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A group of 11 birders spent today, Wednesday, May 8, 2002 looking for the
Zenaida Dove in North Key Largo. I arrived at 8:00 a.m., but two birders
were there as early as 7:00 a.m. We split our time between Valois and
Marseilles St. with little luck. At about 11:00 a.m., Dr. John Shrader and
his wife Karen, from Kettering, Ohio, had the bird fly directly over their
heads and head west to the Gulfstream Shores neighborhood. We drove the area
but came up empty.

The Shraders were standing on Marseilles St., directly across the canal from
134 Valois St. They stated that the bird jumped up from the bank of the
canal which is terraced before flying  over their heads. They gave an
excelIent description of the bird.

I walked to the waters edge through a vacant lot, which Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) may have purchased and revegetated with
native West Indian species or the Florida Keys Nature Conservancy, which is
very active,  may have taken on this project. I walked south along the canal
and several Mourning and Common Ground Doves were feeding in the 8 ft. wide
terraced area, which cannot be seen from the dirt road (Marseilles). I
suspect the Zenaida feeds in this area or in the terraced area across the
canal before choosing to perch on the electrical wires.

 The area is not posted by DEP as an environtmentally sensitive area, but it
might be a good idea to check at the DEP District 5 headquarters, which is
on your left as you enter Valois St.  to make sure that this area is legally
accessible to walk along. It may now be a part of the North Key Largo
Botanical Site, many areas of which require a special permit to walk on.

Buck & Linda Cooper, et al. were still there when I left at 1:00 p.m. Bring
plenty to drink and sunscreen is highly recommended. Life is
good......................even during the "Dove Days of Summer."

Paul Bithorn
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Virginia Gardens, Florida
Miami-Dade County

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