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Twenty-four birders assembled for the Tropical Audubon Society’s annual 
"Exotics" fieldtrip on Saturday, December 3, 2005. We met at 1:00 p.m. in 
the emergency overflow parking lot of Baptist Hospital on Kendall Drive and 
spotted a pair of Yellow-chevroned Parakeets fly into a ficus tree nearby. 
We did not locate the parakeets but a Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Parula and 
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher were found feeding in the fig tree. “Chamber of 
Commerce” weather was particularly pleasurable for the many snow-birders 
amongst us.

We proceeded to walk to the neighborhood directly across the street from 
Baptist Hospital (Pranty-pgs. 222 and 228) on Kendall Drive (S.W. 88 St.) 
and S.W. 87 Ave. We walked around several blocks across Kendall Dr. and 
after being skunked on this fieldtrip the past two years, we located a pair 
of Red-whiskered Bulbuls – one of our “South Florida Specialties”. American 
Kestrel, Loggerhead Shrike, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a Prairie and several 
Palm Warblers were also in the area. A Cooper s Hawk was spotted in a small 
kettle of Turkey Vultures.  A flock of approximately 70 Mitred Parakeets 
landed in a Ficus tree and offered nice scope views allowing us the 
opportunity to pick out several juveniles in the mix. Several more bulbuls 
popped up on the wires as we headed back to the hospital.
While walking the grounds of Baptist Hospital we located Muscovies, Rock 
Pigeons, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Starlings, House Sparrow, Monk 
Parakeets and the aforementioned flock of Mitred Parakeets flew in to a 
ficus on the hospital grounds - giving us excellent close-up views of this 
large Aratinga species.

We headed to Miami Springs to the Fair Havens Nursing Home, where we admired 
a small colony of Monk Parakeets feeding on the ground and a pair of 
Yellow-chevroned Parakeets in the top of a Malaleuca.

Light would soon become scarce so we headed south to our final destination - 
the old Miller Drive Parrot Roost (Pranty-pg. 222 (map) and pg. 227). We had 
good looks at four Lilac-crowned Parrots screeching from the tops of an  
Australian Pine near the tennis courts. A pair of White-fronted Parrots 
perched on the power-lines across Miller Drive. We soon spotted a 
White-crowned Pigeon and White-winged Dove as we drove the neighborhood with 
the windows down listening for psittacids and as civil twilight set in we 
assembled at the corner of S.W. 64th Street and S.W. 62nd Avenue, where 
White-fronted Parrots soon appeared on the power-lines. The rest of the 
parrots did not appear until the light was rapidly diminishing but 
approximately 20 Lilac-crowned Parrots were identified and we were able to 
locate a single Orange-winged Parrot in the mix.

It was not until we were assembling for our return to Baptist Hospital that 
we discovered that one of our four remaining cars had spotted a 
Spot-breasted Oriole in a Bottlebrush tree as we drove the South Miami 
neighborhood earlier in the day and that they had assumed that we had seen 
it as well. Drats!!!! Where are the radios when you need them?

I was curious as to what effect Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, which recently 
incurred major damage to the tree canopy of South Florida, would have on the 
local exotic species of birds. Some species may have relocated to new 
roosting areas, where greater food sources may occur, but I noticed little 
difference in the numbers and diversity of species. Our exotics total 
finished at 13 species-including the oriole - and 15 counting Common Mynas 
and a Blue-crowned Parakeet seen by Juan Villamil and I while scouting the 
area earlier in the day.

Life is good........……………..knowing how resilient our residents, our tree 
canopy and most importantly our feathered friends are in the face of natural 
disasters.

Paul Bithorn
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Virginia Gardens, Florida
Miami-Dade County

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