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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.