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Long Key Surveys: September 16

September 17, 2013

By Rafael Galvez

NOPA L1000605Our pre-sunrise flight call survey from Long Key rendered nice results on the morning of September 16, 2013. We listened for the vocalizations of birds from our lab deck by Florida Bay, in the town of Layton from 5:30 am to 6:20 am. Although birds did not seem to be pouring out of the sky, there were significantly more audible calls this morning than the previous two days. The following were heard:

Ovenbird – 18
Northern Waterthrush – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 3
Yellow-throated Warbler – 1
Northern Parula – 1
Prairie Warbler – 6
Black-and-white Warbler – 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 7
Bobolink – 33
Baltimore Oriole – 1
Unidentifiable vocalizations – 37

Flight calls Sept 16 -13

It was reassuring to get out into Long Key State Park at sunrise and find a number of the birds we’d heard in the dark. Above, Rachel Smith and I with our ears (and eyes) to the sky. The identification of nocturnal flight calls is always a challenge, and we would be literally “in the dark” if not for the Flight Calls of Migratory Birds CD-Rom by Evans and O’Brien – a fantastic resource I have been referring to often. While there had been plenty of warblers in the area the last couple of days, we had not been seeing Black-throated Blue Warblers; yet the Blues announced their presence this morning with their abrupt rising flight calls. Indeed, when we finally hit the state park to see what had landed, we found Blues among other warblers. Below is a list of birds seen and/or heard from Long Key State Park during our morning transect count, 7:15 am to 8:30 am, Sept. 16, 2013:

Great Blue Heron-7
Great Egret-4
Snowy Egret-7
Little Blue Heron-1
Tricolored Heron-1
Cattle Egret-5
Semipalmated Plover-1
Ruddy Turnstone-1
Short-billed Dowitcher-2
Royal Tern-2
Sandwich Tern-1
White-crowned Pigeon-5
Common Ground-Dove-4
nighthawk sp.-1
Chuck-will’s-widow-6
Eastern Kingbird-2
Blue Jay-1
Purple Martin-9
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher-4
Ovenbird-18
Northern Waterthrush-6
Swainson’s Warbler-1
Common Yellowthroat-2
American Redstart-7
Cape May Warbler-1
Northern Parula-1
Black-throated Blue Warbler-10
Prairie Warbler-10
Northern Cardinal-15
Bobolink-278

Top photo of a Northern Parula taken with a LEICA V-LUX 4 at Long Key SP, by Rafael Galvez. Nocturnal flight call survey photo taken by Kerry Ross at the Keys Marine Laboratory.

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