002, Naples .03, Orlando .01, St. Marks .001, St. Petersburg .03, Sanibel .007, Sarasota .005, South Brevard Co. .003, Stuart .005, Tampa .02, Titusville .02, West Palm Beach .30. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 0:0. recent 3:1. BBS trends: No trend. Big Bend: No trend.
Migration: In n Florida and on the Keys, where Least Bitterns are rare in winter and summer, respectively, there is ample evidence of migration. At the WCTV tower (Leon Co.), 1 was found on 2 Jul 1964 (TTRS 39), probably an abnormally early fall migrant. One was found there, 16 Mar 1956 (HMS 1956b); the last in spring, 27 Apr 1962; and the latest in fall, 19 Oct 1958 (TTRS 37; Crawford 1981a). None hit the WDBO tower, 1969-72 (Taylor & Anderson 1973, 1974); 2 hit the VAB, 1971-81, the last third of Apr (Taylor & Kershner 1986). Other out-of-place birds, summer and early fall (presumed migrants): downtown Pensacola, 15 Jul 1936; Pigeon Key, 25 Jul 1962; off Ft. Pierce, 1 "in unsuitable habitat," 23 Jul 1967; Butternut Key, in mangroves, 7 & 22 Aug 1972. Numbers per month striking the WCTV tower include 3 in Mar, 9 in Apr, 3 in Sep, & 2 in Oct.
Breeding: Of many egg sets in museums, the earliest was collected on 12 Mar 1895, Gainesville, but the 2 eggs may have been an incomplete set (FSM 817), as
33. Least Bittern, Ixobrychus exilis
may another early set of 2 taken, Ft. Thompson, 25 Mar 1893 (USNM 26993). The latest set is from Kis-simmee, 6 Aug 1930 (AMNH 15780). The most remarkable breeding record is based on a yg. bird barely able to fly, collected, Dry Tortugas, 10 Jun 1902 (AMNH 78112); 2 juvs. were seen, Key West, 21 Jun 1989 (Paul 1989). Least Bitterns breed in suitable areas throughout the Florida mainland and on some is. in Florida Bay (R. Bowman in Paul 1983; Bowman & Bancroft 1989). Frederick et al. (1990), in a s Florida breeding study, found a greater density of bitterns along airboat trails: 0.135 breeding prs./km vs. 0.089 where there were no trails. The same study noted that breeding bitterns were more abundant in mixed cattail-saw-grass habitats than in those homogeneous with either cattails or sawgrass.
Both sexes take part in building the nest in dense emergent vegetation, usually within 2 ft of water level; nest is an almost flat platform ca. 1 in. wide. The set is said to number 4-5 eggs, but museum sets from Florida averaged close to 3.5 (N = 14). They are usually laid on consecutive days. Incubation period is 17-18 days. The length of the breeding season in Florida (above) suggests that second broods may sometimes be raised. Yg. may leave nest on foot at 3-4 days but not permanently until at least 10 days; age at first flight not known.
Haunts and Habits: This smallest species of U.S.


herons is found in freshwater marshes and, less frequently, in brackish and saltwater marshes: it usually keeps to the tall vegetation. It forages by walking on the leaves and stems of the vegetation or wading in shallow water. When it locates its prey, the bird begins to undulate its neck from side to side and stretches it forward before making the capture. It eats a variety of small fishes, insects, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, and, infrequently, small mammals. Like the American Bittern, the Least will mimic the surrounding vegetation if threatened, pointing its bill skyward. The eyes of both spp. can be directed so that, in this position, they are able to see ahead as well as to each side. When flushed, the Least Bittern resembles a rail with its neck partly extended and feet dangling. In sustained flight, the neck is folded and the legs are extended back to the tail in typical heron fashion. It has a variety of vocalizations, several of which include dove-like coos. When startled, it usually utters a quoh as it takes flight.
Adverse Factors: Perhaps the most detrimental attribute of this species is its weak, low flight, even while migrating. Birds frequently strike buildings and other tall structures; cars and even airboats take their toll of Least Bitterns. Frederick et al. (1990) noted that 17 bitterns were "struck" by their airboat after having been flushed, or 2.8% of all bitterns flushed by the vehicle (only 2 were confirmed fatalities). Then, of course, predators take their toll of bittern eggs, yg., and ads. However, the draining and polluting of Florida's marshes and other wetlands are the greatest concerns for the survival of this species and all others whose existence depends upon that of these habitats.
References: Sutton, G. M. 1936. Food-capturing tactics of the Least Bittern. Auk 53:74-75.
Weller, M.W. 1961. Breeding biology of the Least Bittern. Wilson Bull. 73:11-35.
Beebe 1978, Kale 1978c, Kent 1986a, Kushlan 1973f, W. Moore 1958.
Ardea herodias Linnaeus: Great Blue Heron Distribution: Breeds from s Alaska, s & c Canada, and New Brunswick south to Guerrero, Veracruz, the Gulf Coast, s Florida, Cuba, the Isle of Pines, and other is. in the Caribbean; also in the Galapagos Is. Wanders northward after breeding season. Winters from coastal Alaska and British Columbia, n U.S., and s Ontario south to n South America.
Florida Status: Howell (1932) considered this large heron common "throughout the entire State" and cited 4 specimens of the n A. h. herodias in winter south to Pinellas & Brevard cos.; many others have been so identified in museums. Probably the species' status is little changed today. In the interior of the Panhandle it
34. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
tends to be rare in summer and uncommon in winter, but it may have been no more frequent there in Howell's day. In the remainder of Florida, it ranges from uncommon to common in summer, with slightly greater numbers in winter. Howell (1932) referred to nesting concentrations of "about 70 pairs" of A.h. wardi at a Tampa Bay heronry, 1924, and 150 nests on Passage Key, May 1915. Recent estimates are sometimes much larger: 1000 nests, Lake Okeechobee, 4 Apr 1972 (Sprunt IV et al. in Ogden 1972b); 987, Hamilton Co. CBC, 27 Dec 1981; 1210 on Coot Bay CBC, 29 Dec 1974 (includes A. h. occidentalis). Howell (1932) mentioned, without further comment, that the Great Blue Heron had occurred on the Dry Tortugas, and Sprunt (1962) stated that it was "frequent" there. Since 1932 the following reports from there have been published: 1-3 birds, 20-25 Mar 1951; 1 each, 18-19 Jun 1935, Jun 1945, 29 Mar 1948, & winter 1948-49; 2 each, Sep 1949, 27 May-8 Sep 1962, 16-17 May 1966, & 28 Mar 1967 (1 carcass).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .83, Cocoa 2.2, Coot Bay 2.5, Dade Co. .92, Ft. Lauderdale .62, Ft. Pierce 1.11, Gainesville 1.43, Jackson Co. .19, Jacksonville .73, Key Largo .38, Lakeland 2.4, Lake Wales .85, Laurel Hill .07, Leon Co. .46, Lower Keys .72, Mt. Dora 1.43, Myakka .82, Naples .57, Orlando .52, Pensacola .66, St. Marks .64, St. Petersburg 1.42, Sanibel .58, Sarasota 1.69, South Brevard Co. .73, Stuart .93,


Tampa .81, Titusville 1.46, West Palm Beach .77. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 5:6, recent 6:3. BBS trends: Fla., no trend; 23 routes, 2:3. Big Bend: Leon Co., increase; Franklin/Wakulla, no trend.
Migration: Collected specimens of A.h. herodias in winter, along with increased numbers of Great Blue Herons, Oct-Apr, are evidence of fall & spring migrations in Florida. Published accounts of migrating birds, however, are scant. While on the Dry Tortugas, Sep 1949, Sprunt (1951a) wrote: "One . came in over Gulf, high up, from north in afternoon of 8th, circled twice over Bush Key, flew off to south, then wheeled beyond Long Key Reef, came back, and landed on Bush Key." J. Johnson, in a boat on the Florida Straits, saw 26 "presumed migrants," 8 Oct 1971 (Robertson 1972); he also saw southbound flocks off Cape Canaveral, 13 Oct 1985 (29 birds, 31 mi out), & 8 migrating near shore, 17 Oct (A&A 1986). HMS et al, in a boat south of St. Marks, saw 3 birds approaching land from the Gulf, 17 Mar 1956. Great Blues recovered in Florida had been banded in the following numbers and states: 3 in Maine; 4 in Maryland; 9 in Ohio; and 1 each in Michigan, Nova Scotia, Ontario, & Prince Edward I. The earliest fall date of recovery was 29 Sep and the latest in spring, 27 Apr; oddly, 2 other recoveries were made in Jun & Aug.
Another type of migration especially prominent in ardeidae is the post-nuptial movement {i.e., beginning after the breeding season), typically in a northerly direction. Of 26 birds banded on the Brevard Reservation, 1 May 1938, 2 were recovered in South Carolina, Jun & Jul 1938, & 1 in North Carolina, Aug 1938 (Westfall 1941).
Breeding: In 1 form or another, Ardea herodias breeds virtually throughout Florida, but Howell (1932) did not cite breeding reports west of St. Marks & Lake Miccosukee or anywhere in the n Peninsula. More recently a set of eggs was collected, Ft. Walton, by W. Shannon, 16 Feb 1947 (FSU E1201c). Sight reports add the following areas to the known breeding range: St. Johns & Duval cos. (Grimes 1932a), Alachua Co. (Baynard 1913 in Howell), Destin (W. Shannon, journal), Choctawhatchee Bay (Worthington & Todd 1926 in Howell), Pensacola (Weston 1939b et seq.), Leon Co. (HMS 1950a). Colonies in the Peninsula may contain 100 or more prs., but those farther NW are smaller (see Florida Status). For the state at large, the breeding season is quite prolonged, as nesting begins much earlier in s Florida (fall-early winter) than farther north, and individual colonies at the same latitude may also vary greatly. The earliest museum set found was taken, Merritt I., 11 Sep 1927 (MVZ S-306), and the latest, Kissimmee, 23 May 1931 (AMNH 15721). Based
on sight reports, Cruickshank (1980) gave extreme egg dates, Brevard Co., 27 Dec & 28 May; Weston (1965a) said "eggs are laid in late March," but non-flying yg. have been seen as late as 15 Jul. In Leon Co., HMS (1950a) saw a nesting colony as early as 26 Dec 1949 and another (with eggs & yg.), 16 Apr 1965 (Cunningham 1965b).
Although Great Blue Herons usually nest colonially, an occasional isolated pr. may be found, e.g., 2 fledglings near Lake Placid, late Apr 1982 (Winegarner 1983). The species builds a typical heron nest, rather flattened and built mainly of sticks, often lined with leaves; diameter 25-40 in. Clutch varies, usually 3-6 eggs, but a set of D.J. Nicholson's near Orlando, 12 Mar 1911 (DEL 2844), contained 8 eggs, possibly laid by more than 1 female. Avg. for 13 other Florida sets, 3.3. Both sexes incubate; incubation period 28 days. Fledging period ca. 50 days from hatching.
Haunts and Habits: The Great Blue Heron (including the Great White) is the largest heron in Florida. It frequents shallow water habitats and occasionally ventures into moist fields and dry prairies as well. It is deliberate of movement while flying and feeding. Its wingbeats are deep and slow, its head resting upon its shoulders and its legs trailing out beyond the tail. Foraging may be accomplished by remaining nearly motionless, waiting for its prey, or by slowly stalking it. Sometimes the Great Blue flies out to deep water, drops in, and feeds in schools of fish. Although typically a diurnal feeder, it often hunts at night. Its diet is varied and includes fishes, amphibians, reptiles, yg. birds, small mammals, insects, and crustaceans. Small prey is caught between the mandibles, but some larger prey is speared. When courting, the Great Blue Heron opens its bill, spreads its wings, and leaps about, flapping its wings. It is usually silent except when startled into taking flight, at which time it may utter a deep, croaking sound.
Adverse Factors: Three studies indicate rather high levels of pesticides in this heron. Lincer & Salkind (1973) examined 1 egg from near Sarasota, summer 1972, and found 20.0 ppm of DDE, 29.1 ppm of PCBs, & 2.18 ppm of Dieldrinall 3 values higher than for Brown Pelican. D. Johnston (1976b) tested eggs of 12 spp. of waders and the Anhinga from Merritt I., 1972-73, and found Ardea to have the highest concentration of PCBs and second-highest of DDE. Ohlendorf, Klaas, & Kaiser (1979) found pre-1959 eggs from Lox-ahatchee NWR to have a high concentration of DDE. A bird found dead, ENP, had 6.6 ppm of organochlo-ride residues in its brain; it had also been shot, and the cause of death was uncertain (Ohlendorf, Swineford, & Locke 1979). Except for a lessened likelihood of preda-


tion, this large heron runs about the same risks as other waders. Terres (1980) mentioned casualties from attempts to swallow too-large fishes and from breaking wings in migration. Gunners doubtless still shoot some, and changes of land use deprive some of nesting and feeding grounds.
Variation: The AOU Check-list (1957) described the breeding range of A.h. wardi as extending north to se Kansas, s Illinois & Indiana, and n South Carolina south to the Gulf Coast and s Florida, but later that name was restricted to the population of Great Blue & Great White herons living on and near the Florida Keys (AOU 1973), leaving much of Florida and the Southeast with no subspecific name for its breeding Great Blues. The more northern breeding race, A.h. herodias, reaches much of Florida in winter. (See Comments under Great White Heron.)
References: R. Allen 1950; Bancroft 1969b; Beck 1967; Black & Collopy 1982; Brooks & Loftin 1987; Buehn 1974; Kilham 1985d; Measures 1988; Murdock 1960; G. Smith 1968b; Snyder 1984; Snyder, Ogden et al. 1984; Sutton 1946a; von Borowsky 1962; Zachow 1983.
Ardea (herodias) occidentalis (Audubon): Great White Heron
Distribution: Resident and breeding in s. Florida from Tampa Bay south to Cuba, the Isle of Pines, and the coasts of Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Wanders rarely north to Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, n Florida, the Carolinas, and Pennsylvania. (Other populations of white Ardea occur in Cuba and off Venezuela [A.h. repens] and in Yucatan [subsp.?].)
Florida Status: Howell (1932) wrote that this large heron nested regularly on the Florida Keys, small is. in Florida Bay, and occasionally north to Tampa Bay. He cited specimens taken at Lake Worth, Cedar Keys (not at MCZ as Howell stated), Naples, & Lake Jackson, 10-11 Sep 1960 (USNM 302036). Its status has changed little today, though there has been an increase in numbers since 1935, and it has been found nesting on the e coast north to Key Biscayne (Robertson & Woolfenden 1992). There are at least 70 museum specimens (skins & skeletons), many of which were found dead after Hurricane Donna. More northerly sites of these collections include Melbourne, 13 Jan 1898 (EC 3773); Indian River, 15 Apr (yr.?) (MCZ 42535); Tampa, no date (AMNH 181166); Pinellas Co., 17 Jun 1985 (GEW); and Homosassa River, 24 Jan 1944 (UMMZ 120463). There are also sight reports from n Florida. Grimes reported a crippled bird, Jacksonville, Aug 1935. HMS saw 1, Jackson Lake (Florala), Jun-Jul 1960; when flushed, it circled and apparently flew into
Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding range
35. Great White Heron, Ardea (herodias) occidentalis
Alabama (Imhof 1960). One was seen near Gulf Breeze, 10-11 Sep 1961 (Weston 1962b); banded bird seen with bases of wings dyed pink (a Florida Bay fledgling), Shalimar, 31 Aug-6 Sep 1964 (Gaither & Gaither 1965a); several subsequent reports at this general latitude. According to G. Powell et al. (ms.), most strays are juvs.; a few reach the Dry Tortugas (Robertson 1986).
Population Trends: Howell (1932) made a passing reference to having seen "40 or 50 at one time," but it can be inferred from a statement of E.G. Holt's (in Bent 1926) that he once saw 90-100 ads., winter 1923-24. Although no population data are available, later 1920s & early 1930s, the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 evidently took a heavy toll. Before this storm Sprunt saw 211 birds, Feb 1935 (before some fledged), but after this storm his count was only 146 (Powell et al., 1989.; Sprunt 1954d). In the fall, 1942, Greene (1946) found ca. 1500-1800 on the Florida Keys"a 1000% increase in 7 years." Subsequent counts and estimates are: 1200, Florida Bay & vie, ca. 1 Nov 1959 (Robertson in HMS 1960b); 1103, s Florida, 20-23 Aug 1962 (Robertson 1962b); 2100, s Florida, Feb-Mar 1965 (Cahalane et al. 1966); 2000, Florida (95% in Florida Bay & on Keys), late 1960s (Robertson 1978i). Apparently numbers have been fairly stable since the late 1960s: 800-900 in summer and 1200-1400 in winter in Florida Bay (Powell et al, 1989). Robertson estimated


the ad. population, early 1980s, to be ca. 800 prs. (Robertson & Woolfenden 1992).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Coot Bay 2.2, Dade Co. .01, Ft. Lauderdale .004, Ft. Pierce .001, Key Largo 1.79, Lower Keys 1.48, Myakka .003, Naples .03, St. Petersburg .001, Sarasota .001, Stuart .001, Tampa .004, West Palm Beach .003. CBC trends: Increase noted on Upper Keys, 1973-82.
Breeding: Howell's map (1932: 96) showed breeding reports of Great Whites on the Florida Keys, in Florida Bay, Royal Palm Park (Paradise Key), Fakahat-chee Bay, Johns Pass (Pinellas Co.), & "near Tampa." Evidently unknown to Howell at the time was an egg set labeled "Lake Worth, collection of J. P. Ball; Identifications [female & male] seen," 10 Mar 1879 (WFVZ E); if it is correctly labeled and identified, this set would indicate the northernmost breeding locality of this form along the e coast. The data of another set purportedly from Lake Okeechobee, 3 Mar 1898, by P.N. Kent-worthy (POM 4149) are unreliable. After a lapse of many years with no outlying nest reports, this form was found nesting, Cape Romano (near Naples), 30 Jan 1963, W.B. Robertson, Jr., & at Arsenicker Key (Biscayne Bay), 25 Feb 1963, M. Robertson & R. Miele (HMS 1963b). In Feb & Mar 1968, Bancroft (1969b) studied a mixed pr. (Great Blue X Great White) in Pine I. Sound. Finally in Jan-Feb 1984, this magnificent bird regained its former n limits when 2 more mixed prs. were located in Tampa Bay by Richard Paul (Hoffman 1984).
The sequence of breeding events described under Great Blue Heron applies equally well here, but the Great White, according to Robertson (in HMS 1958a), begins its cycle earlier; in 1957, e.g., 4 nests examined, 16 Oct, "contained large young, whereas only eggs or small young were found in the 40 nests of the Great Blue." E.G. Holt (in Bent 1926) "found young birds as large as adults . 6n December 28, 1923." Random nesting dates cited for the Great Blue by Howell (1932: 98) tend to agree with Robertson's thesis, though not those cited for the Great White (1932: 96-97). Perhaps due only to chance, egg data collected from many museums also do not show an earlier breeding season for the Great White, for which the extreme dates among 29 sets are 1 Dec 1907, Florida Bay (MVZ S-301), & 12 Jun 1917, same loc. (MVZ 2331); extreme dates of the Great Blue (Ward's), 11 Sep 1927, Merritt I. (MVZ S-306), & 23 May 1931, Kissimmee (AMNH 15721). However, the fact that eggs of these 2 forms are indistinguishable may well have led to errors of identification. Preliminary work done by Powell et al. 1989, chiefly in Florida Bay, also indicates very similar breeding seasons for these two forms of Ardea.
Haunts and Habits: The Great White Heron is typi-
cally a bird of salt water or brackish water, with occasional individuals coming inland during the post-breeding dispersal. Where the Great White & Great Blue are sympatric, the Great White prefers the shallow waters of bays and mangrove keys, especially those with turtle-grass (Thalassia sp.). The Great Blue generally prefers sandy beaches. The Great White often becomes tame at fishing docks and bridges where fishermen regularly provide handouts. Toadfish (Batrachoididae), mullets (Mugil spp.), Red Porgy (Pagrus), pipefish (Syngnathidae), and needlefish (Strongylura spp.) make up most of its diet. It also eats shrimps and other crustaceans and has occasionally been observed eating Hispid Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus). Unlike the Great Blue, which usually feeds in exposed situations and takes flight when disturbed, the Great White often feeds near mangroves and will crouch rather than taking flight, allowing the shadows cast by the vegetation to break up its pattern, rendering it almost invisible (Hancock & Elliott 1978).
Adverse Factors: Although the great decline of this large heron in the 1800s & early 1900s was due largely to the activities of plume-hunters, fishermen, and gunners, human exploitation is now at a minimum. The size and strength of the bird render it immune from many predators. The Fish Crow, which may steal eggs from Great Blue Herons, is chiefly out of the Great White's range. Otherwise, this bird is subject to the same dangers as other Ardea. To a greater degree than most spp., it is vulnerable to major hurricanes; one in 1935 was partly responsible for reducing the total population from 211 to 146 individuals (Sprunt 1954d), and in 1960 Hurricane Donna killed more than 100. Powell (1983) has also adduced evidence that available food resources may be inadequate for the maintenance of former reproductive rates.
Commentary: Marston Bates once asked, "How can we talk about the animal until we know what it is?" What the Great White Heron is has been a long-debated question. Possibly the most prevalent view, certainly the most liberal, of the 1800s held that the Great White Heron, Great Blue, Ward's, & Wurdemann's represented 4 distinct species. By probably 1900 Wurdemann's was generally thought to be a hybrid of the Great Blue and the Great White. This form is rare to fairly common where the parental forms breed, especially in the lower Keys; it has wandered north to Alachua & Duval cos. (Paul 1988, Edscorn 1979b). In 1956 Ernst Mayr (1956) put forth the view that the blue and white forms were conspecific, with the gene for white being dominant over that for blue; this supposition was based partly on Sprunt's recollection of having seen white parents with blue yg. Another such case was recorded in Pine I. Sound, Feb-Mar 1968 (Bancroft


1969b), in which the single offspring of a pr. of Great Whites was compared to the Great Blue. In spring 1978 a mixed mating produced 1 white and 1 blue yg.; the white nestling died (UMRC 10147), but the blue fledged (T. Below, in litt., 3 Jul 1987). In Jul 1988 a mixed mating at Cortez produced 2 white birds and 1 blue. Mayr (1956) further contended that Wurdemann's Heron was doubly recessive for white but heterozygous or dominant for a "modifying" factor of the Great White's that causes shortness of plumes, whiteness of head, paler color, and longer bill. Clearly, these assumptions about genetic makeups could account for most of the facts, but might there be other explanations? Do they explain why, as Meyerriecks (1957) claimed, "only normal white or blue young" (i.e., not Wurdemann's) result from cases of mixed parentage? However, G. Powell (in litt., 16 May 1990) points out that "the white head of the Wurdemann's does not appear until the birds obtain adult plumage"; he also noted many cases of mixed matings, which usually produced mixed broods. Apparently there are few known results of mixed parentage and apparently no published reports of the nesting of 2 Wurdemann's Herons.
Later, the AOU Committee on Classification and Nomenclature (AOU 1973) gave subspecific rank (A.h. occidentalis) to "the population of the Florida Keys." This population, in the breeding season, consists almost equally of Great Blues (Ward's) and Great Whites (Robertson 1978i). Whereas the Great White Heron breeds almost entirely on the Keys and in Florida Bay, the Ward's segment of the Great Blue breeds as far north as the Ohio River (AOU 1957). At present, no taxon-omic (trivial) name seems available for the breeding population occupying most of this range. As Robertson (19781) points out, the type locality of wardi (in Lee Co.) lies within the breeding range of the Great White, whose type specimen came from Key West. One peculiarity of this taxonomic treatment is that one population (wardi) is now lumped (at least in part!) with another (occidentalis), from which it differs in plumage coloration, shape and avg. length of occipital plumes, and mensural proportions (Holt in Bent 1926), yet it is split from another taxon (A.h. herodias) with which it is almost identical in at least 2 of these respects. According to Audubon, Henry Bryant, and Charles Maynard (Woodard 1966), the Great White Heron is quite antagonistic toward other Ardea, but there seem to be few modern observations to support this view. G. Powell (in. litt., 31 Aug 1987) has seen each form defend its territory against the other. In s Florida, W. Hoffman (pers. comm.) has noted occasional aggressive behavior among individuals feeding. James Bond (1961), who is familiar with Ardea in the Antilles, says, "I am confident that white, short-
crested occidentalis of the Florida Keys is nearer [A.h.] repens than long-crested wardi" Bent (1926) pointed out two other differences between wardi and occidentalis:
1. Avg. egg size is nearly identical in wardi and A.h. herodias (65.4 x 46.4 mm and 64.5 x 45.2 mm, respectively), whereas eggs of the Great White average only 61.1 x 42.4 mm (Bent 1926). HMS (unpubl.), however, obtained more similar measurements for the two: 65.86 x 47.03 mm for 28 Florida wardi and 64.73 x 46.29 mm for 24 occidentalis (5 measured by James Dean, USNM).
2. In a small sample (Bent 1926:98), "the average length of wing, tail and tarsus . are greater for wardi than for occidentalis, whereas the bill averages longer and thicker [in occidentalis']" based on data of Holt (wardi) & Oberholser (occidentalis). In a small sample of skins, HMS obtained similar results except that the tarsus averaged longer in occidentalis than in Ward's; in a greater number of skeletons, however (11 Ward's, 36 Great Whites), marked differences were found in the two forms in lengths of certain elements in males, females, and unsexed birds separately (as well as in the totals): pre-maxilla (dorsal), skull plus bill (dorsal), and tarsometatarsus, but the differences in length of ulna (chord) and in bill depth at base were only slight. Great Whites also had much higher values for 3 of 9 ratios computed from these 5 measurements. As Robertson (1978i) has pointed out, mating between the two forms is highly assortative; on the basis of their respective numbers on the Florida Keys, random mating would result in ca. 48% mixed prs., but the actual proportion is ca. 5%.
Problems of Identification: Some care must be taken to distinguish the Great White Heron from the Great Egret. The latter is much smaller and has black (not greenish, yellow, orange, or dusky) tarsi and a more slender bill, head, and neck.
References: Anon. 1935f, 1936a, 1990b; Buswell 1934a; Delany & Woodward 1988; Dighton 1936; Funderburg 1962a; Gaither & Gaither 1966a, d; Greene 1971; C. Holland 1970a; L. Hubbard 1957c; C.R. Mason 1962; Mayr 1956; Meyerriecks 1957; Meyerriecks & Meyerriecks 1958; Peters 1940, 1941; Powell 1983; Powell & Powell 1986; Powell, Powell & Paul 1988; Russell & Sprunt 1939; Sanger 1967a; Sprunt 1935, 1939b; Weston 1962b; Zachow 1983.
Casmerodius albus (Linnaeus): Great Egret Distribution: Breeds locally from s Canada and the n U.S. south to parts of California and Nevada, sw Arizona, e Colorado, s New Mexico, sc Texas, the West Indies, and along both coasts of Mexico to s Chile and Argentina; also from c Europe, and c Asia south


to s Asia, the East Indies, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and locally in Africa and Madagascar. Winters from n California, c Nevada, c Arizona, c New Mexico, c Texas, s Louisiana, s Mississippi, s Alabama, s Georgia, and e North Carolina to s limits of breeding range. Also from n Africa and s Asia south to s limits of breeding range. After breeding season, some wander north to s Canada, the British Isles, and n Europe.
Florida Status: A fairly common to abundant breeder in the s half of the Florida Peninsula, decreasing to rare or uncommon in the Panhandle. Locally abundant (Coot Bay & Lakeland areas) in winter, fairly common to common in most other areas, but rare in parts of the Panhandle and occasional on Dry Tortugas. Winter records in the Panhandle include a specimen taken, Lake Seminole, 31 Dec 1974 (UF 20043). Sprunt (1950a) asserted that there were 3 reports, Dry Tortugas, but later (1962) added that J. DeWeese called it a "regular visitor" there (reported on 10 days, Apr & May, 1951-53). Robert & Stevenson (1951) also had reports there, 19-26 Mar 1951, and other observers saw small numbers, Oct 1958, 1970, 1971, & 1974, Nov 1975, and probably other years. Abramson (1960b) et al. saw 1 there, 8 May 1960, a late date.
Howell's book (1932), written near the end of the plume-hunting era, depicted the bird's numbers as "greatly reduced," but he mentioned a nesting colony of ca. 250 prs., Indian Key (Tampa Bay), 1925. Recent estimates run much higher: 2500 nests, Lake Okeechobee, 4 Apr 1972; 3500 birds west of Vero Beach, 22 Apr 1974; 2870 near Belle Glade, 17 Aug 1980. We question, however, an estimate of 15,000 at Lane River, 1932-33 (?) (Holt 1933c), at a time when plume-hunting was still practiced. Estimates of ca. 11,000 prs. for the entire Florida Peninsula, 1977 & 1978 (Ogden et al. 1980), indicated some decline following their estimates of 14,000 prs., 1957-60, & 15,000, 1975-76. A high winter count was "2674," Coot Bay CBC, 28 Dec 1975. Although the evidence from CBCs and BBSs is somewhat contradictory, there have been numerous decreases since ca. 1960-65.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .40, Cocoa 2.8, Coot Bay 9.7, Dade Co. .62, Ft. Lauderdale 1.05, Ft. Pierce 2.4, Gainesville .54, Jackson Co. .08, Jacksonville 1.5, Key Largo 1.04, Lakeland 7.9, Lake Wales, 1.17, Laurel Hill .007, Leon Co. 1.59, Lower Keys 1.16, Mt. Dora 1.19, Myakka 1.34, Naples .59, Orlando .47, Pensacola .03, St. Marks 2.2, St. Petersburg 2.2, Sani-bel .71, Sarasota 1.00, South Brevard Co. .73, Stuart .73, Tampa .90, Titusville 2.7, West Palm Beach 1.62. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 9:1, recent 6:5. BBS trends: Fla., decrease (556:333); 23 routes, 0:6. Big Bend: Leon Co., no trend; Franklin/Wakulla, decrease.
36. Great Egret, Casmerodias albus
Plumes: Aigrettes are modified feathers composed of a recurved shaft and long barbs with elongated bar-bules that do not hook, thereby giving the feather a lacy appearance. Used for courtship displays, they are peculiar to Casmerodius, Egretta, and Bubulcus, appearing during the breeding season and shed later. They grow from the upper back and, in some species, from the crown and upper breast also. During the late 1800s and through the turn of the century, these plumes were sought after by the millinery trade in the U.S. and abroad, especially for adorning women's hats. Literally worth their weight in gold at that time, $32 an ounce, aigrettes were taken from thousands of nesting egrets that were slaughtered, thus killing both the ads. and, indirectly, the unattended eggs and yg. Exploited worldwide, populations dwindled and some colonies were wiped out. In 1905 several state Audubon societies formed the National Association of Audubon Societies (now National Audubon Society), an organization that won legislation in Florida to protect all nongame bird spp.
Migration: As the Great Egret occurs to some extent throughout the year in all parts of Florida, migration records are not easily determined. One that struck the WCTV tower (Leon Co.), 14 (not "4") Feb 1959 (Crawford 1981a), must have been an early spring migrant, and Weston (1945c) recorded its arrival, Pensacola, 25 Feb 1945. He wrote later (1965b) that "there is


a well marked westward . flight in spring," citing as examples flocks of 25, 18 Mar 1951, & 21 on 13 Mar 1949; the only fall movement was of 38, 2 Oct 1955. HMS (1953a) saw 4 arriving over the Gulf from the SE, Wakulla Beach, 9 Apr 1953, and P. Romaine reported 1 in flight 48 mi off Canaveral, 1 May 1959 (HMS 1959a). Quantitative data in the Tallahassee area (2 sets) show higher frequencies in fall & winter (immigration) and Jul-Aug (post-nuptial migration). Peaks in Jackson Co. fell, Mar, Oct, & Nov; in Okaloosa Co., no fall peak was noted, but values were very high, Mar, then substantially lower, Apr and May; the species was rare there in all other months (HMS, unpublished). Small numbers banded in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Is., South Carolina, Minnesota, & Ohio were recovered in Florida. Three banded in Florida were recovered in South Carolina, Cuba, & North Carolina (Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory, MD).
Breeding: Howell (1932) gave a number of breeding sites in mainland Florida NW to Leon Co.; there is evidence of slight expansion since that time. The species breeds on any of 3 small is. off Spring Creek (Wakulla Co.), as well as St. Vincent I. (Franklin Co.). M.A. Olson showed HMS a small heronry north of Bruce (Walton Co.), 10 Jun 1967, at which time 2 Great Egrets and 2 Little Blue Herons flew in. Sybil Arbery showed HMS 2 heronries containing Great Egrets, 30 May 1987, north of Wewahitchka (150 ads.) & north of Blountstown (200). Northerly nesting colonies were found, Hamilton & Madison cos., late 1970s (Nesbitt, Ogden et al. 1982a). Of 50 or more egg sets found in museums, the earliest was taken, 26 Jan 1930, Kissim-mee Prairie (Osceola Co.), W. Nicholson (DEL 32510). A set mentioned by Howell (1932), Lake Jessup (Seminole Co.), 4 Dec 1859, is no longer at the USNM, but there are sight reports of eggs in Dec. A very late [early?] sight report was that of 2 half-grown yg., Myakka River SP, 19 Oct 1962 (Letson 1963a), and Edscorn (1975a) wrote that "thousands of wading birds nested until late Oct. 1974 in various Florida colonies." Kushlan & White (1977b) stated that this egret nested year-round, 1974-75, in s Florida. Ogden (1978i) stated that its main breeding season had shifted from Dec-May in the 1930s to May-Aug in the 1970s, because of inadequate water levels in spring. (For maximum sizes of Florida colonies, see Florida Status.)
Like some other large birds, Great Egrets probably do not nest until age 3. Nests are built in trees (often mangroves in Florida) at various heights, but usually above 20 ft. They are built of sticks or live branches, sometimes rather flimsy but more substantial when old nests are repaired. Eggs are laid on alternate days and
typically number 3-4, but Maxwell & Kale (1977a) found an avg. of only 2.8, Riomar I. (near Vero Beach), 1973. Incubation requires 28-29 days, and the fledging period is 60 or more additional days (Wiese 1976).
Haunts and Habits: The Great Egret inhabits all shallow water and, occasionally, dry upland habitats. It forages by standing motionless or slowly stalking its prey with its neck and head projected in a diagnostic stance. Like the Great Blue Heron, it swims well and will venture into deep water when fishes are concentrated there. It secures its prey between its mandibles and occasionally spears it. Its diet includes fishes, reptiles, amphibians (especially frogs), small mammals, and birds, as well as a variety of crustaceans, mollusks, and insects. It is usually a solitary, territorial feeder, but is gregarious when nesting and roosting. Aigrettes grow only from the back of this egret and can attain a length of 41/2 ft. During courtship and nest relief rituals, both sexes raise and spread their aigrettes while making croaking sounds. Sometimes they spread their wings and walk about during these performances. Allan & Helen Cruickshank (1958) watched a bird at Lake Eola (Orlando) "take note of the fact that bread thrown to the ducks attracts fish." It then "repeatedly picked up the bread dropped on the shore and put it in the water," waited for fish to nibble this bait, and promptly speared them.
Adverse Factors: Like other large water birds, Great Egrets are susceptible to attacks by alligators and other large predators. Although hatching success is high, many of the smaller nestlings starve. Nestlings are especially liable to predation, and eggs may be lost to Black Vultures, Fish Crows, Boat-tailed Grackles, and possibly large snakes. In the past, plume-hunters working for the millinery trade almost exterminated the species. Occasionally, egrets may still be illegally shot or suffer loss of nesting habitat and too little water. Pesticides are at least potentially dangerous; Lincer & Salkind (1973) found the following concentrations (ppm) in an egg from Charlotte Harbor, summer 1972: DDE 10.36, PCB 7.5, & Dieldrin 0.06. Ohlendorf, Klaas & Kaiser (1979) reported DDE up to 9.0 ppm in eggs from the Ding Darling NWR.
Problems of Identification: See Great White Heron and Reddish Egret.
References: Blassingame 1971; Caldwell 1956; Kahl 1963a; Kilham 1984a, e; B. King 1986b; Schroder 1942b; J. Storer 1941, 1951, 1952; Wiese 1976, 1978a.
Egretta thula (Molina): Snowy Egret
Distribution: Breeds from n California, n Nevada, se Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, c Kansas, c Oklahoma, e Texas, w Texas, w Tennessee, n Alabama, n


Georgia, and coastal Maine south to s Chile, c Argentina, and the Greater Antilles. Winters from n California, sw Arizona, the n Gulf Coast, and coastal South Carolina south to s limits of breeding range. Wanders north after breeding season to s Canada and the n U.S.
Florida Status: The Snowy Egret is a fairly common to locally abundant permanent resident and breeder in the Florida Peninsula, nest reports (Howell 1932) ranging from Cape Sable to n Leon Co. Several reports on the Dry Tortugas, including a specimen, 7 Oct 1932, P. Bartsch (USNM 321178). In n Florida frequencies are lower in winter than in summer, and few have wintered in the Pensacola area: 2 throughout winter, 1956-57 (Weston 1965a), were the only ones seen until the 1970s; from 1973 to 1983 they were recorded on 6 CBCs. Like the Great Egret, the Snowy was drastically reduced in numbers during the plume-hunting years, but its recovery was more rapid. Pearson (1907 in Howell 1932) found "not over a dozen" on the sw coast, spring 1906, but in 1911 he counted 57 prs., Orange Lake (Pearson 1941). F.M. Chapman (1908a in Howell) considered it on the verge of extinction, and Phelps (1912) & Baynard called it scarce in the Everglades, Mar 1912. By 1931 Howell (1932) reported a breeding colony estimated at 2000 birds at Cape Sable, but wardens' reports (Holt 1933c) of 40,000, sw Florida (Lane River), probably early 1930s, seem far too high. In any case, this egret's increase since 1932 has been only moderate, with decreases noted since ca. 1960-65. High counts on Coot Bay CBCs are "7756," 2 Jan 1966, & 4200, 1 Jan 1967. A count of "4238" at Bivens Arm (near Gainesville), Jul 1949 (Pearson 1950), probably included many fledglings and/or nestlings.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .12, Cocoa 3.5, Coot Bay 8.7, Dade Co. .43, Ft. Lauderdale .19, Ft. Pierce 7.3, Gainesville .14, Jackson Co. .001, Jacksonville .76, Key Largo .59, Lakeland 1.79, Lake Wales .81, Leon Co. .13, Lower Keys 1.72, Mt. Dora .30, Myakka 1.19, Naples 1.47, Orlando .16, Pensacola .02, St. Marks .83, St. Petersburg .86, Sanibel 1.11, Sarasota 1.20, South Brevard Co. .39, Stuart .83, Tampa .65, Titusville 2.6, West Palm Beach .21. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 6:1, recent 6:4. BBS trends: Fla., decrease (333:185); 23 routes, 1:6. Big Bend: Leon Co., decrease; Franklin/Wakulla, no trend.
Migration: In the Pensacola area, where the Snowy Egret was formerly absent in winter, Weston (1965a) recorded extreme migration dates, 8 Mar 1936 & 28 Oct 1943. In Brevard Co., Cruickshank (1980) reported northward flights of 100-400 "daily . over the Indian River," 15-30 Mar 1955, and smaller numbers, 20 Mar 1961 & 14 Mar 1965; he saw "no conspicuous autumn flight." HMS saw 1 flying NW past the Dry Tor-
tugas with 3 Little Blue Herons, 25 Mar 1951, and Petrovic & King (1973) noted migratory flocks there, late Mar 1967. One struck the WCTV tower (Leon Co.), 16 Apr 1967 (Crawford 1981a). Single individuals banded in Virginia & Alabama were recovered in Florida, and 5 banded in Florida were recovered in Panama, Alabama, Surinam, British Guiana, & Pasca-goula, MS (Loftin & Olson 1966).
Breeding: Apparently there has been little expansion of the Snowy's breeding range described by Howell (1932)see Florida Statusbut about 20 birds nesting with other waders, Occidental Phosphate Mine (Hamilton Co.), 1978-80 (Maehr 1981b), represented a new site, and the species also nests, St. Vincent I. (Franklin Co.). The first nesting, Bay Co., was reported on an is., St. Andrews Bay, 1984 (T. Francis in Jackson 1984a). Nesting colonies, 1930-1940s were monitored at Green Key, Orange Lake, & Bivens Arm, with numbers ranging from 57 to 800 prs. Among more recent estimates, 1900 prs., summer 1975, Moore Creek (Merritt I.), by Ogden (1975b) & M. Bigger, is perhaps the largest. For the nesting season, 1974-75, Kushlan & White (1977b) estimated 5190 nests (ca. 11,000 birds) for all of s Florida.
This egret usually nests at lower elevations (under 30 ft) in trees and bushes with other waders. The nest, 1-2 ft in diameter, is built of a foundation of sturdy sticks and lined with finer sticks or other plant matter. The female lays 3-5 eggs on alternate days. Rodgers (1980c) found the avg. clutch size in 13 Hillsborough Bay nests, 1976-77, 3.15 eggs; 18 Florida sets in museums, 1894-1929, averaged 3.78 (HMS), omitting an aberrant set of 8 eggs (2 females?), Orange Co., 27 Apr 1922, D. Nicholson (DEL 2933). Although nesting usually begins later than in the larger waders, H. H. Bailey & J. B. Semple collected 5 sets, Cape Sable area, 14 Jan 1929 (WFVZ 94589; CARN 2442-5); farther north, Girard & Taylor (1979) found a fresh egg in a nest, Merritt I., 8 Feb 1975, and a small downy nestling found dead, Vero Beach, 27 Mar 1968, H. Kale, was also early (TTRS 2329). The latest set was taken, Tallahassee, by L.E. Grant, 15 Jul 1894 (FMNH 5438). The incubation period is thought to be ca. 18 days, the nestling period 20-25 days.
Haunts and Habits: The Snowy Egret inhabits shallow, freshwater lakes, streams, and marshes; coastal surf and tidal marshes; and occasionally moist or dry upland habitats, where it sometimes forages with Cattle Egrets. It is an active feeder, moving its feet to stir up the bottom, flushing its prey, and perhaps attracting them with its yellow toes. Exhibiting behavior similar to a Reddish Egret's, it runs through the water with wings partially spread, chasing its prey. Occa-


37. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
sionally it flies over deep water and captures prey near the water's surface. Shrimps, crayfish, and crabs comprise most of its diet, but it also takes small fishes, insects, amphibians, small reptiles, and an occasional small mammal. Baynard (1912a in Howell) counted the ff. prey items in meals fed to yg. at Orange Lake: "120 small suckers," 762 grasshoppers, 91 cutworms, 2 small lizards, 29 small crawfishes, and 7 small "moccasins" (Agkistrodon?). This egret is the most highly adorned U.S. heron, developing aigrettes on its crown, breast, and upper back. Its nuptial displays are varied and complex and involve the elevation of these feathers, including the spreading of those on the back. Highly vocal when courting and defending its nest, it is usually silent away from the breeding colony.
Adverse Factors: Robertson & Kushlan (1984) point out that a large decrease of the Snowy Egret population took place, 1930s-1960s, due to changing land use. Forrester et al. (1980b) reported a death due to botulism, Hamilton Co., May-Jun 1979. Ohlendorf, Klaas & Kaiser (1979) found the concentration of oxychlor-dene as high as 21 ppm in eggs, Sarasota Baythe highest known in the U.S.and the concentrations of DDE and PCBs in eggs, St. Marks NWR, were 1.9 ppm each. Presumably the small waders, such as the Snowy, lose more eggs and yg. to predators than do their larger kin. The Snowy Egret has been designated
a Species of Special Concern by the FGFWFC (Wood 1991).
Problems of Identification: White juv. Little Blue Herons are sometimes confused with imm. Snowy Egrets because the latter have tarsi more greenish than black, although the toes are as yellow as in ads. In probably all Little Blues, at least the tips of the primaries are dusky, not pure white as in egrets.
References: Callahan & Carey 1979; H. Cruickshank 1948a; Grimes 1936b; Gruber 1952b; W. Hughes 1969b; Kushlan 1972a, 1973a; Ogden 1978g; Rice 1954; Ryder 1978; Sprunt 1936a, 1953d, 1954f.
Egretta caerulea (Linnaeus): Little Blue Heron Distribution: Breeds from s California, s Sonora, se New Mexico, nc Texas, c Oklahoma, c Kansas, se Missouri, sw Kentucky, nw Tennessee, c Alabama, s Georgia, and coastal Maine south to c and e Peru, c Brazil, and Uruguay. Winters from s Baja California, s Sonora, the Gulf coastal plain, and coastal Virginia south to s limits of breeding range. Wanders after breeding season to s Canada and n U. S.
Florida Status: Generally a fairly common to common (locally uncommon or abundant) breeding summer resident throughout the mainland and associated is. The winter numbers are comparable to those in summer in s Florida, but values are generally lower in winter in n Florida, and it is typically uncommon to rare at that season in the Panhandle. Howell (1932) called it "an abundant resident in practically all sections . not known to breed on the Florida Keys," but he listed no winter reports in the Panhandle. However, Weston (1965a) cited reports, 3 Jan 1962 & 30 Jan 1964, and 1 was reported there, 20 Dec 1975 (Hamilton 1976). Pensacola CBCs reported 2 in 1977 & 1 each, 1982 & 1983. It is a regular transient, Dry Tortugas, in spring, less frequent in fall, and occasional in summer; 1 was collected there, 12 Nov 1920 (USNM 288565). A bird collected, Glades Co., 19 Feb 1953, proved to be a hybrid between this species and the Snowy Egret (Sprunt 1953d; USNM 421325); a bird photographed, Bay Co. (date?), may be the hybrid offspring from Bubulcus ibis and a Little Blue (TTRS P667-70).
Although this heron probably suffered only incidentally from the plume-hunters, there seems to be little information about numbers earlier than 1930, when most waders were increasing. Howell (1932) told of a rookery of 1500 prs., Orange Lake, 1916, implying that most colonies were much smaller. The Orange Lake heronry, 1911, was estimated at 2500 prs. (Pearson 1941). At Bivins Arm, J. Dickinson (1946) counted 3797 (including fledglings?), 7 Aug 1946. Maximum


Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding range
38. Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea
counts have been lower more recently: ca. 1200 birds near Chumuckla (Santa Rosa Co.), 8 Jul 1939 (Weston 1965a), & P. Sykes (in Kale 1974b) reported a feeding concentration of 1000 west of Vero Beach, 22 Apr 1974. Maxima on CBCs include "1952," Ft. Lauderdale, 26 Dec 1960, & "1543," Coot Bay, 2 Jan 1966. According to Layne, Hallcup et al. (1977), the total population of this and other small herons in several cos. in the wc Peninsula decreased from 90,000, mid-19305, to 1000-7500, mid-1960s.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .15, Cocoa 1.52, Coot Bay 5.4, Dade Co. .60, Ft. Lauderdale 1.52, Ft. Pierce 2.2, Gainesville .97, Jackson Co. .008, Jacksonville .44, Key Largo 1.13, Lakeland .73, Lake Wales .48, Leon Co. .15, Lower Keys 1.79, Mt. Dora .30, Myakka 1.09, Naples .96, Orlando .19, Pensacola .005, St. Marks .56, St. Petersburg .86, Sanibel 1.08, Sarasota 1.20, South Brevard Co. .46, Stuart .83, Tampa .73, Titusville 2.6, West Palm Beach 1.83. CBC trends (incr.rdecr.): early 2:5, recent 4:7. BBS trends: Fla., no trend; 23 routes, 2:4. Big Bend: Leon Co., no trend; Franklin/ Wakulla, increase.
Migration: In the Panhandle, at least, it is not unusual to see migrating flocks of Little Blues in spring. Weston (1965a) did not detail this movement except to say that 1 flock was flying east rather than west (26 Mar 1950); his earliest and latest dates of nonwinter-
ing birds, 20 Feb & 4 Nov. HMS has seen this heron arriving from over the Gulf, early spring, Wakulla & Franklin cos., and saw 3 flying NW past the Dry Tortugas, 25 Mar 1951. Petrovic & King (1973) also reported flocks of migrating Little Blues on these small is., late Mar 1967. Cruickshank (1980) reported flocks, 30-200, flying north through Brevard Co., 14 Mar-8 Apr. A group of 14 flying north, Tallahassee, 31 Jan 1962 (HMS 1962b), may have been exceptionally early migrants. Buhrman & Hopkins (1978a) saw 1 over the Gulf 79 nautical mi off Pasco Co. coast, 9 Apr 1978, & Langridge (in Paul 1981) reported 1 flying east 10 mi off Boynton Beach, 26 Jun 1981. A Little Blue struck the WCTV tower, 22 Mar 1957, 24 Mar 1965, & 1 Apr 1966; 1 on 27 Jul 1957 (Crawford 1981a) may have been a northbound postnuptial migrant. The absence of visible fall migrants and lack of fall casualties at television towers is puzzling. Two Little Blues banded in Alabama have been recovered in Florida, as were single birds banded in Georgia, South Carolina, & Virginia. Birds banded in nw Florida have been recovered in Panama, Jamaica, & Georgia (Loftin & Olson 1966).
Breeding: Other than the numbers found, Johnston Key, 10 Apr 1940 (Greene 1946), & Don Quixote Key, Jun 1976 (Nesbitt, Ogden et al., 1982), there has probably been little extension of the Little Blue's breeding range in Florida since 1932; new sites include the Occidental Phosphate Mine (Hamilton Co.), late 1970s (Maehr 1981b); north of Wewahitchka, 30 May 1987; & St. Vincent I., 1980s. Numerous egg sets are in museums, ranging from Leon Co. to Punta Gorda, for which the extreme dates are 2 Mar 1892, Micco (AMNH 238), & 6 Jun 1920, Victoria (loc.?; DEL 3003). Two abnormally late sight reports concern a nest with 3 eggs, Marco, 2 Sep 1936 (Reimann 1939b), & yg. incapable of flight, Myakka River SP, 6 Sep 1962 (Letson 1963a). Though often nesting on coastal is., Little Blues nest in inland swamps more often than most other ardeids; they may frequent cypress (Taxo-dium sp.) swamps in the Peninsula or Titi (Cliftonia monophylla) swamps in the Panhandle; various bushes may be used instead of trees. Some controversy has centered on the question of whether the white yearling birds reproduce. Rodgers (1980d) points out that dark feathers usually appear on these birds at 10 mos. and that they "may participate in breeding activities at 10-13 months." New nests are built each year much like those of the Snowy Egret or Tricolored Heron, and the eggs of these 3 are probably indistinguishable. Clutch size ranges from 3 to 5 eggs, with rare exceptions; at Riomar I. (Vero Beach), Maxwell & Kale (1977a) reported an avg. of 3.3, whereas Rodgers


(1980a) found an avg. of 2.91 at Alalia Banks (Tampa Bay). Our small museum sample from Florida, 1894-1929, averaged 3.7. Incubation begins with the first egg laid and lasts 20-24 days, being shared by both sexes. The nestling period is ca. 4 weeks (Rodgers 1980b). Nestling survivorship to 2 weeks of age was 53.0% (Rodgers 1980a).
Haunts and Habits: Although it sometimes inhabits coastal areas, this heron shows a preference for shallow, freshwater lakes, marshes, swamps, and streams, and sometimes for cultivated fields and moist or dry prairies. It forages by standing and waiting for its prey or by stalking it, either walking or running as does the Snowy Egret. It eats crayfish, small fishes, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, especially grasshoppers. Baynard (in Bent 1926), while studying waders in Florida, reported that yg. Little Blues were fed mostly grasshoppers, small frogs, cutworms, an occasional lizard, and crayfish. This gregarious species mixes freely with Tricolored Herons, Snowy & Cattle egrets, and ibis when foraging, nesting, or roosting. Although without true aigrettes, it does develop elongated feathers on the head, neck, breast, and back that are elevated and displayed during courtship activities. Lacking aigrettes, Little Blue populations were not so severely exploited as were the egrets, their plumes having little economic value.
Adverse Factors: Little Blues are subject to the same dangers as other waders, but they suffered far less from plume-hunting than did the Great & Snowy egrets. In addition to loss of eggs to predators, some eggs probably roll out of the more flimsy nests built by some prs., and some nests actually collapse. Probably some decline in population is due to loss of inland wetlands and to competition with Cattle Egrets for nesting space. As with other waders, starvation of smaller nestlings is frequent. Some eggs from Lake Istokpoga had a concentration of PCBs as high as 88 ppm (Ohlendorf, Klaas & Kaiser 1979). The Little Blue Heron has been designated a Species of Special Concern by the FGFWFC (Wood 1991).
Problems of Identification: The ad. has a color pattern resembling that of a dark-morph Reddish Egret, but with much darker colors. White imms. may sometimes be difficult to distinguish from imm. Cattle Egrets or imm. Snowy Egrets, but differ in having dark primary tips.
References: Kaufman, K. 1991. Summertime blues, Am. Birds 45:330-33.
Burchsted 1983, 1985; Dickerman & Parkes 1968; Dusi 1967; Kent 1983; Kushlan 1978c; Recher & Recher 1969; Rodgers 1978b, c, d, 1980d, 1982, 1987b; Scott & Powell 1982; Sprunt 1937e, 1954f; Telfair 1983.
Egretta tricolor (Miiller): Tricolored Heron
Distribution: Breeds from c Baja California, s Sonora, se New Mexico, ne Texas, the n Gulf Coast, and coastal Maine south to c Brazil and the Antilles. Withdraws from n parts of breeding range in winter.
Florida Status: Howell's (1932) statement that "this is the most abundant heron in the State" surely does not hold true in the interior today. Its distribution in Florida is primarily s and coastalfairly common to abundant in summer on the s coasts, decreasing to fairly common in the Northern Peninsula and rare on the coast of the Panhandle, with no inland reports in some parts of the Panhandle. The several reports on the Dry Tortugas range from Mar to Nov. In winter, numbers are generally lower in n Florida. In Apr 1906, Pearson (1907 in Howell 1932) considered it "far more numerous than all other Herons combined" on the sw coast. Howell (1932) stated that some colonies contained up to 1500 prs., and the same estimate was given for the Bivens Arm (Gainesville) heronry, 1947 (Mills 1948). Of recent counts, that of 985 nests, Riomar I. (Indian River Co.), May 1973 (Maxwell & Kale 1974), may be the highest. Holt's (1933c) report of 40,000 estimated by wardens at Lane River, 1932-33(7), seems out of line; Kushlan & White (1977b) estimated 4900 nests for all of s Florida, 1974-75. The largest CBC number is 1800, Coot Bay, 1 Jan 1977.
Some authorities believe there has been a long-term decline, but much of the evidence may be based on the questionable estimate from the Lane River, early 1930s (above). Layne, Hallcup et al. (1977) wrote that there has been an "over-all, and perhaps drastic, decrease throughout Florida," especially in s Florida. By adding the avg. number reported at each Florida breeding colony except in the Panhandle, 1976-78 (Nesbitt, Ogden et al. 1982), HMS obtained a total of 3826 prs. Despite some shifting of colonies from year to year, using the maximum number per colony would probably give a more accurate figure.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .03, Cocoa 2.1, Coot Bay 4.7, Dade Co. .38, Ft. Lauderdale .56, Ft. Pierce 4.4, Gainesville .22, Leon Co. .06, Jacksonville .38, Key Largo 1.27, Lakeland .38, Lake Wales .23, Lower Keys 1.57, Mt. Dora .07, Myakka .56, Naples 1.83, Orlando .07, Pensacola .001, St. Marks .38, St. Petersburg .40, Sanibel .81, Sarasota .34, South Brevard Co. .38, Stuart .23, Tampa .62, Titusville 2.4, West Palm Beach .38. CBC trends (incr.tdecr.): early 4:4, recent 5:4. BBS trends: Fla., slight decrease (100:72); 23 routes, small sample. Big Bend: Leon Co., increase; Franklin/Wakulla, increase.
Migration: In the Panhandle, where this heron is rare in winter, Weston (1965a) noted extreme migration


39. Tricolored Heron, Egretta tricolor
dates, 8 Mar & 28 Oct, Pensacola area, and Hallman (journal) gave Bay Co. dates, 11 Mar & 10 Oct. Pe-trovic & King (1973) saw migrating flocks, Dry Tortugas, late Mar 1967, & Cruickshank (1980) considered the northward flight a regular spring event, Brevard Co.; he also saw 9 flying south, 8 Sep 1964 (Cruickshank 1964b). Buhrman & Hopkins (1978a) saw 2 flying north 79 nautical mi off the Pasco Co. coast, 9 Apr 1978. Migrants struck the WCTV tower, 15 Mar 1962 & 31 Mar 1970. Patuxent banding records show that a bird banded in Georgia and 6 in South Carolina were recovered in Florida, and Florida-banded birds were found in Georgia, Cuba, Mississippi, Honduras, & Nicaragua. Loftin & Olson (1966) banded birds off Spring Creek in summer that were recovered: Lake City, Aug.; Bryceville (Nassau Co.), Jul.; & Cuba, Mar. One banded by P. Homann, "St. Marks," Jun 1969, was recovered, Cuba, 9 Feb 1970 (Anon. 197 li).
Breeding: Howell (1932) listed breeding reports from various parts of the state, including the Florida Keys and Pensacola, but Weston (1965a) did not report its breeding at Pensacola until 1949; single broods were seen in that year, in 1951, & in 1953. Although not mentioned by Howell (1932), the Tricolored Heron also breeds in the Jacksonville area (Grimes 1943b). Greene (1946) & J. Warren found 37 nests near Torch Key, 11 Apr 1940, and Nesbitt, Ogden et al. (1982) found these
herons nesting on several islets, Florida Keys & Florida Bay. A new colony was found containing ca. 10 birds, Occidental Phosphate Mine (Hamilton Co.), 1978-80 (Maehr 1981b). One of the larger recent colonies, Moore Creek (Merritt I.), contained 650 prs., summer 1975 (Ogden 1975b). (See Florida Status for other high counts.)
Although it prefers a coastal environment, the Tricolored Heron differs little from other medium-sized ardeids in its nest-site selection, nest construction, egg laying, incubation, and care of yg. Nests have been built (by the female) in small oaks (Quercus sp.) and Yucca sp. (J. Howell in A. Howell 1932), Groundsel Tree (Baccharis halimifolia), mangroves, willows (Salix sp.), Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera), Buttonbush (Ce-phalanthus occidentalis), and flattened Needle Rush (Juncus roemerianus; Pennock 1918a in Howell). "Most nests contain 3 or 4 eggs" (Ogden 1978h). Rodgers (1980a) computed an avg. of 2.8 eggs/clutch for Hillsborough Bay is., 1976-77, whereas Maxwell & Kale (1977a) obtained an avg. of 3.1 for Riomar I., 1973. Near Torch Key, 10 Apr 1940, Greene (1946) & J. Warren counted 3 eggs in each of 22 nests and only 1 in another nest (avg. 2.91). In museum sets examined, HMS obtained an avg. of 3.58 for 19 Florida sets. The earliest of these sets taken, Cape Sable, 5 Feb 1927, is 1 of only 2 containing 5 eggs (CARN 2067); the latest clutch was from Kissimmee, 15 Jun 1931 (AMNH 15738). There seem to be no published statements regarding length of incubation period since Audubon gave it as 21 days; the nestling period is 16-24 days (C. Harrison 1984). Rodgers (1980a) gave the nestling survival rate to 2 weeks as 1.89/nest for Hillsborough Bay is. According to Grimes (1943b), the species "may occasionally rear two broods in a season." He has "found eggs from late March to mid-July in the same rookery in a single season" (emphasis added). Palmer (1962), however, states that "only vague statements" have been made about replacement clutches, and Harrison (1975) says "1 brood" per season.
Haunts and Habits: The Tricolored Heron is most numerous along the coast, especially on tidal flats and in mangrove swamps. In its foraging behavior, similar to that of the Snowy Egret, it sometimes moves its feet to flush its prey or runs after it; it often employs canopy feeding. This species usually feeds alone and will defend its feeding area. Small fishes comprise most of its diet. It also takes aquatic insects, grasshoppers, crayfish, amphibians, small reptiles, and mollusks. This heron develops elongated feathers on the crown, neck, breast, and back, but without the highly developed aigrettes found on the egrets. Like the Little Blue Heron, it was not killed in the numbers that the egrets expe-


rienced, as the nuptial feathers had lesser economic value. When courting, the male Tricolored erects the feathers on his crest and back, opens his wings, stretches his neck, bobbing his head up and down and from side to side. He rapidly snaps his bill while moving about the female. During this ceremony the male presents a stick to the female. This last behavior is usually a part of elaborate greeting rituals most herons display when exchanging positions at the nest. Either sex presents a stick to the other when arriving at the nest, and that stick is then incorporated into the nest structure. The Tricolored Heron has been designated a Species of Special Concern by the FGFWFC (Wood 1991).
Adverse Factors: The Tricolored Heron faces roughly the same detrimental factors as other wadersloss of aquatic habitats; predation of eggs, yg., and ads.; eggs falling from nest; starvation of smaller yg.; and pesticides. Like E. caerulea, it was less adversely affected by plume-hunting than the egrets were. Ohlendorf, Klaas & Kaiser (1979) found eggs from St. Marks NWR to be high in residues of DDE and the PCBs.
References: Anon. 1959s, Clark 1980b, Frederick & Collopy 1989a.
Specimen Sight record report
^ ^ Breeding
A, Z\ spring
0 Q Summer
T V Fall
? Winter
)t 3 Season Unknown
?
Questionable report
Approximate boundary ot subspecies breeding range
40. Reddish Egret, Egretta rufescens
Egretta rufescens (Gmelin): Reddish Egret
Distribution: Resident and breeding along coasts of Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama (rarely), and c & s Florida, Bahamas, Cuba, the Isle of Pines, Hispaniola (probably), Tamaulipas, n Veracruz, and Yucatan; also in Colombia, Venezuela, and is. off the coast of South America. Strays after breeding season to inland U.S. (rarely), California, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
Florida Status: A fairly common resident on the Florida Keys; uncommon resident along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the Peninsula, breeding locally; rare to casual on coast of Panhandle; occasional inland and on the Dry Tortugas (specimen from Tortugas, USNM 13691). Howell (1932) mentioned a specimen from Tampa Bay collected by W.G. Fargo, 22 Feb 1927 (UMMZ), and other pre-1932 specimens came from the Sebastian River, Mar or Apr 1890 (MCZ 249399); Cudjoe Key, 1 Feb 1899 (MPM 254); Manatee Co., 2 Dec 1899 (ROM 34651); Punta Rassa, 6 May 1883 (UF 10045) & 10 May 1886 (BMNH 1893.2.1.401); & Pilot Town (Duval Co.), 27 Jun 1884the northernmost specimen (USNM 105320). In the 1960s, Princeton University's museum housed 49 specimens taken, w coast of the Peninsula, 1880s, by W.E.D. Scott. Post-Howell specimens are housed in collections of UF, TTRS, UMRC, GEW, & probably others.
The abundance and abrupt decline of the Reddish
Egret, late 1800s, is best documented by W.E.D. Scott (1887b in Howell) and corroborated by others. Scott traveled by boat southward along the Gulf Coast from the Anclote River to Charlotte Harbor, May 1886, visiting many of the sites he had worked in 1880. At rookery after rookery he found few nesting birds or none, with much recent evidence of the slaughtering of birds and salvaging of dorsal plumes by plume-hunters. Where Scott had seen Reddish Egrets at Johns Pass, 1880, he saw none, 1886; in Charlotte Harbor he saw only 1 pr., Boca Grande, and only "a few," Matlachs Pass, 8 May, & "many," 12 May. He added that on his 1880 trip there, the Reddish Egret had been the most numerous of the ardeids, but those he saw, 1886, were not nesting. C. W. Ward (1914) also considered this egret common in rookeries around Charlotte Harbor, 1879-80, but found none there, 1886. Howell (1932) called this egret "formerly" abundant, s & c Florida, but said it virtually disappeared ca. 1890, then increased slightly by ca. 1930. Perhaps Howell was unduly credulous of Baynard's estimates in Alachua Co. (see Breeding); we agree with R. Paul (in litt., Jun 1988) that Howell's appraisal was erroneous and that this egret continued to be quite rare. In fact it decreased to the point of "total extirpation" by 1935 (breeding population by 1910, fide Paul), then increased to possibly 250 breeding birds by 1978-79 in Florida Bay alone


(Powell et al., 1989). After its numbers had been decimated, Howell (1932) knew of reports north only to Tampa Bay and the Kissimmee River, but the species' expansion had taken it into the Panhandle by the 1940s and to Duval Co. by 1979-82 (Markgraf 1980; A&A 1983). The first Pensacola report occurred, Jul 1940 (Weston 1940b), then Roy Hallman (journal) saw 1, Gulf Co., 1964. It has been photographed, St. Marks Light, 19 Jun 1976 (TTRS P56) & 14 Dec 1977 (TTRS P147). Reports along the coast of the Panhandle and Big Bend have continued to increase; 10 were observed, Dog I. (Franklin Co.), 30 Sep 1992 (D. Evered & L. Messick; fide B. Pranty, in litt.). Inland reports came from the Kissimmee River (1947), Andytown (1962), near Dunnellon (1956), Lake Tohopekaliga (1966), Lake Placid (1974), & Belle Glade (1978); in the 1980s it appeared at the Oklawaha River, Myakka River SP, Guano Lake (St. Johns Co.), near U.S. 41 (Collier Co.), U.S. 1 south of Homestead, and s Leon Co. (1987). Another Leon Co. report, 22 Jun 1991, was rejected by the FOSRC (91-240). (Also see Breeding.) As Scott (1887b in Howell 1932) pointed out, the white morph was formerly much more common in Florida than now and outnumbered the dark morph south of Charlotte Harbor; the dark morph now constitutes ca. 90% of the Florida population (Robertson 1978e). Recent maxima: Key Largo CBCs, 53, 2 Jan 1956, & 50, 27 Dec 1959; Coot Bay CBC, 78, 31 Dec 1977; Merritt I. CBC, 38, 22 Dec 1986. J. Ogden & R. Miele counted 143 in Florida Bay, late Jul 1967. Recent estimates of the Florida breeding population were 350 prs. (Paul, in litt., Jun 1988) and ca. 400 breeding prs. in ca. 40 colonies, 1990 (Robertson & Woolfenden 1992).
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .02, Cocoa .006, Coot Bay .27, Dade Co. .006, Ft. Lauderdale .001, Ft. Pierce .003, Jacksonville .001, Key Largo .42, Lower Keys .48, Naples .01, Pensacola .001, St. Petersburg .03, Sanibel .03, Sarasota .004, South Brevard Co. .007, Stuart .003, Tampa .01, Titusville .05, West Palm Beach .001. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 0:0, recent 3:2. BBS trends: Fla., inadequate sample. Big Bend: small sample, but apparently increasing.
Migration: There are only a few indications of migration in this species. D. Holliman (in Imhof 1971a) noted 2, 15 mi off Panama City, 6 Apr 1971; they came aboard the boat, then left, direction of flight not reported. One flew north 70 mi off Ponce Inlet, 29 Apr 1978, H. Langridge, P. Sykes, et al. (Kale 1978h); 2 flew SE 15 mi off Canaveral, 6 Oct 1981, J. Johnson (A&A 1982). Ten birds off Palm Beach Co., 3 Sep 1979, H. Langridge (A&A 1980), may have been displaced by Hurricane David. Banding reports indicate a post-nesting dispersal northward in Florida, Texas, & California (Paul, in litt.).
Breeding: The precise distribution, abundance, and breeding range of the Reddish Egret in the 1800s are not well understood. Although Allen (1954b) mentioned its breeding as far north as Pilot Town (Duval Co.), Paul et al. (1979) showed that documentation was lacking for nesting on the e coast except Arsenicker Key & Pelican I. Thus Howell's map (1932:104) should show coastal nesting sites only from the upper Keys to An-clote Keys (at most) and at Pelican I. on the e coast; however, a set of eggs at USNM came from Homo-sassa, 9 Apr 1879. H. Bryant took the earliest sets of eggs in "Florida," 8 Dec 1859 (USNM 2436 and 2429), which contained 1-2 eggs (incomplete?); R. Paul (in litt.) states that some eggs in s Florida are laid as early as Nov. The latest set came from Marco, 5 Jul 1877, and also contained 1 egg (MPM 754), but A. Sprunt IV found a later nest with eggs, Cowpens Key, 19 Aug 1975 (Ogden 1975b). During the depredations of plume-hunters, Reddish Egrets became so scarce that few convincing reports occurred in Florida, 1911-37. In the latter year 2 were reported from Upper Matecumbe Key, 23 Apr (Davis 1937b); Desmond (1939), 17 Apr 1938, found a nest with an egg & 2 yg, Bottlepoint Key (Florida Bay)possibly the first since the report attributed to Baynard, 1911 (but see below). The published report shows no other nest until Brookfield found 1 with 3 yg., Plantation Key, 15 Jul 1952 (Sprunt 1954d), but Baker's (1944a) estimate of ca. 50 birds, Florida Bay, 1943-44, surely implies further breeding during the 5-year interim after the 1938 report. During the 1950s & 1960s the species must have reoccupied and nested in its former range in extreme s Floridachiefly Florida Bay is. & Florida Keysbut few particulars appear in the literature. A northward expansion began by spring 1970, when Bancroft (1971a) et al. found a nest on an islet, Pine I. Sound. Another northward advance came, spring 1974, with 2 nests found, Alafia Banks (Tampa Bay), F. Dunstan (Paul et al. 1975). The breeders in Tampa Bay increased to 10 prs., summer 1976, and have nested there annually since, with 45 prs. estimated, 1988 (Paul, in litt). Breeding at St. Joseph Sound (Pinellas Co.) was confirmed, 28 Aug 1991, R. Paul (Cox 1992). On the Atlantic Coast, H. Ouellet (in Kale 1978h) found a pr. nesting, Riomar I. (Vero Beach), 11 Apr 1978. D. Nelson noted its nesting near the Haulover Canal (Brevard Co.), early Jun 1978 (Paul et al., 1979), and it nested, Biscayne Bay, 1978. The Haulover Canal colony built up to an estimated 25-35 prs. by 18 May 1987 (Paul, in litt.). A pr. nested, Pelican I. (near Sebastian), mid-Apr 1984 (Rodgers & Schwikert 1986).
Eggs attributed to the Reddish Egret were taken at a number of inland sites in Florida: Gainesville (1895; UCLA 2129), Lake Okeechobee (1898; UCLA 335),


Orange Lake (1909; WFVZ 2862, 89316), Leon Co. (1895; WFVZ 94685 & FMNH 1172), Orange Co. (1877; MPM 765), Alachua Co. (1909; FMNH 5447), and Lake Co. (1908; AMNH 7597). As this egret is strictly a coastal nester today, these records are open to question. In measuring several of these eggs, HMS found a few that were too small for the species. Most were somewhat larger than eggs of Little Blue & Tricolored herons but were in the size range of both spp. of night-herons. All of these 5 waders lay unmarked, greenish-blue eggs, not easily distinguished from one another except, in some spp., by size. In a colony of mixed waders, after the birds are flushed, it is extremely difficult to determine the owners of individual clutches of eggs. In some instances even the ads. may have been misidentified, as Baynard (Auk 30:240-47) wrote of finding ca. 1500 prs. of Reddish Egrets, Bird I. (Alachua Co.), ca. 1907-8. By that time the species was rare in Florida; we know of only 1 museum specimen of Reddish Egret collected, 1899-1958 (Tampa Bay, 1927, Fargo; UMMZ).
Reddish Egrets usually nest in mixed colonies, with others of their kind, or as single prs. Florida nests are often placed in Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) or Black Mangroves (Avicennia germinans), usually "less than 10 feet above ground or water" (Robertson 1978e), but many range up to 20 ft in Florida Bay (Paul, in litt.) Most clutches consist of 3-4 eggs, but a few have ranged from 2 to 7 (Bent 1926). We checked egg numbers in 15 museum sets, omitting 4 presumably incomplete sets of 1 egg each, and found an avg. of 3.36 eggs/set. Audubon (1840 in Bent 1926) said "the period of incubation ... is probably between three and four weeks," and Paul (in litt.) estimates 26 days. Audubon added, "They do not fly until they are 6 or 7 weeks old."
Haunts and Habits: The Reddish Egret is a coastal species, frequenting tidal flats, flooded salt barrens, Red Mangrove swamps, and Black Mangrove flats, but rarely wading in the surf along sandy beaches. This egret is renowned for its strange foraging behavior. It may stand nearly motionless and wait for its prey, but more frequently it runs erratically through the shallow water, starting, stopping, leaping, changing directions, tilting its head and neck to one side, and spreading its wings. This last behavior, known as canopy feeding, probably serves to flush prey, cut glare from water's surface, and helps to stabilize the bird when maneuvering upwind (Paul in litt., Jun 1988). Though many writers have speculated that the purpose of the erratic foraging behavior is flushing and confusing its prey, Richard Paul (in litt.) believes that the bird is merely in tight pursuit of schooling fish. Paul found that the species' diet is mostly fishes, including Cyprinodon,
Fundulus, Poecilia, Floridichthys, Mugil, Lagodon, Eucinostomus, Menidia, & Strongylura. He found that occasionally some peneid shrimp were taken, but less often in Florida diet samples than along the Texas coast. The Reddish Egret often establishes and defends a feeding territory when not nesting. During the breeding season, it develops special filamentous and elongated feathers on the head and neck, in addition to the aigrettes on its back, giving the bird a shaggy appearance. These egrets are rarely vocal except when nesting; croaking and clucking vocalizations are given especially during courtship displays.
Adverse Factors: Although the Reddish Egret's plumes were worth less than those of the Great Blue Heron & Snowy Egret (Scott 1887b in Howell 1932), the millinery trade all but exterminated the bird's Florida population. The coastal locations of their colonies probably rendered them more accessible to plumers than species with some inland colonies. Perhaps the white morph, then more numerous in s Florida than the dark morph, was preferred by plume-hunters, or possibly it was mistaken for Great or Snowy egrets. Once its numbers reached such a low ebb that mating was unlikely, its recovery was much slower than that of other ardeids. Bent (1926) reported that the chief nest predators in Texas were the Black Vulture and the Great-tailed Grackle; in Florida the counterpart Boat-tailed Grackle is scarce near Reddish Egret colonies, but Fish Crows, Bald Eagles, Raccoons (Procyon lo-tor), and probably other predators take some toll of eggs or yg. At least 1 Reddish Egret died from "a severe pox-virus infection," Florida Bay; it also contained large numbers of Contracaecum sp., Tetrameres sp., & Synhimantus invaginatus (all nematodes) in the pro-ventriculus, as well as 877 body lice (Ciconiphilus de-cimfasciatus), 102 cestodes, 29 trematodes, & 2 acan-thocephalans (Conti, Forrester, & Paul 1986).
Problems of Identification: The ad. dark-morph bird somewhat resembles the ad. Little Blue Heron but is larger and paler, and the bill is flesh-colored basally. White-morph birds, especially juvs., must be carefully distinguished from juvs. of the smaller Snowy Egret & Little Blue Heron, as well as the larger Great Egret. The imm. dark-morph bird and an ash-colored imm. are puzzling, but do not clearly resemble other Florida ardeids. Feeding habits of the Reddish Egret are a strong aid to identification. (See Haunts and Habits.) The Reddish Egret has been designated a Species of Special Concern by the FGFWFC (Wood 1991).
References: Allen 1955; Anon. 1956t; Davidson 1953b; E. Davis 1937b; DeWeese & DeWeese 1953; Hebard 1949c; C. R. Mason 1967a; Paul 1977c; Paul, Meyerriecks & Dunstan 1975; Rodgers & Schwikert 1986; Sprunt 1948d; Toland 1991b; Waller 1954b.


Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus): Cattle Egret
Distribution: Breeds locally from the n U.S. and s Ontario south to nw Chile and n Argentina; also originally from se Asia and the Philippines to New Guinea and Australia. Winters from s U.S. south to limits of breeding range; also from s Spain and n Africa south through breeding range. Wanders north to se Alaska, s Canada, Iceland, Europe, and is. off w Europe.
Florida Status: Common to abundant statewide in summer; some withdrawal in n Florida in winter. In "the summer of 1941 or . 1942" near Clewiston, Willard Dilley (in litt. to Sprunt) saw the first Cattle Egrets to be reported in the U.S. (Sprunt 1954e). A resident of nearby Belle Glade saw the species there, 1946 or 1947. Sight reports in South America, 1877 & 1882, as well as collected specimens there, 1937 (Auk 56:470-71) & 1943 (Auk 61:656), show the route the birds probably took to reach Florida. There were 3 sight reports near Lake Okeechobee, 1952, including birds photographed by Richard Borden. Nesting was first observed, May 1953, Lake Okeechobee, at which time Stoddard collected the first Florida specimen (USNM 457997). In the same year the species first reached the w coast (Anna Maria), Tallahassee, Indian Pass (Franklin Co.), the Miami area, & Key West (Sprunt 1954e). By 1954 the number nesting, Lake Okeechobee, had increased to ca. 200 prs., and birds also nested near Melbourne (Sprunt 1956a), as well as in Louisiana & the Carolinas. The increase of the species was dramatic, as it reached all major parts of the state including the Dry Tortugas, 1960. However, a map in Weber's paper (1972) showed gaps south of Tampa & near Fernandina. Nesting was recorded, Miami area, 1957, and as far west as DeFuniak Springs, 1966. By the early 1980s Cattle Egrets were common or abundant in nearly all cos. during the warmer months (Mar-Oct), with smaller numbers remaining through the winter, n Florida. Large concentrations: Lake Okeechobee, 1956 (700 nests); Ft. Lauderdale CBC, 2469 (1960) & 2890 (1961); and Lake Okeechobee (10,000 prs., 1971). For the entire Florida Peninsula, Ogden (1976b) estimated 200,000 prs., but figures for the next 2 yrs. dropped to "102,558" prs., 1977, & "174,483" prs., 1978.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .05, Cocoa 5.7, Coot Bay .40, Dade Co. 42.9, Ft. Lauderdale 24.1, Ft. Pierce 13.9, Gainesville 3.4, Jackson Co. .03, Jacksonville .05, Key Largo 1.06, Lakeland 11.6, Lake Wales
5.2, Laurel Hill .10, Leon Co. .004, Lower Keys .40, Mt. Dora 7.3, Myakka 2.5, Naples 3.7, Orlando 1.99, Pensacola .03, St. Marks .02, St. Petersburg 11.2, San-ibel .33, Sarasota 8.1, South Brevard Co. 2.3, Stuart
2.3, Tampa 5.2, Titusville .93, West Palm Beach 24.6. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 6:0, recent 13:2. BBS
trends: Fla., probable increase (8973:9151); 23 routes, 7:2. Big Bend: increases, Leon, Franklin, & Wakulla cos.
Migration: In the early years of its invasion of Leon Co., the Cattle Egret was only partially migratory, with many individuals remaining throughout each winter, late 1950s & early 1960s. By the late 1960s virtually all departed in fall. Individuals are sometimes seen flying in from the Gulf in spring (e.g., 30 Apr 1970, 9 off Alligator Point, HMS et al., Kale 1970b). On 21 Oct 1961, 1 was seen flying south over the Gulf of Mexico, but it soon turned back and alit, Dog I. (Franklin Co.); 21 Oct 1982, J. Cavanagh (pers. comm.) saw 1 over the Gulf of Mexico 50 mi SW of Key West; & Browder (1973) saw 2 flights headed SE in Oct between Key West & the Dry Tortugas. K. Sutherland (A&A 1986) reported 35 flying south over Plantation Key, 24 Nov 1985, & Buhrman & Hopkins (1978a) saw 48, 8 May 1977 & 9 Apr 1978 combined, over the Gulf, 50-90 nautical mi off Clearwater. A seemingly anomalous group of 10 reported flying north past Key West, 10 Nov 1955 (M. Hundley in HMS 1956b), may have been new U.S. individuals arriving from Cuba or South America. Extreme dates of tower kills at WCTV, 1955-80: 20 Mar-19 May & 16 Sep-14 Nov; there were 7 records in Apr, 2 in Mar, & 1 in May; 2 in Sep, 0 in Oct, & 4 in Nov (Crawford 1981a). One hit the WDBO TV tower (Orange Co.), 11 Sep 1969 (UCF 205; Taylor & Anderson 1973). None were reported from other tall structures discussed in this book. One bird banded in Georgia, 4 in Maryland, 1 in North Carolina, 5 in South Carolina, & 2 in Virginia were recovered in Florida. Birds banded in Florida were recovered in the following states or countries: Alabama 2, Louisiana 1, Texas 1, Costa Rica 2, Mexico 7, Nicaragua 1, El Salvador 2, Colombia 2, Cuba 11, & Jamaica 1 (Patuxent Bird Banding Lab, MD).
Breeding: After the first recorded Florida nesting (see Florida Status), a nest and 3 yg. were found near Lake Alice (Alachua Co.), 2 May 1954, at which time the Lake Okeechobee colony numbered 200 prs. Breeding was noted, 1956, Greynolds Park (Miami) & Palmetto I. (Wakulla Co., HMS 1956b), & also in Louisiana & South Carolina (Sprunt 1956a). First nesting was reported, Pace (Santa Rosa Co.), 1964; near DeFuniak Springs, 1966; and Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), 1968. By summer 1971, the number of nesting birds, Lake Okeechobee, reached 10,000 prs. according to Sprunt & Knoder, and 2000 prs., Lake Istokpoga, 1972 (Ogden 1972b). About 1500 were nesting, Occidental Phosphate Mine (Hamilton Co.), 1978-80 (Maehr 1981b). Kushlan & White (1977b) estimated the number of nests in s Florida, 1975-76 season, at 16,640, adding that the


41. Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
birds nested in both fall 1974 & spring 1975. Their nesting may be more opportunistic than in other waders, as Neville found eggs and yg., Greynolds Park, 24 Nov 1985 (A&A 1986). Cruickshank (1980) reported extreme dates of eggs, Brevard Co., 20 Mar & 15 Sep; eggs were collected, Lake Kissimmee, May 1960 (WFVZ & DEL), and nestlings, Lake Jackson (Leon Co.), Jul 1968 (FSU); Vero Beach, Aug; & St. Lucie Co. (fully feathered, TTRS), 3 Nov 1967. According to Meyerriecks (McKnight 1962a), this species does not nest on the Keys, and the work of Nesbitt, Ogden et al. (1982) in 1976-78 corroborated that statement. Breeding was reported south to Arsnicker Keys (Dade Co.) 1986-91 (B. Pranty, pers. comm.). Cattle Egrets rarely, if ever, begin new colonies, but 1 or more prs. may join colonies of other waders. Often they increase to the point of far outnumbering other spp. in the colony; in a heronry, nw Madison Co., Nesbitt, Ogden et al. (1982) found only 100 Cattle Egrets, 100 White Ibises, & 800 Little Blue Herons, 1977, but G. Menk (pers. comm.) found ca. 800 Cattle Egrets, 75 Snowy Egrets, and only a few other waders there, 1982. Reproduction may begin at 1 yr. of age. Nest materials (twigs, etc.) are gathered by the male and the nest built by the female; both sexes participate in incubating eggs and feeding yg. In a study, Lake Griffin, 1970-72, Weber (1972) found that egg clutches varied from 2 to
5, avg. 2.86, and were laid on alternate days. The incubation period was 21-24 days, the nestling period 40-45 days. Egg "mortality" was only 12.5%, and the fledgling success of 28 hatched eggs in 11 nests was 20, or 1.8/nest.
Haunts and Habits: This characteristic species of Florida's roadsides, pastures, and prairies is a relatively new addition to the American avifauna (see Florida Status). With an escalation of deforestation and an increase in cattle ranching, the land became prime habitat for this egret. Although it prefers to nest in an aquatic habitat, it usually procures its food in moist or dry uplands. It is gregarious at all seasons and often forages near the head or feet of grazing ungulates or moving farm equipment, eating any small animals they disturb; one observation (Dinsmore 1973) indicated greater efficiency of food capture by that method than by feeding alone. Sometimes resting on the back of a cow or horse, the Cattle Egret has been credited with the removal of ticks from them, but studies of their food consumption in Florida (Fogarty 1971, Fogarty & Hetrick 1973, Fogarty & Wallace 1973) found no ticks! The species continuously walks while foraging until detecting its prey. It may seize it with a quick thrust of the neck and head or by gradually extending the neck downward with undulating movements until near enough for an accurate thrust. Jenni (1969), observing Florida birds, noted a preference for grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera, 80.5% of diet by volume, Fogarty & Wallace 1973), with Leopard (Rana utricularia) and Southern Cricket (Acris gryllus) frogs, spiders, and toads (Bufo sp.) also taken. Fogarty & Wallace found Orthopterans in 96.8% of the stomachs they examined and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in 80.5% (but only 4.7% by volume). Among the common invertebrates not taken were Love Bugs (Plecia nearctica) and Lubber Grasshoppers (Romalea microptera). Other studies revealed remains of centipedes, earthworms, lizards, and small mammals. This highly adaptive species consumes other avians exhausted in migration and the eggs and chicks of Sooty Terns on the Dry Tortugas (Harrington & Dinsmore 1975; other observers), in the absence of which many Cattle Egrets starve. This successful species freely exploits garbage dumps and landfills, sharing them with vultures, crows, grackles, and gulls in their search for food. Breeding displays involve wing spreading, erecting the crest and dorsal aigrettes, elevating and retracting the neck, then thrusting the head and prancing from one foot to the other, while making a variety of vocalizations.
Adverse Factors: Predators known to have fed on ad. Cattle Egrets in Florida include a Red-tailed Hawk, several Bald Eagles, Crested Caracaras, and Red Foxes


(Vulpes fulva); smaller hawks, smaller mammals, alligators, and snakes probably feed on eggs or on yg., as well as on ads. Far more than most ardeids, Cattle Egrets may become road casualties. Starvation is a regular event with smaller nestlings in broods of 3 or more, and birds on the Dry Tortugas often starve because of the scarcity of insects. During windstorms, eggs or yg. birds may fall from the nest. In eggs from 3 c Florida areas, Ohlendorf et al. (1979) found concentrations of DDE up to 5.4, 8.3, & 17.0 ppm. The fatty tissue of a bird collected, Apr 1974, contained 37 ppm of DDE and more than 50 ppm of DDTs (Johnston 1976b).
Problems of Identification: See Little Blue Heron.
References: Abramson 1960a; Anon. 1957i; Bock & Lepthien 1976a; Bohlen 1971; Bradley 1969; Brewer 1953; Browder 1973; Conklin 1958; Courser & Dinsmore 1971; Crosby 1972; Cunningham 1965a; D. Davis I960; Ellis 1963; Grimes 1962; Gross 1964; Harrington & Dinsmore 1975; Hopkins 1972; Hundley 1959; Jenni 1973; C. Knight 1976; Kushlan 1979a; Larson 1982; Layne, Lohrer & Winegarner 1977; Ligas 1958b; McKay 1957c; McKnight 1962a, b; Ogden 1967a; Ortego 1980; Piatt 1958a; Powders 1972; Rice 1956; Roberts & Kale 1978; Rodgers 1987b; Schupp 1976; Smallwood et al. 1982; Sprunt 1953b, c, e, 1956c; Stimson 1952d, 1953c, 1955b, 1966c, 1967; Summerour 1964; Weber 1975a; Woolfenden, White et al. 1976.
Butorides virescens (Linnaeus): Green Heron Distribution: Breeds from sw British Columbia, w Washington, w Oregon, n California, wc Nevada, s Utah, nc New Mexico, e Colorado, e South Dakota, c Minnesota, n Wisconsin, nc Michigan, s Ontario, s Quebec, and s New Brunswick south to w Panama and Trinidad. Winters in the U. S. from the Pacific Coast and ca. 32 N latitude to s limit of breeding range; wanders north to s Canada and the n U.S. Formerly included with Striated Heron, B. striatus (Linn.), resident in e Panama, South America, and the Eastern Hemisphere, and named Green-backed Heron.
Florida Status: A fairly common to locally common breeder from St. Marks, Gainesville, & Jacksonville southward; uncommon to fairly common in summer in remainder of n Florida. Much reduced across n Florida in winter, generally occasional to rare; mostly uncommon to fairly common elsewhere. Numbers often greater in spring. The species has extended its winter range northward. Howell (1932) knew of no winter reports in the Panhandle and cited only single reports, St. Marks & Leon Co., both areas where the bird now winters regularly. The northernmost winter specimen came from Gainesville, 29 Dec 1919 (AMNH 349878).
Regular on the Dry Tortugas in migration. CBC maxima: 478 at Coot Bay, 31 Dec 1960; 277 at Cocoa, 29 Dec 1975.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .004, Cocoa .65, Coot Bay .85, Dade Co. .30, Ft. Lauderdale .54, Ft. Pierce .26, Gainesville .08, Jackson Co. .005, Jacksonville .03, Key Largo .13, Lakeland .34, Lake Wales .18, Leon Co. .01, Lower Keys .23, Mt. Dora .08, Myakka .20, Naples .47, Orlando .32, Pensacola .008, St. Marks .10, St. Petersburg .27, Sanibel .33, Sarasota .36, South Brevard Co. .13, Stuart .16, Tampa .31, Titusville .55, West Palm Beach .41. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 6:1, recent 11:1. BBS trends: Fla., slight increase (397: 444); 23 routes, 2:3. Big Bend: increases inland and coastal.
Migration: Many Green Herons winter south of the United States, and large numbers are sometimes stopped in migration at coastal points by spring cold fronts. Howell (1932) referred to the species' abundance on the Dry Tortugas, late Mar & Apr 1980, as reported by Scott. HMS et al. estimated 35, Dog I. (Franklin Co.), 19 Apr 1952, and 30 were counted as they flew in from the Gulf at Alligator Point by J. Dozier & R. Crawford, 12 Apr 1970. The fall movement is less conspicuous, but 13 were killed at the WDBO-TV tower (Orange Co.), 11 Sep 1969, the only fatalities of this species there, 1969-72 (Taylor & Anderson 1973). At the WCTV tower, 1955-80, birds were felled, 4 Mar-18 May (TTRS 24) & 18 Aug-9 Oct27 in spring and 7 in fall (Crawford 1981a). Sprunt (1951a) saw 1, Dry Tortugas, early Sep 1949, and Scott (1890e in Howell) had reports there, 18 Aug 1925 & 5 Sep 1923. The earliest in spring in the Big Bend was seen, Alligator Point, A. Borror et al., 27 Feb 1960 (HMS 1960b), and the latest spring date, 4 Jun 1967, Dry Tortugas (Robertson in HMS 1967). True departure dates in fall are not easily distinguished from reports of wintering birds, but 8 seen, Florida Straits, by J. Johnson, 8 Oct 1971, must have been migrating (Robertson 1972), as was a 28 Oct bird at WCTV. F.M. Weston (1965a) "heard great flights passing southward over Pensacola on the nights of September 2, 1924, September 19 and 20, 1927, and September 14, 1935." HMS has heard several small flights over Tallahassee, Sep; in Brevard Co., Cruickshank (1980) recorded flights, Mar to early Apr & late Aug to mid-Oct. A bird banded, Virginia, 25 May 1967, was recovered, Ft. Pierce, 15 Jun 1967.
Breeding: Green Herons are generally solitary nesters or members of small colonies, but a few rather large colonies have been reported. Howell (1932), without citing observers, mentioned 400 prs., Orange Lake, 1916, and 100 prs., Indian Key (Tampa Bay), 1912. More recent estimates: Orange Lake, 55 (1946), 75


Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets: Black-crowned Night-Heron
73
42. Green Heron, Butorides virescens
(1947), & 75 (1948); Bivens Arm, 75 (1945), 50 (1946), & 50 (1947) (L.P. Mills 1946, 1947, 1948). H.R. Mills (1935) reported 70 prs., Green Key (Tampa Bay), 1935. The species breeds in all parts of the state except the Dry Tortugas. The earliest set of eggs in a museum was taken near Fellsmere, 10 Mar 1929 (DEL 3045), and the latest, "St. Johns River Prairie," 4 Jun 1929 (AMNH 15746). However, Greene (1946) reported the latest egg date for the Keys, 23 Jul, and Shannon found a nest with 2 eggs near Bruce (Walton Co.), 27 Jun 1964; Cruickshank (1980) gave the latest Brevard Co. egg date, 28 Jun. In the Pensacola area, Weston (1965a) saw yg. in the nest, 13 Jul 1929.
This heron probably breeds at 1 yr. of age. The male begins construction of a new nest or makes repairs on an old one, usually within 20 ft of ground and sometimes on the ground itself. Materials and structure of nest are quite variable, as are its supporting trees or bushes. Grimes (1943b) mentioned nests in "bamboo vine" (greenbrier, Smilax spp.), and this heron commonly uses "false myrtle," willows (Salix spp.), mangroves, and Wax-Myrtle, but apparently little has been published on Florida nest sites. Clutches most frequently number 3-5 eggs, although as many as 9 have been recorded (Harrison 1975). Incubation period 20 days, both sexes participating. Yg. are able to fly at 21 days, but do not leave vicinity of nest for perhaps another 10 days.
Haunts and Habits: The adaptable Green Heron frequents vast marshes, lakeshores, irrigation ditches, and backyard ponds. It readily takes up residence in cities and towns wherever suitable breeding habitat occurs, often perching in trees and bushes or on utility wires. It forages in shallow water near shore, from the edge of a ditch, a riverbank, an overhanging branch, retaining wall, or in deep water while perched on emergent vegetation. Sometimes it wades in water up to its belly. Its hunting stance varies from a crouched position with its neck folded to an upright position with its neck extended, sometimes parallel to the water's surface. An occasional individual has been known to hold a small feather over water as a fishing lure. This heron feeds on small fishes, amphibians, insects, crayfish, mollusks, earthworms, snakes, and small mammals. When agitated, it raises its crest and flicks its short tail. When it is flushed, neck partly outstretched and feet dangling, it gives a loud skeow or skow note. In the pre-nuptial display the male struts before its mate, raises the feathers on its neck and crown, and utters a repetitive, guttural ku.
Adverse Factors: Subject to predation of ads., nestlings, and eggs even more than are other waders because of its smaller size. Ohlendorf et al (1979) found eggs from Merritt I. NWR to have high concentrations of DDE.
References: Beadel 1946; Clark 1980a; Dilley 1954b; Duncan & Duncan 1978; Higuchi 1988; W. Hughes 1965b; B. King 1985b; Lovell 1952b; Naggiar 1974c; Nesbitt 1984a; D. Norris 1975a, b.
Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus): Black-crowned Night-Heron
Distribution: N.n. hoactli breeds from the n U.S. and s Canada locally south to Hawaii, Peru, and Argentina. (Other races breed in Chile, Europe, Asia, and Africa.) Winters from s Oregon, s Nevada, n Utah, c New Mexico, s Texas, s Illinois, s Indiana, e Tennessee, and s New England south to limits of breeding range. Wanders north after breeding season to s Canada, Iceland, Faroe Is., British Isles, and Scandinavia.
Florida Status: Breeds through most of Florida, generally rare or uncommon, but fairly common locally; absent in summer through most of Panhandle. Except where breeding colonies exist, frequencies are somewhat higher in winter than in summer because of immigrants from the North. Howell's (1932) designation of this night-heron as a "common resident in all sections" surely does not apply today, as the bird is rare or absent over rather large areas of the state. Among numerous specimens are 1 from near Williston, 2 May 1953 (ROM 118350); a skull, St. Vincent I., 19 Dec 1972


43. Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
(TTRS 3641); and 2 nestlings, Vero Beach, 2 Aug 1957 (TTRS 2599 & 2831). Scott (1890e in Howell) mentioned handling a specimen from the Dry Tortugas, but its present location is unknown. The largest concentrations mentioned in Howell (1932) were nesting colonies of 100 prs. near Maytown and 40 prs., Orange Lake; Nicholson (1930 in Howell) estimated 300 prs., Volusia Co., 7 Apr 1929. J.C. Howell (1941b) et al. found 250 prs., Dildo Key (Florida Bay), 28 Dec 1936. CBC maxima: Jacksonville, 351, 1958, & 345, 1962.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .32, Cocoa .08, Coot Bay .23, Dade Co. .10, Ft. Lauderdale .13, Ft. Pierce .06, Gainesville .13, Jackson Co. .001, Jacksonville .36, Lakeland .87, Lake Wales .13, Leon Co. .001, Mt. Dora .01, Myakka .04, Naples .10, Orlando .05, Pensacola .008, St. Marks .23, St. Petersburg .07, San-ibel .13, Sarasota .12, South Brevard Co. .10, Stuart .02, Tampa .14, Titusville .17, West Palm Beach .26. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 4:2, recent 6:4. BBS trends: Fla., inadequate sample. Big Bend: No trend.
Migration: Few, if any, Black-crowned Night-Herons from the e U. S. winter south of Florida, and the species is rare, Dry Tortugas. Therefore we consider doubtful the report of "flocks" on the Tortugas, late Mar 1967 (Petrovic & King 1973), as the common Nycta-nassa was not mentioned. At Pensacola, where the
Black-crowned is not known to breed, the earliest fall report is 21 Sep 1974 (M.L. Mattis in Purrington 1975), and the latest in spring, 5 May 1957 (Weston 1965a). In Brevard Co., Cruickshank (1980) reported northbound flights of 32,18 Mar 1957, and 25, 16 Apr 1963. Forty-four birds banded in the following states and provinces were recovered in Florida: Massachusetts 18, New Jersey 2, New York 3, Pennsylvania 2, Michigan 7, Wisconsin 2, South Dakota 3, Saskatchewan 2, and 1 each in Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Breeding: In addition to above, breeding sites extant since early 1930s include Duval Co., Green Key (Tampa Bay), Bivens Arm (Alachua Co.), Pinellas Co., Alligator lake (Monroe Co.), Smith & Palmetto is. (Wakulla Co.), Brevard Co., Port Orange, Occidental Phosphate Mine (Hamilton Co.), and Alafia Banks (Tampa Bay). The earliest set of eggs we found in museums: Cape Sable, 14 Jan 1929, J. B. Semple (CARN 2447); the latest: Gotha (Orange Co.), 9 Jun 1930, J. Howell (AMNH 15751). However, J. Howell (1941b) et al. found fledged yg., Dildo Key, as early as 28 Dec 1936, and HMS (1967) et al. found dependent yg., Smith I. (Wakulla Co.), as late as 26 Aug 1967.
Black-crowned Night-Herons are colonial nesters, often with other spp. of waders. Grimes (1943b) found them nesting in maples (Acer spp.), Swamp Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), Sweet Bay (Magnolia virginiana), and "Christmas Berry." Probably any suitably located tree or bush will serve, and the height of the nest may vary greatly. On Smith I., some build nests on flattened stalks of the Needle Rush, along with Laughing Gulls. As with the Green Heron, the male gathers nest material and brings it to the female, who constructs the nest. The clutch is ca. 3-5 eggs (avg. 3.7 in our small museum sample). They are of the same blue-green color as most other ardeid eggs and slightly larger than those of most Egretta. The incubation period (both sexes participating) is believed to be 24-26 days, and yg. first fly when ca. 6 weeks old (Palmer 1962).
Haunts and Habits: Roosting by day in trees, shrubs, cattails (Typha sp.), or other dense marsh vegetation, the Black-crowned Night-Heron leaves its diurnal roost at dusk to feed until dawn. When there are yg. in the nest, it is usually active by day as well. Typically, it forages in shallow water, but it occasionally wades out to belly-depth. With neck outstretched, it stands and waits for its prey or walks in search of it. The Black-crowned is an able swimmer and has been observed landing in deep water to secure prey. Its diet consists mainly of herring (Clupeidae), Gizzard Shad, catfish (Ictaluridae), "minnows," Largemouth Bass (Micropte-rus salmoides), flounder (Paralichthys spp.), mackerel


Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets: Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
75
(Scomber spp.), and other fishes. It also takes a variety of crustaceans, amphibians, mollusks, insects, yg. birds, small mammals, and carrion. Breeding displays include the swaying of its body as it alternately leans on 1 foot, then the other, neck withdrawn and head resting on its shoulders. Quock is a common interpretation of its most frequently heard call, usually given when the bird is flushed. Its neck, when folded, positions the head farther forward than with most herons, giving it a hunch-backed appearance while resting and a flat-backed profile while flying.
Adverse Factors: Generally as in other waders. Black Vultures, Fish Crows, and Boat-tailed Grackles doubtless feed on eggs or smaller nestlings, as do such mammalian predators as Raccoons and Virginia Opossums (Didelphis marsupialis). Large predators take some ads. Ohlendorf, Klaas & Kaiser (1979) detected a 4.7% thinning of eggshells from Florida to South Carolina by comparing those collected before 1947 with those from the period 1947-73.
References: Allen, R.P., and F.P. Mangles. 1940. Studies of the nesting behavior of the Black-crowned Night Herons in southern Alberta. Proc. Linn. Soc. NY. 50-51:1-28.
Wolford, J.W., and D.A. Boag. 1971. Food habits of Black-crowned Night Heron. Auk 88:435-37.
Dunstan 1978a; Kushlan 1973b; Ohlendorf, Klaas & Kaiser 1978b.
Nyctanassa violacea (Linnaeus): Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Distribution: Breeds from c Baja California and Sonora, c Texas, c Oklahoma, ne Kansas, se Nebraska, s Iowa, se Minnesota, s Wisconsin, s Michigan (possibly s Ontario), s Ohio, e Tennessee, e West Virginia, se Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts south to n Peru and e Brazil. Winters throughout its breeding range in the West and from the Gulf Coast and coastal South Carolina south through rest of breeding range in the East. Wanders after breeding season north to c California, s Arizona, s New Mexico, s Colorado, and s Canada (Saskatchewan to Newfoundland); introduced in Bermuda.
Florida Status: Howell (1932) considered this species a common breeder in the Peninsula, but local and scarce in the Panhandle, adding that it did not remain for the winter in the n parts of the state. He cited no specimens, but many exist. Presently, this heron appears to have increased in nw Florida in both summer and winter and is more numerous on the w coast than on the e. Although we found no northerly winter specimens in museums, Weston (1965a) reported that an injured bird spent winter 1951-52 on Santa Rosa I.,
" Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding range
44. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Nyctanassa violacea
and HMS (1951) saw an ad., Leon Co., 21 Dec 1950. High counts include 252 near Belle Glade, 24 Jul 1977, and 300 at a roost, Fisheating Creek (Glades Co.), 30 Dec 1938 (O'Reilly 1939a); 75-100 were reported roosting, sw Broward Co., 3 Feb 1990. In winter, 142 were reported on the Coot Bay CBC, 2 Jan 1977. Howell (1932) referred to a flock of 200 seen there, C.J. Pen-nock, 15 Jan 1926, and Lehman (1939) reported a nesting colony of 150 prs., Green Key (Tampa Bay), 1938.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .008, Cocoa .06, Coot Bay .28, Dade Co. .20, Ft. Lauderdale .09, Ft. Pierce .05, Gainesville .001, Jackson Co. .005, Jacksonville .02, Key Largo .08, Lakeland .001, Lower Keys .35, Mt. Dora .002, Myakka .006, Naples .19, Orlando .004, Pensacola .02, St. Marks .12, St. Petersburg .60, Sanibel .17, Sarasota .30, South Brevard Co. .05, Stuart .05, Tampa .49, Titusville .02, West Palm Beach .05. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 0:2, recent 7:2. BBS trends: Fla., possible increase (22:26); 23 routes, 2:3. Cruickshank (1980) writes of a decrease, Brevard Co., and Grimes (in litt., 1987) indicates reduced numbers, Duval Co. Big Bend: no trend.
Migration: Many individuals that breed in the U.S. winter farther south, but there seem to be no reports of banded birds to vouch for the fact. HMS saw 7 migrating NW past the Dry Tortugas, 25 Mar 1951, and the species is much more common there in spring and


fall than in other seasons. Weston (1965a) noted numbers migrating southward at night over Pensacola, 25 Jul 1924, 23 Jul 1927, & 7 Aug 1928; his extreme dates, 10 Mar & 13 Nov. One hit the WDBO TV tower (Orange Co.), 29 Sep 1970 (UCF 991, Taylor & Anderson 1973). Five spring migrants have struck the WCTV tower, 10-30 Mar & 14 May (Crawford 1981a). In 1972 early arrivals reached Lakeland, 2 Mar, and Bartow, 4 Mar (P. Fellers in HMS 1972d); the earliest seen in Big Bend: St. Marks Light, 5 Mar 1955, K. & M. Zerbe; and Alligator Point, 6 Mar 1955, B. & S. Ber-kowitz (HMS 1955a). More recent arrival and departure dates are difficult to determine because of the increase of wintering birds.
Breeding: Howell (1932) listed breeding sites, Leon & Volusia cos. southward (excluding Wakulla Co.), but breeding is now virtually statewide (see Florida Status). Grimes (1943b) described its breeding, Duval Co., in a colony of several hundred prs. of wading birds, and Weston (1965a) said that it "breeds sparingly," Pensacola area. HMS flushed 1 from a nest along the Och-lockonee River (Wakulla Co.), 26 May 1965, and scattered prs. nest through much of the Apalachicola River system. A set of eggs, St. James (Franklin Co.), taken by F. Steensgaard, 28 Feb 1896 (WFVZ 98480), represented early laying, and the same collector took another set there, Mar 1894 (UMMZ 32447). The earliest set was taken by H.L. Harllee, Osceola Co., 22 Feb 1934 (NYSM 15305), along with a set of Nycti-corax eggs, and the latest is a single egg (incomplete set?) found, "DeSoto," 14 Jun 1889 (AMNH 298). It should be pointed out that the eggs of the two spp. of night-herons are scarcely distinguishable. According to Palmer (1962), Scott "found newly hatched birds on Mar 5 around Key West"; a small downy nestling was collected, mouth of Shell Creek (Charlotte Co.), 16 Jun 1974 (TTRS 3201).
Although the species often nests in sizable colonies (see Florida Status), single nesting prs. are probably more frequent than with most waders. Meyerriecks (1978) stated that birds in imm. plumage commonly breed. Nest sites vary from lower bushes to heights of at least 50 ft in trees. At Dunns Creek (Duval Co.), Grimes (1943b) found the species nesting in Swamp Black Gums at 10-25 ft above water, separated from other herons. A variety of other trees and shrubs are used in n and inland Florida, and many nests are placed in mangroves, c and s coasts. Nests are more substantial than those of most herons, 1 measuring 20 x 16 in. (Bent 1926). Both ads. assist in building nests and incubating eggs. No comprehensive studies on breeding; length of incubation and fledging periods not known. In a colony with 18 nests, Rodgers (1980a)
found the avg. clutch to contain 2.94 eggs, and the avg. number surviving at 2 weeks after hatching was 2.25 yg./nest. The avg. of 9 Florida museum sets we examined was 3.67 eggs.
Haunts and Habits: More diurnal than the Black-crowned, the Yellow-crowned Night-Herons (especially juvs.) are commonly observed resting or foraging by day on the shore or in shallow water of cypress and hardwood swamps, lakes, rivers, tidal flats, and surf. Their diet is primarily crustaceans, especially crayfish, land crabs, and fiddler crabs. Also taken are fishes, snails, snakes, lizards, and small mammals. With neck extended, this heron stands and waits for its prey, or walks seeking it. When courting, it stretches its neck and wings, then crouches, erecting the elongated feathers on the crown and back. Its call is similar to the Black-crowned's but higher in pitch, rather suggestive of the Green Heron's. It stands more erect than does the Black-crowned, and it often keeps its neck partially extended while resting.
Adverse Factors: As with other waders, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron populations suffer from preda-tion, especially on eggs and yg., and the younger siblings often die of starvation. In one study (Ohlendorf et al. 1979), all 11 eggs, St. Marks NWR, contained Dieldrin, maximum 3.4 ppm.
Problems of Identification: Ads. bear a distant resemblance to Great Blue Herons; the imm. resembles an imm. Black-crowned Night-Heron but differs in having longer legs and a less brownish tone in the plumage. Their call notes are also similar.
References: Clayton 1985, Measures 1988, Richter 1985a, Riegner 1982, Wingate 1982.
Family Threskiornithidae, Ibises and Spoonbills.
Medium-large waders; bill is decurved in ibises and spatulate in spoonbills (except for nestlings, which have decurved bills). Toes long and slightly webbed, the middle claw not pectinate. Head bare in spoonbills, but only the face bare in ibises. Plumage similar in both sexes; powder down lacking; 11-12 primaries; 12 rectrices. Neck held straight out in flight. The birds nest colonially, usually in trees or bushes; 2-5 eggs; yg. altricial, with some down. Tropical and temperate parts of world; 33 spp.
References: Anon. 1957i, R. Allen 1965, Bennett et al. 1975b, Holt 1933a, F. Russell 1972, J. Russell 1939b, Schroder 1944b.
Eudocimus albus (Linnaeus): White Ibis Distribution: Resident and breeding from c Baja California and Sinaloa, s and e Texas, s Louisiana, s Alabama, se Georgia, coastal North Carolina, and,


rarely, Virginia south to nw Peru, the Greater Antilles, and French Guiana. Wanders after breeding season to s California, s Arizona, c New Mexico, e Colorado, se South Dakota, s Michigan, s Ontario, s Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Puerto Rico.
Florida Status: An abundant summer resident and breeder in favorable habitat in the Peninsula, but numbers reduced (common to fairly common) elsewhere; rare to fairly common in the Panhandle. In winter it is generally rare or absent in the Panhandle, but there is little change of numbers in the Peninsula. Less frequent on the Keys and generally rare, Dry Tortugas. Howell (1932) considered it "an abundant resident" over most of the state, with breeding colonies scattered throughout. He mentioned no specimens, but many exist. Wintering specimens: Bald Point (Franklin Co.), 20 Jan 1967 (TTRS 43), near Sopchoppy, 29 Dec 1963 (FSU 1430c), and southward. Six seen, Pensacola, 31 Dec 1966 (Weston 1967), were the first in winter for extreme nw Florida. Larger concentrations reported over the years: 100,000, Oscar Baynard, Big Cypress Swamp, ca. 1913 (Howell 1932); total Florida population estimated at 500,000 to 600,000, 1937 (Allen 1937d); an estimate of 260,000, Shark River headwaters, ca. 1940 (Baker 1940d); 100,000 prs., Lake Washington (Brevard Co.), early 1940s (Barbour 1945); 82,500, Duck Rock, 27 Jun 1953, D. Snyder et al. (HMS 1953a). Most authorities agree that this ibis has decreased. According to Kushlan (1978d), the population south of Lake Is-tokpoga (Highlands Co.) had decreased by about 90% since late 1930s. In the Florida Peninsula, where the greatest numbers reside, Ogden, Kale, & Nesbitt (1980) could account for only 32,000 to 34,000 prs., 1977 & 1978. R. Paul (Cox 1991) reported a 90% reduction of breeding prs., Alafia Banks (Hillsborough Co.), from 40,000+ prs., 1940s, to 4000-5000 prs., winter/spring 1991. The following data show a majority of decreases on the BBSs, 1966-83, but not on the CBCs, 1950-83.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Bay Co. .02, Cocoa 8.9, Coot Bay 18.3, Dade Co. 5.5, Ft. Lauderdale 7.8, Ft. Pierce 12.6, Gainesville 3.0, Jackson Co. .05, Jacksonville 2.1, Key Largo 2.3, Lakeland 2.6, Lake Wales 1.20, Leon Co. 1.50, Lower Keys 6.1, Mt. Dora 1.64, Myakka 9.8, Naples 6.2, Orlando .13, Pensacola .02, St. Marks 2.1, St. Petersburg 2.4, Sanibel 4.3, Sarasota 5.0, South Brevard Co. 1.32, Stuart 3.2, Tampa 6.9, Titusville 10.3, West Palm Beach 6.2. CBC trends (incr.:decr.): early 7:0, recent 12:5. BBS trends: Fla., moderate decrease (2062:1705); 23 routes, 2:6. It has greatly increased as a winter resident in the Big Bend and has extended its winter range into the Panhandle. Big Bend: no trend.
Migration: The spring and fall movements of the
Questionable report
Approximate boundary of subspecies breeding range
45. White Ibis, Eudocimus albus
White Ibis are among the major spectacles, nw Florida. Weston (1965a) mentioned flocks of several hundred birds producing daily totals into the thousands. C.S. Gidden (in HMS 1965a) estimated 10,000 near St. Marks Light, 26 Feb 1965. Normally such flights, going west, appear in Feb. The earliest date, Pensacola area, 14 Feb, and the latest in fall, 26 Oct (Weston 1965a); Hallman (journal) had flocks, 10 & 20 Feb (2 yrs.), Bay Co. The earliest in the Big Bend was a flock of 100, 4 Feb 1957 (HMS 1957b). The first returns in eastward migration are proportionately early. Flocks in the Big Bend have been recorded, lower Aucilla River, 29 May 1965 (Cunningham 1965b), & Craw-fordville, 16 May 1959, (HMS 1959a). Large numbers fly over, Jun. & Jul. The only casualty, WCTV tower, was on 23 Sep 1975 (Crawford 1981a). In the fall & early winter, 1961, when s Florida experienced a severe drought, White Ibises emigrated en masse on abnormal dates. Stoddard saw large flocks flying west, Pin-hook River, Nov & Dec 1961 (HMS 1962b); E. Stouta-mire et al. estimated 285 flying west, St. Marks Light, 27 Dec 1961 (ibid.); and 3 flocks were seen, Santa Rosa Co., 7 Jan 1962 (Weston 1962c). During this period R. P. Allen saw birds flying over the Keys to Cuba (HMS 1962b). Numbers of birds banded in other states and recovered in Florida: Alabama 15, South Carolina 11, Georgia 2, Louisiana 1; a bird banded in Florida was recovered in Cuba.


Breeding: Howell (1932) cited breeding reports throughout the Peninsula and NW to Pensacola and Whitfield (Freeport), but the Pensacola report was in error (Weston 1965a). Howell mentioned no breeding reports for the Florida Keys or ne Florida, but Nesbitt, Ogden et al. (1982) found 107 prs. breeding, Don Quixote Key, and 131 prs., Johnston Keys, Jun 1976. Maehr (1981b) reported a nesting pr. at Occidental Phosphate Mine (Hamilton Co.), 1978-80. Grimes & Shannon were shown a colony near Jacksonville, 19 Apr 1931, and Grimes saw a colony, St. Johns Co., 1942 (Grimes 1943b). Hallman (journal) reported a colony south of Cottondale, 10 Jun 1944. HMS saw White Ibises with brilliantly colored soft parts in a colony of waders near Blountstown, 30 May 1987. A large n Florida colony breeds, Seahorse Key (Levy Co.). Williams (in Ogden 1970b) estimated more than 10,000 nests there, but Oscair (1971) stated that the annual breeding population there exceeded 150,000 birdsprobably too high an estimate. Breeding was confirmed in the Panhandle, west to Okaloosa Co., 1986-91 (B. Pranty in litt.).
White Ibises are colonial nesters, usually (always?) in company of other waders. They are nomadic in their annual choice of nest sites, probably depending on water levels. The males gather sticks, leafy twigs, Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides), or other material for females to place. Nest closer to ground (8-15 ft) than other waders, rarely on ground; also less space between nests. Variety of wetland trees, shrubs, and vines used for support. Nest is more sturdily built and more deeply cupped than with most waders. Eggs probably laid on alternate days, easily distinguished from those of herons and egrets by their dark blotches on a light background. Statements differ slightly regarding number/clutch. Kushlan (1974) found the avg. in s Florida to be only 2.33; at Bivens Arm it dropped from 2.9, spring, to 2.1, summer, and at Seahorse Key it was 2.2 (Rudegeair 1975b). Our museum sample of 18 sets, taken 1890-1928, averaged 3.0 eggs/set. Kushlan (1977a) found clutch size of inland colonies to be larger than on coast. The breeding season tends to be later than with other waders; the earliest set was taken, 3 Mar 1896, Tampa Bay (ROM 113), and 4 sets in 3 museums, collected, Charlotte Harbor, are dated 17 Aug 1894. Also late was a mostly feathered nestling found dead near Vero Beach, 28 Aug 1969, H.W. Kale II (TTRS 2533). Some sight reports are even later: birds incubating, Duck Rock, 8 Aug 1949 (Brookfield 1949); flightless yg., Myakka River SP, 6 Sep 1962, O. Letson (1963a). Two sets of eggs, Duval Co. (FSU), are the northernmost in Florida. A set of eggs labeled 20 Jan 1890, Lake Okeechobee (CBE 9091-3, CHAS), "should be con-
sidered unsubstantiated" because the original data slip was lost (William Post, in litt.). The incubation period is 21 days, both parents participating. Yg. fed by regurgitation. Nestling period possibly not known. Kushlan (1974) found the fledging success in s Florida to be only 1.04 yg./nest.
Haunts and Habits: The highly gregarious White Ibis was once the most abundant wading bird in Florida, but in recent years the CBCs show larger numbers of Cattle Egrets. This ibis inhabits salt, brackish, and freshwater habitats, including cypress swamps, marshes, tidal flats, moist prairies, and cultivated fields. It forages with its long, downcurved bill, probing mud for crayfish and crabs that comprise most of its diet. Also taken are insects, fishes, mollusks, amphibians, and small reptiles. O.E. Baynard (in Howell 1932) analyzed the stomachs of 50 yg. ibises in Florida and found 352 cutworms, 308 grasshoppers, 609 crayfish, and 142 small "moccasins" (Agkistrodoril). Usually silent, this species utters a grunting urnk or hunk when flushed. The White Ibis flies with its neck extended, alternately flapping its wings and gliding. Sometimes it soars on rising thermals. It flies either in V-formations of long, wavering lines, some stretching for more than a mile, or in large, loose flocks. J.J. Murray (1947) thus described a flock of ads.: "Suddenly, as we looked, the cloud flashed white; and we realized that we were looking at a flock of . White Ibis wheeling in the sky. It was uncanny the way they appeared and then disappeared, appearing as the sun struck their white backs, disappearing when their shadowed underparts were turned toward us. There is no more striking sight to be seen in Florida."
Adverse Factors: The nesting White Ibis faces essentially the same dangers as do other waders. In a colony near Bunnell, Wiborn (1936) found many carcasses around the nests, some having been killed and eaten by "animals and hawks," and Kushlan (1974) referred to frequent starving of yg. that resulted in the low fledging avg. (see Breeding). In the past many were shot and the yg. used as human food (Baynard 1913b in Howell). In 1 egg, Charlotte Harbor, summer 1973, Lincer & Salkind (1973) found high concentrations of DDE (8.74 ppm/oven-dry weight) and PCB (9.8 ppm). Various parasites have been found. Bennett et al. (1975b) found the blood parasite Haemoproteus plata-leae in birds from s Florida. In a later study (Forrester 1980) this parasite was found in 50% of 98 specimens bled, 1970-75, in the Peninsula; also found were the mallophagans Phegadiphilus eudocimus and Ardeicola robusta. Pence & Bush (1973) described a new genus and species of trematode, Polycyclorchis eudocimi, from birds in Louisiana and at Paynes Prairie & Palm-


dale, Florida. From Oct 1970 to Aug 1972 Bush & Forrester (1976) examined 140 birds from c Florida and found 22 spp. of trematodes, 2 of cestodes, 17 of nematodes, and 1 acanthocephalan. The last-named parasite (Stomylotrema vicarium) was present in 69% of the individuals. The occurrence of trematodes was higher in birds taken from salt water than in those from inland sites.
Problems of Identification: If not seen well (especially the venter), the imm. White Ibis could be mistaken for an imm. Glossy Ibis.
References: Bush et al. 1973; Courser & Dinsmore 1975; Dickinson 1941b; Harmon 1953; Hays 1967; Kil-ham 1980a, 1984e; Kushlan 1973d, e, 1976a, b, 1977b, c, d, e, 1979d; Kushlan & Kushlan 1975; Kushlan & Robertson 1977; Kyle 1933; Naggiar 1975e; Nesbitt, Heitrick & Williams 1974; Parkes 1951, 1955; Pence & Bush 1973; Reimann 1940; Rudegeair 1975a; Sprunt 1941a; Wiborn 1936.
Eudocimus ruber (Linnaeus): Scarlet Ibis
Distribution: Resident and breeding in n South America from the coast of Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, and n Brazil south to c and s Brazil; also introduced at Greynolds Park (Miami). Rarely strays from tropics to extreme se U. S.
Florida Status: Casual, at least historically, now uncertain due to escapes and introduced birds. Howell (1932) mentioned 2 specimens and a sight report, the latter, Ft. Ogden, May 1888. One specimen was at the College of Charleston (South Carolina), the other at the Cuvier Club in Cincinnati, collected, Mar 1874, Ft. Capron, Indian River Inlet (now Ft. Pierce Inlet). The Charleston bird, labeled only "Florida," is now UF 21305, and was reported collected before 1880 (Brewster 1883). The present location of the Ft. Capron bird is unknown, and 2 other specimens that came to light cannot now be found: USNM 371329, "Florida," (date?), "dismounted from a stand at the National Institute," and MCZ 1736, "Florida," an undated skeleton "from the Ward Collection." With such limited information, either of the last 2 specimens might represent the missing Ft. Capron bird. The only post-Howell specimen was taken at Florida City, 12 Nov 1954 (UMRC 673). Its unworn primaries indicated that it probably was not a recent captive.
At Greynolds Park, Carter Bundy placed 22 eggs of Scarlet Ibises, flown in from the Caroni Swamp, Trinidad, in nests of White Ibises, Jul 1961. Seventeen eggs hatched and the yg. fledged. Either 2 (Bundy 1962) or 4 (Zahl 1967) scarlet birds were present, spring 1962. Some birds escaped from Busch Gardens (Hillsborough Co.), summer 1962 (Robertson 1962a); shortly there-
46. Scarlet Ibis, Eudocimus ruber
after, several were observed nearby and 1, Myakka River SP. After that there were reports of a few scarlet birds at various points in s Florida until 1979; 1 seen by H.P. Langridge near West Palm Beach, 18 Mar 1983, may have been a recent escape. B. Warren & L. Riopelle reported 1 on a nest, Loxahatchee NWR, 19 May 1978, "presumably [mated with] a White Ibis" (Ogden 1978a). During the same period there were far more records of pink, orange, or salmon birdsdoubtless the hybrid offspring of albus & ruberincluding an incubating bird, Greynolds Park, 8 Jun 1985 (B. Neville in Paul 1985). In the 1970s scarlet birds were seen as far north as New Port Richey and Lake Washington (Brevard Co.), and 1 was photographed in s Alabama (Imhof 1976a). "Hybrids" were reported as far north as Jefferson Co. It should be noted that either scarlet or pink birds could represent more recent escapes, as dietary changes in an escaped Scarlet Ibis could dilute the coloration of the plumage. Without an infusion of more Scarlet Ibises into Florida, the species will surely lose its integrity in Florida by interbreeding with the White Ibis; in fact, it probably does not exist here today as a pure species. The most recent report of a hybrid was of 1, Coot Bay CBC, 29 Dec 1991. However, some Scarlet Ibises reportedly escaped from Walt Disney World, 1989 (Robertson & Woolfenden 1992), and others will undoubtedly do so from other "captive" collections in the state from time to


time. More recent sightings: 1 ad., Flamingo (ENP), 7-8 Dec 1991, observed for ca. 6 weeks (Cox 1992); 1 "unhanded bird," near Ft. Myers, 6 Aug 1992, N. Pettis, & 6 Apr 1993, V. McGrath.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Insignificantly small numbers of Scarlet Ibises, or of pinkish hybirds, have appeared on CBCs in s Florida.
References: French, R.P., and Francois Haversch-midt. 1970. The Scarlet Ibis in Surinam and Trinidad. Living Bird 9:147-65.
Bundy 1954, Maehr & Hintermister 1982, Parkes 1951, Sass 1907.
Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus): Glossy Ibis Distribution: Breeds locally from coastal Maine and Rhode Island south to s Florida, west along the coast to Louisiana, and south to n Venezuela (rarely in Arkansas, nw Costa Rica, Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico); also from se Europe and e China south to South Africa, Madagascar, India, the Malay Peninsula, and Australia. Winters as far north as the n Gulf Coast, the Mediterranean Sea, and se Asia. Wanders after the breeding season north to c Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, s Ontario, s Quebec, New Brunswick, Iceland, the British Isles, and Scandinavia.
Florida Status: A locally distributed resident from St. Marks and Jacksonville southward, ranging from accidental to abundant; farther north and west it is very rare or casual and is much reduced along the Gulf Coast of the upper Peninsula and on the Florida Keys; rare to casual visitor, Dry Tortugas (Robertson 1986). Howell (1932) mentioned several specimens, one of them, Dry Tortugas, 1860. Although we have not seen that specimen, we saw others collected before 1932: Orange Lake (Alachua Co.), May 1910 (UF 2401); Jacksonville, 1877 (MCZ 35734); Cuthbert Rookery, 11 Apr 1911 (AMNH 749542); Cape Sable, 1917 (USNM 283626); and Lake Flirt (Glades Co.), 14 April 1881 (USNM 96616). More recent specimens come from Shell Point (Wakulla Co.), Lake Okeechobee, and Hendry Co. Ne Florida sightings include Mayport, 2 on 23-31 May 1964; Lake City, 26 May 1973; and Occidental Phosphate Mines (Hamilton Co.), 27 Dec 1980. Single birds were photographed, Leon Co., 7 Jun 1968 & 24 Jul 1986 (TTRS P304 & P414). Like other waders, the Glossy Ibis declined sharply, early 1900s, then increased. In 1909 Kyle (1933) considered it common, Orange Lake, but stated later that its numbers had decreased. In Jun 1932 Holt (1933a) found only 13 ads. and 6 yg. there, but by the late 1930s Sprunt (1954d) & Chandler found a colony of 1200 prs., Lake Okeechobee (or 800-900 prs. per Ogden 1978i) and estimated a total state population of 1500 prs. In the
47. Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
early 1970s, Robertson & Kushlan (1974) put the statewide population at 3500 birds. High numbers: Palm Beach Co. (rice fields), 1200, 2 Sep 1990 (Cox 1990); Econlockhatchee CBC, 1354, 2 Jan 1993; and Polk phosphate mines, 1500, 31 Jan 1993 (Pranty 1993a). Robertson & Woolfenden (1992) put the present population ca. 2000-3000 prs.
Relative abundance, CBCs: Cocoa 2.8, Coot Bay .29, Ft. Lauderdale .34, Ft. Pierce .12, Gainesville .34, Jacksonville .02, Lakeland .33, Lake Wales .59, Lower Keys .004, Mt. Dora .92, Myakka 1.09, Naples .001, Orlando .005, St. Marks .04, St. Petersburg .001, Sarasota .14, South Brevard Co. .31, Stuart .03, Tampa .08, Titusville 2.3, West Palm Beach .28. CBC trend: 12:0. BBS Trends: Fla, inadequate sample. Wakulla/ Franklin cos., increase.
Migration: Small numbers of migrating Glossy Ibises have been reported from a number of Florida localities. Ogden (1981) stated that "migration in the Upper Keys characteristically is composed of small flocks headed in a southerly direction between late June and early September." West-bound flocks were seen, St. Marks Light, 8 & 12 Apr 1958 (HMS 1958a). One seen flying west, St. George I., 4 Apr 1980 (HMS & J. Cavanagh), was the first of record there. Much larger migratory flocks were seen, Brevard Co., flying south, 6 Oct 1971 (2 flocks totaling 350 birds), and flying north, 2 Apr 1966 & 17 Apr 1974, a total of 4 flocks and 420


birds (Cruickshank 1980). At the Lake Alice (Gainesville) breeding colony, Rice (1955) noted the first spring arrival, 14 Mar 1953. Four birds banded in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Virginia were recovered in Florida. Occasional spring and fall, Amelia I. (Colburn 1992). R. Duncan (1988a) reported 4 observations of dark ibises, Pensacola area, prior to 1966, and more than 20 since. Most birds were sighted Mar-May & Oct, and most were imms. or non-breeding ads. Distinguishing the two spp. of Plegadis in these plumages and seasons is very difficult. There are no specimens from that area but those that have been identified have been called "Glossy," e.g., 1, Walton Co., 4 Aug 1992 (D. Ware; fide B. Pranty, in litt.). One identified as falcinellus, seen 21 Dec. 1992, was near Ft. Walton Beach, not Santa Rosa Co. (Am. Birds 47:266). Some reports probably do pertain to White-faced Ibises.
Breeding: Howell (1932) referred to only 3 definite breeding sites in Floridathe upper St. Johns River west of Melbourne, in marshes west of Fellsmere, and at Orange Lake (Alachua Co.), adding that the species had not nested at Orange Lake since 1916. Kyle (1933) said it was common, Orange Lake, 1909, but later decreased. Nicholson (1929) & H. Redding reported 9 nests there, 1929. Additional breeding sites in early years are indicated by eggs collected: Flamingo, 2 Apr 1925 (WFVZ 65767); Lake Okeechobee, 7 Jun 1937 (WFVZ 79636; latest Florida); St. Johns River marshes (Brevard Co.), 28 Mar 1929 (USNM 37443 & FSM 595; earliest Fla.); Tampa Bay, 25 May 1887 (ANSP 72110). A set, Lake Kissimmee, 5 Mar 1909 (DEL 2670), could not be found. R.P. Allen (1935) reported ca. 20 nesting near the head of Shark River, spring 1934. Sprunt (1954d) referred to a small colony, Lake Alice (Alachua Co.), Jun 1952; summer 1969, new breeding sites were found at Alafia Banks (Tampa Bay) and south of Bartow. Few breeding sites are used annually over many years, and Rice (1955) stated that only 4 sites were known at that time. The species nested at Lake Istokpoga, Jun 1972, J. Ogden (1972b) & J. Kushlan (UMRC 7076-7; nestlings). J. Kushlan & J. Schortemeyer (1974) reported 600 nests, Conservation Area 3 (Broward Co.), spring 1973, and 50 prs. nested, Taylor Slough (ENP), summer 1976 (Ogden 1976b). HMS noted ca. 30 in a mixed colony, Lake Hamilton, 24 Jun 1976. In 1975 at least 9 prs. nested successfully, Merritt I. NWR (Girard & Taylor 1979); 423 "successful nests" were reported there, summer 1990, D. Cou-ley (Cox 1991). The greatest numbers breed in the Kissimmee Prairie-Lake Okeechobee area, where Chandler (in Baker 1940) reported the fledging of 3300 yg., 1940. According to Sprunt (1941a), mixed colonies of White & Glossy ibises contain more of one species than of
the other; at Lake Okeechobee he estimated a ratio of at least 2:1 favoring the Glossy Ibis.
Glossy Ibises nest colonially, sometimes with other species of waders. Their nests are placed lower than those of other waders, either on the ground or no higher than 10 ft. Nest materials vary somewhat with nest site, but both twigs and leaves are commonly used. Both sexes participate in building and add material while incubating eggs and feeding yg. The clutch numbers 3-4 eggs similar to size of night-herons' but of a duller green color. The incubation period is 21 days. Yg. are fed by regurgitation, both parents taking turns. Yg. leave nest at 2 weeks and fly at 5-6 weeks.
Haunts and Habits: The Glossy Ibis inhabits chiefly freshwater marshes, but sometimes brackish or saltwater marshes, flooded or dry fields, and moist prairies are chosen. It is gregarious, often roosting, nesting, and foraging with White Ibis and other waders. It uses its sickle-shaped bill to probe mud for crayfish, snakes, insects, and amphibians. Baynard (in Howell 1932) reported that the composition of 194 meals of yg. Glossy Ibises in Florida included 412 cutworms, 1964 grasshoppers, 1391 crayfish, and 147 snakes; his claim that 95% of the snakes were "moccasins" (Agkistrodonl) is doubtful. This species flies in typical ibis fashion, neck and legs extended, alternately flapping its wings rapidly, then gliding. Its most frequent vocalization is a series of grunts uttered while feeding or at the nest.
Adverse Factors: Similar to those of other waders. R.P. Allen (1935) mentioned the depredations of Fish Crows and commercial egg collectors in the 1930s, and Sprunt (1941d) et al. cited the 90% success of harassing by Boat-tailed Grackles for items of food that ibises had taken, Lake Okeechobee, "winter of 1941."
Problems of Identification: See White-faced Ibis. Glossy Ibises are dark both dorsally and ventrally, unlike juv. White Ibises.
References: Anon. 1955d, Dunstan 1978b, Ford 1951a, J. Moore 1953a, Moore & Dilley 1953b, D. Nicholson 1941, Robertson 1953, Schroder 1945, Sem-ple 1932, Sprunt 1941a.
Plegadis chihi (Vieillot): White-faced Ibis Distribution: Breeds locally from c California, e Oregon, s Idaho (possibly Montana), and s North Dakota south to s Mexico, s and e Texas, s Louisiana, coastal Alabama, and (casually) Florida; also in lowlands of South America south to c Chile and c Argentina. Winters from s California, n Mexico, and coastal Texas & Louisiana south through breeding range. Rarely strays to s Canada, Minnesota, Arkansas, Ohio, New York, Maryland, and Florida; formerly to Costa Rica and casually to Hawaii.


48. White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
Florida Status: Accidental; Howell (1932) listed a single record in 1886 (see Breeding). Three post-Howell records are based on photos: Lake Okeechobee, Apr 1937, S. Grimes (TTRS P270); Flamingo, Jun 1960, H.B. Muller (ENP r.36a-j) & A. Sprunt IV (TTRS P282); Pensacola, 3 Apr 1966, J. Colehour (TTRS P283). Sight reports: 12, St. Marks Light, K. & M. Zerbe et al., 6-14 Apr 1963, and 1 there, 20 Apr-1 May 1965 (J. Ogden & C.S. Gidden). (See Glossy Ibis, Migration).
Breeding: William Brewster (1886) recorded one instance of this ibis' breeding in Florida; an incubating female and her clutch of eggs were collected, Lake Washington (Brevard Co.), 18 Apr 1886 (MCZ 219388, skin; 3650, eggs). Grimes (pers. comm. 3 Oct 1980, to W. Biggs) stated that the bird photographed (TTRS P270; Fla. Nat. 23(3):cover,43: 129) was one of 2 prs. with nests and eggs, Red Light Reef (Glades Co.), Apr 1937. Because of its close relationship to the Glossy Ibis (considered conspecific by some authorities), it is unlikely that the breeding habits of the white-faced bird differ greatly from the Glossy Ibis'.
Problems of Identification: Probably indistinguishable from the Glossy Ibis except during the breeding season, at which time most may be separated by their white face (a narrow circle of white feathers surrounding the eye), red lores, and reddish tarsi. At that season the ad. Glossy Ibis has pale blue skin (sometimes white!) partly surrounding the eye, and in strong sunlight it
may appear white; the lores and tarsi are never reddish, as they are in P. chihi. Imms. of the 2 spp. are said to be indistinguishable.
Commentary: Several authors have stated that the 2 spp. of dark ibises do not interbreed, but they have done so in captivity (Terres 1980) and may have interbred also in the wild. In the published account of the Florida breeding record, no mention is made of White-faced Ibises other than the incubating bird in the colony of Glossies. If there were none, interbreeding must have occurred. As the eggs of these ibises are nearly identical, those in the set from Florida could shed no light on this question.
References: Colehour 1970, Ryder 1967.
Ajaia ajaja (Linnaeus): Roseate Spoonbill Distribution: Resident and breeding from n Sinaloa, coastal Texas and Louisiana, and c Florida south along coasts to c Chile and Argentina; also in Cuba, the Isle of Pines, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas. Wanders north to c California, sw Arizona, n Florida, and coastal North Carolina, and SE to the Lesser Antilles; casually or accidentally farther north.
Florida Status: As a resident breeder in s Florida, chiefly Florida Bay, and north along the coasts to Tampa Bay and Merritt I., the spoonbill ranges from very rare to common. It occurs regularly north to the St. Marks area and Nassau Co. along the coasts and inland to c Florida, casually farther west in the Panhandle, and north in the Peninsula, mostly in summer. Howell (1932) mentioned a sharp decline in numbers, 1800s to late 1920s, and cited reports as far north as St. Marks and St. Augustine. He listed specimens from the mouth of the Withlacoochee River, the Kissimmee River, and "Gadsden"the last of these probably being Gadsden Point, Tampa Bay, not Gadsden Co. as shown on Howell's map (p. 120). Additional specimens prior to 1932 came from Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, Old Tampa Bay, Marquesas, Matanzas Inlet, near Ft. Myers, the Florida Keys, Tampa, Pine I., St. Augustine, and other localities. The following sight reports have occurred outside the species' usual range: near Blountstown (Howell 1932); Dry Tortugas (2 spring reports); Marquesas Keys, 13 Sep 1990 (Cox 1991); Perdido Key (Escambia Co.), 8 May 1983; Money Bayou (Franklin Co.), Apr 1948; M-K Ranch WMA (Gulf Co.), 13 Sep 1991 and 18 May 1992 (Cox 1992); Alligator Lake (Columbia Co.), 24 Jul 1990; Ashley Prairie (Putnam Co.), 26 Sep 1987; Gainesville (ca. 5 reports); near Tallahassee, 22 Jul 1985 & Apr 1987. Although the spoonbill has become a recent, rather regular summer and fall visitor in the St. Marks area, 1 remained into winter for the first time on record near