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Fellow Birders:
There was a feature article in yesterday's Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinal about
America's top birding sites. It was reffering to a Wild Bird magazine article
ranking favorite birding areas throughout the USA. It had three Florida sites
in the top ten. There was some discussion on the Florida birding internet
about this during the early Fall.

In the article, Ding Darling NWR was ranked three, Corkscrew Swamp was ranked
four, and Eveglades National Park ranked five. Cape May and SE Arizona were
one and two.

Had it been my list I would have slipped the Rio-Grande, from Falcon Dam to
Brownsville, as three. The Everglades would have been my fourth. Ding Darling
and Corkscrew would not have made my top ten. If I was a begining birder they
might have. That is who the article is written for. I would not make light of
either place because they were among the first two areas I visited when I
moved to Florida, and when I have guests, especially birding guests, we
always visit both places.

I happen to like the area from Homestead Florida through Key Largo (the
general areas and Biscayne NP). During the migrations this area is full of
birds and birding suprizes, such as Zenaida Dove, Key West Quail Dove and
Western Spindalis. If you add the Everglades; Lucky Hammock, Flamingo, spots
between, you have a  well-rounded century day, most of Florida's specialties
and the possibility of a rare visitor. You cannot beat that with a stick.

Fort DeSoto is also a prime migratory location. It is full of birds, uncommon
sightings not all that unusual and rare visitors just about every year. I
have not spent a lot of time birding the Space Coast, nor the Panhandle;
which can be a bit of a birder's nirvana with its Gulf Coast strays and
fall-out potential, so I cannot comment on those areas.

Well, this kind of birding opinion is interesting to me, and I would be
curious to know what others think? My bet is on the Space Coast which will be
hopping with birds and birders in the next several days. Good birding.

Matt Reid
Coral Springs, FL

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