Yesterday's Fort Myers CBC yielded some 120 species and over 15,000
birds. Here are some of the highlights.

Burrowing Owl -- x135
Painted Bunting -- x5
Long-billed Curlew -- x1
Bufflehead -- x1
Bonaparte's Gull -- x3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird -- x4
Merlin -- x2
Monk Parakeet -- x79
Rose-ringed Parakeet -- 16 (Thanks Charlie for getting these for our
Piping Plover -- x3
Grasshopper Sparrow -- x1
Yellow-throated Warbler -- x5

Unexpected(!) birds:

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw -- x1
Mute Swan -- x1
Emu -- x1

The totals, although nothing like some other counts in Florida, are
impressive given the absolute devastation of habitat in our count circle
that has accelerated in recent years. The Burrowing Owl population in
cape Coral has been particularly hard hit. The newset threat to these
birds is the presence of the Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) -- a large
(4-ft.) lizard native to Africa that has been found breeding in parts of
Cape Coral. These herps probably got here via the pet trade. An effort by
Fish & Wildlife to capture these lizards is being undertaken but their
success is in question as does the fate of the Burrowing Owl populations
of Cape Coral. . . .

Vincent Lucas
Naples, FL
compiler for Ft. Myers CBC

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