Florida’s unique natural environment and world-class birding sites are getting some additional attention this week as Audubon’s Dr. Paul Gray and our own Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary were featured in an article in the Miami Herald about the impact of the film The Big Year as well as the science behind what makes Florida such a premiere birding hotspot. Also included in this article is a birder’s dream week-long trip through some of Florida’s Special Places, including Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and St. George Island State Park.
“We think the neo-tropical migrants crossing the Gulf of Mexico each year — things like warblers, orioles, flycatchers, cuckoos, shorebirds, etc. — may have only half the numbers they did 50 years ago,” said Paul N. Gray, science coordinator with Audubon of Florida.
“The Dusky [Seaside Sparrow] was a Florida specialty that was lost just in 1987. The last Carolina Parakeets were seen in Florida, with reports continuing until the 1930s. And the infamous Ivory-billed Woodpecker probably is extinct.
“But amongst the bad news, there still are many great birds that are doing fine, and Florida is a unique place to see specialties.”
Follow along as the Miami Herald describes some of the best-known birding spots across our beautiful and varied state. How many of them have you visited and which ones were your favorite and/or most productive? Tell us about your “Big Week” in Florida in the comments section below or on Facebook!