St. Lucie Audubon Society

Friendly Double-crested Cormorant with Jewel Rufe (HR)



Despite considerable difficulty finding places to park upon arrival at the ever popular Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 25 participants enjoyed a delightful day birding both Wakodahatchee and Green Cay, on a bright, sunny winter day. Once again, as last year, early arrivals observed a flight of six Monk Parakeets while we gathered together, as well as our only Eurasian Collared Doves of the day.

At Wakodahatchee the highlights of the day were the numerous Woodstorks (right, LS), Anhingas, Great Blue Herons and Cormorants busily engaging in all levels of activity from displaying, to courtship, to copulating, to nest building and incubating eggs; two American Bitterns that challenged the group’s bird finding abilities; the beautiful Purple Gallinules and comparable Purple Swamphens; a female American Redstart; several Common Yellowthroats (below, left, LS); and two Solitary Sandpipers.

Upon arrival at the entrance to Green Cay we ran into a mixed flock of warblers which included Black and White (below, right, LS), Northern Parula, Pine, Palm, Yellow-rumped, and a gorgeous Yellow-throated Warbler, as well as several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and a Blue-headed Vireo, with several Painted Buntings at the feeders.

Later a couple of participants happened to be present when a Worm Eating Warbler was found at the same location, and in one of the hammocks on the boardwalk several participants got spectacular views of a Prairie Warbler together with two more Blue-headed Vireos. (One of the problems with so many participants is the fact that the group gets spread out, and many are not present when others find exciting birds.)

Soras were present at several places along the boardwalk and one accommodating Double-crested Cormorant posed on the boardwalk railing for close photos with participants. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the cypress hammock was a final highlight, although for many, the four baby alligators at the end of the trip were the big hit. A composite total of 69 species were tallied by the group at both sites and en route, although no participant was fortunate enough to see that entire total.

The trip concluded at Sweet Tomatoes on the way home in West Palm Beach where a nice meal and social hour was enjoyed by nineteen participants while recounting the day’s observations. The House Sparrow, which would have been our 70th species, usually encountered at Sweet Tomatoes, did not appear while we were there this year. The trip was led by Hart and Jewel Rufe.

Linda Sullivan prepared a slideshow of birds on the trip from Wakodahatchee, with music, at the following web site:

Report submitted by Hart Rufe. Photos by Hart Rufe and Linda Sullivan

Click photos for larger versions

Anhinga (LS)

Boat-tailed Grackle (HR)

Glossy Ibis(LS)

Pie-billed Grebe

Red-tailed Hawk (LS)

Total 19 participants and 69 Species Seen or Heard

Waterfowl:  Black-bellied Whistling Duck; Mottled Duck; Blue-winged Teal

Loons & Grebes:Pied-billed Grebe

Storks: Woodstork

Pelicaniformes:Double-crested Cormorant; Anhinga; Brown Pelican

Wading Birds:   Least Bittern (heard); American Bittern; Great Blue Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Little Blue Heron; Cattle Egret; Tricolored Heron; Green Heron; Black-crowned Night-Heron; White Ibis; Glossy Ibis

Raptors & Allies: Black Vulture; Turkey Vulture; Osprey; Northern Harrier; Red-shouldered Hawk

Rails & Gallinules: Sora; Common Gallinule; American Coot; Purple Gallinule; Purple Swamphen

Limpkins & Cranes: Limpkin (heard)

Shorebirds:  Solitary Sandpiper

Pigeons and Doves:Rock Pigeon; Mourning Dove; White-winged Dove; Eurasian Collared Dove

Psittacines: Monk Parakeet

Hummingbirds: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Kingfishers:  Belted Kingfisher

Woodpeckers: Red-bellied Woodpecker; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; Downy Woodpecker

Empidonax: Eastern Phoebe

Vireos: Blue-headed Vireo

Corvidae: Blue Jay; Fish Crow

Martins & Swallows: Northern Rough-winged Swallow; Tree Swallow  

Gnatcatchers: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Mimids: Gray Catbird; Northern Mockingbird

Starlings: European Starling

Wood Warblers:  Worm Eating Warbler; Black-and-white Warbler; Common Yellowthroat; American Redstart; Northern Parula; Palm Warbler; Pine Warbler; Yellow-rumped Warbler; Yellow-throated Warbler; Prairie Warbler

Cardinals  & Allies: Northern Cardinal; Painted Bunting

Blackbirds: Red-winged Black-Bird; Boat-tailed Grackle; Common Grackle

On route: Sandhill Crane; American Kestrel

Common Gallinule (HR)

Purple Gallinule (HR)

Purple Swamphen, right (HR)

Tri-colored Heron (LS)

White Ibis (LS)

Alligator babies (HR)


Atlas Butterfly (HR)