Friday, December 30, 2016
The two ducks in the first photo are breeding male Lesser Scaups. The duck on left in the second photo is a breeding male Lesser Scaup and the duck on the right is a breeding female. We can ID this scaup as a Lesser Scaup, rather than a Greater Scaup by the shape of its head: the peak of the crown is at the rear. Also, we are more likely to find Lesser Scaups in fresh, shallow water habitats, such as Orlando Wetlands Park.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
NONBREEDING MALE LAPLAND LONGSPUR, VISITOR'S CENTER PARKING LOT, BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, OCHOPEE, FL
The Lapland Longspur (also known as the Lapland Bunting) is very rare in southern Florida. We saw on ebird's daily rare bird email for Collier County that yesterday a Lapland Longspur was sighted in the parking lot of the visitor's center of the Big Cypress National Preserve. We went there today (12/20/2016) and after about 1/2 hour of looking we sighted the Lapland Longspur.
We can ID this bird as a nonbreeding male Lapland Longspur by its size (estimated 6-7"); time of year (nonbreeding plumage occurs of male occurs Aug.-March); short, thick, pointed bill; streaked sides (see fourth photo); rufous greater coverts; white outer tail feathers; and facial pattern (cheeks edged in black).
The Lapland Longspur is a new species to our Photographic Life List, which now stands at 510.