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FLORIDABIRDS-L  October 2001

FLORIDABIRDS-L October 2001

Subject:

Parakeet Sunday ay Naples

From:

Bill Pranty <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bill Pranty <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 14 Oct 2001 23:51:27 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (94 lines)

Hi birders,

This past weekend was the fall 2001 meeting of the Florida Ornithological
Society, split between the Fort Myers, Cokscrew Swamp, and Naples areas. Dr.
Sid Gauthreaux's talk on using NEXRAD to map flocks of migrating birds was
incredible, and nearly all the other talks were quite informative. As usual,
the meeting was a success, and it was fun to see a lot of birders from
around the Peninsula.

Today (14 Oct), I skipped the field trips to search for the Rose-ringed
Parakeets that have been reported in the Naples area since at least the
1980s.

Directions to some of the area occupied by the Rose-ringeds has been posted
to FLORIDABIRDS-L previously, and can be found by searching the archives --
enter "Rose-ringed" in the "Subject" box. (For those who don't know about
the archives, the URL is automatically added to the bottom of every post to
FLORIDABIRDS-L, so I won't repeat it here).

I also don't want to imply that the birds occur in only a one- or two-block
area; they likely range rather widely within "suitable habitat" (=
high-income neighborhoods full of Royal and Coconut palms that serve as
roosting and nesting substrates.) Furthermore, being vague about where we
saw "our" birds may spur others to search for the Rose-ringeds throughout
the Naples area, which certainly would add to our knowledge of the species
in Collier County.

Terry and Kathy Doyle and I were successful at finding 12 Rose-ringeds, some
that posed very nicely for video. Associating with the Rose-ringeds were six
or more _Aratinga_ parakeets. At least two were Blue-crowned Parakeets and
at least two (three?) were White-eyed Parakeets. One bird may have "gotten
away," and the sixth bird, which allopreened with a Blue-crowned, awaits
specific identification (if possible). I need to more closely examine my
videotape, but the bird seemed to show some red on the face, suggesting
either a Mitred Parakeet or a Red-masked Parakeet. (The lighting was rather
poor, looking somewhat into the sun, and color wasn't visible in our
binoculars. But with my camcorder zoomed to 60x, some facial color came
out).

No _Aratinga_ species was known to occur in Collier County before today, so
the Blue-crowned and White-eyed parakeets were new, as will be the other
species if an identification can be determined.

As Susan Epps has demonstrated beyond doubt for Broward County, even a
single, careful dedicated birder can make major contributions to our
knowledge of the exotic avifauna of Florida. Since 1999, there have been at
least 25 species of psittacids found in Broward County, and Susan Epps is
directly or indirectly resonsible for all of these being reported.

It seems likely that there could be any of several other psittacids in the
Naples area, and I'd appreciate notice of these -- especially if the
observations can be supported by photographs or videotapes. (Digital
videocams continue to drop in price, and most are now cheaper than some 35mm
SLR cameras!) Psittacaid ID is quite tricky until you learn what exactly to
look for, and even then, brief views or thick foliage can prevent definitive
identifications (i.e., green birds in green foliage) ... For instance,
reporting that you saw a "big green parrot with a red patch in the wings"
describes nearly every species of Amazona (!) -- and eight of these species
have been seen at a single roost at Fort Lauderdale in the past three years.

You'll also need a parrot book, since no North American field guide -- no,
not even the Sibley Guide -- illustrates all the species known to be at
liberty in Florida currently.

With the abundance of pet owners and bird-breeders in southern Florida, most
of the world's 300+ species of psittacids has the potential to escape and be
seen out of captivity in the state.

I would also be interested in any reports of confirmed breeding of the
various species of psitacids in Naples ... or anywhere else in Florida, for
that matter.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Bill

Bill Pranty
Audubon of Florida
410 Ware Boulevard, Suite 702
Tampa, Florida 33619
813-623-6826
[log in to unmask]

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