The 121st Christmas Bird Count in Florida

By Bill Pranty and Bruce Anderson

During this 121st, COVID-19 season, 74 Christmas Bird Counts were conducted in Florida. Twelve other CBCs—Big Cypress, Choctawhatchee River, Christmas, Crystal River, Dry Tortugas N.P., Emeralda-Sunnyhill, Flagler, Lake Placid, Lake Seminole–Torreya, Long Pine Key, West Marion County, and West Palm Beach—were not conducted, with most of their compilers citing the pandemic. A new count was begun at Homestead in southwestern Miami-Dade County, compiled by Carlos Sanchez. Based on its inaugural data, Homestead should become one of the most ornithologically significant CBCs in Florida. The Lake Seminole–Torreya CBC, not run for the past several years, is moved to the list of inactive CBCs; the Choctawhatchee River and Christmas counts will join this list if they are not run next season.

Florida’s 74 CBCs accounted for 8971 accepted observations of 345 taxonomic forms and 2,565,276 individuals. The taxonomic forms comprised 275 native species or natural vagrants, the reintroduced Whooping Crane, all 15* “countable” exotics, 21 “non-countable” exotics, one backcross/hybrid (Mallard × Mottled Duck), one color morph (“Great White Heron”), one intergrade (“Wurdemann’s Heron”), and 25 species-groups (e.g., scoter species, Ruby-throated/Black-chinned hummingbird). Five other native species—Cinnamon Teal, Lesser Nighthawk, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Bullock’s Oriole, and Blue Grosbeak—were found exclusively during count-week. *We have removed White-winged Parakeet from the list of established Florida exotics since the species is nearing extirpation; it was not seen on any CBC this season.

Accepted species totals ranged from 43 (at Biscayne N.P.) to 167 (at Alafia Banks). Ten other CBCs, including one inland (*), exceeded 149 “countable” species: *Gainesville (162), St. Marks (160), North Pinellas and Sarasota (158 each), Jacksonville (156), Bradenton (155), St. Augustine (153), and St. Petersburg, South Brevard, and West Pasco (152 each). Four CBCs, including two inland (*), tallied more than 50,000 individuals: Cocoa (1,261,962, including 1,200,000 Lesser Scaup), *Gainesville (79,488), *Kissimmee Valley (54,825), and Bradenton (51,565).

This summary follows the taxonomy (species arrangement) of the American Ornithological Society (dated July 2020); this taxonomy differs considerably from an older taxonomy still used by Audubon for CBCs. We exclude from this summary rare species that were not documented to our satisfaction. Bold-faced numbers denote high counts since the 102nd CBC season, when BP became Florida CBC Editor.

Ten species were tallied on all 74 counts: Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, and Palm Warbler. Six species exceeded 50,000 individuals statewide: Lesser Scaup (1,250,283), Tree Swallow (117,363), American Robin (110,191), Laughing Gull (74,350), Fish Crow (52,915), and Turkey Vulture (50,851). In contrast, 26 native species or natural vagrants (excluding Whooping Crane and count-week birds) were each documented by a single individual: White-winged Scoter (Daytona Beach), Long-tailed Duck (Merritt Island), Groove-billed Ani (Ponce Inlet), Black-chinned Hummingbird (St. Petersburg), Black Rail (Panacea), Glaucous Gull (Panacea), Gull-billed Tern (Coot Bay–Everglades N.P.), Red-throated Loon (Panacea), Short-eared Owl (Homestead), La Sagra’s Flycatcher (Homestead), Tropical Kingbird (Homestead), Cuban Pewee (Lower Keys–Key Deer N.W.R.), Bell’s Vireo (Peace River), Warbling Vireo (Kendall Area), Brown Creeper (Tallahassee), Red-legged Thrush (Key West), Dark-eyed Junco (St. Augustine), Lincoln’s Sparrow (Homestead), Yellow-headed Blackbird (Homestead), Blue-winged Warbler (Fort Lauderdale), Prothonotary Warbler (St. Petersburg), Wilson’s Warbler (Fort Lauderdale), Western Tanager (Gainesville), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Alafia Banks), Dickcissel (Sarasota), and Black-faced Grassquit (Lower Keys–Key Deer N.W.R.).

The 17,427 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks tallied on 41 counts indicate continued growth of the Florida population, with 8000 at Gainesville, 920 at Stuart, 900 each at Sarasota and Venice–Englewood, and 850 at Bradenton. Zellwood–Mount Dora provided all the state’s 680 Fulvous Whistling-Ducks. Three Snow Geese were at Jackson County, with singles also at Bradenton, Econlockhatchee, and Wekiva River. Canada Geese, largely or entirely of feral stock, totaled 1586 individuals on 16 counts, with 525 at Tallahassee, 500 at Jacksonville, and 225 at Clay County. Exotic swans at Lakeland were 15 Mute and 15 Black. Ten CBCs tallied a total of 774 Egyptian Geese, with 235 at Kendall Area, 205 at Dade County, and 150 at Fort Lauderdale. Muscovy Ducks numbered 4792 individuals on 55 counts, led by 900 at Kendall Area, 520 at Naples, and 300 each at Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Highest totals of Florida’s 1542 Wood Ducks on 43 counts were 570 at Gainesville and 310 at Melrose. The male Cinnamon Teal that wintered at Merritt Island N.W.R. was found count-week during the CBC. Nine American Black Ducks were tallied at St. Marks, their only regular wintering site in Florida. Three Greater Scaup were documented south to Bradenton. As always, Lesser Scaup dominated the waterfowl totals, this season totaling nearly tenfold the number of all other waterfowl combined! An estimated 1.2 million scaup were at Cocoa, with 12,000 others at Peace River, 9800 at Alafia Banks, 5700 at Tampa, and 5000 at Merritt Island N.W.R. All three scoter species were found: 10 Surf on seven counts south to Bradenton and Cocoa, one White-winged at Daytona Beach, and 311 Black on 17 counts. Single Long-tailed Ducks were documented at Bradenton (count-week) and Merritt Island N.W.R. Highest counts of 3677 Buffleheads statewide were along the northern Gulf coast: 1200 at Cedar Key, 700 at St. Marks, 400 at Bay County, and 340 at Apalachicola Bay–St. Vincent N.W.R. A Common Goldeneye at Clermont was south and inland.

For several years, we have stressed the need to carefully examine Mallards and Mottled Ducks to determine how many of these may be hybrids/backcrosses or that cannot be identified specifically. The identification of these ducks is so hopelessly confused that we now combine all Mallards, Mottled Ducks, hybrids/backcrosses (Mallard × Mottled Duck), and unknowns (Mallard/Mottled Duck) into a single “Muddled Duck” total, which this season numbered 6990 individuals. We are the opinion that Florida CBCs in the central and southern peninsula that continue to report dozens or hundreds of Mottled Ducks and few or no backcrosses or unknowns are providing inaccurate data. As evidenced by photographs embedded in eBird checklists, even experienced birders routinely overlook obvious signs of backcrossing (e.g., a small or no gape spot, heavily streaked lower cheeks, bold eyelines, or white in the tail) and misidentify these birds as Mottled Ducks.

Northern Bobwhites totaled 183 individuals on 24 counts, a considerable increase over the 120th season’s low count of 99. There were 1335 Wild Turkeys on 43 counts, with 160 at Melrose and 105 at Brooksville. Exotic fowl were 293 Indian Peafowl on 12 counts, 169 Red Junglefowl on three, and six Helmeted Guineafowl at Dade County. The storm-driven adult American Flamingo, present at St. Marks N.W.R. since November 2018, was again tallied on the St. Marks CBC. The feral flamingo flock at Hialeah Race Track, within the Dade County CBC circle, numbered 188 individuals. Rock Pigeons (7904 on 56 counts) and Eurasian Collared-Doves (3955 on 65 counts) have been declining statewide for many years, although the latter species showed an increase this season. White-crowned Pigeons numbered 129 individuals on eight counts, among these 46 at Crocodile Lake N.W.R., 37 at Kendall Area, and 26 at Key West. Two Smooth-billed Anis and one Groove-billed Ani were found at Homestead (the latter count-week), with another Groove-billed photographed at Ponce Inlet.

Single Yellow-billed Cuckoos were documented at Homestead and Tampa, while Kendall Area reported two Mangrove Cuckoos (good details). Crocodile Lake N.W.R. and Homestead each provided a single Chuck-will’s-widow. Thirty-six Eastern Whip-poor-wills were found on 14 counts, including nine at Homestead and seven at South Brevard. Florida’s 318 hummingbirds were composed of 299 Ruby-throated, one Black-chinned, eight Rufous (on five counts), one Buff-bellied (count-week), and 10 not identified specifically. Of the state’s 460 Clapper Rails, 259 on six counts were along the Atlantic coast and 201 on 17 counts were along the Gulf coast. Purple Gallinules numbered 249 individuals on 24 counts, with 56 at Lakeland, 26 at Clermont, and 23 at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Forty-eight Purple Swamphens were found on seven counts, with 11 each at Orange River and STA5–Clewiston, nine at Zellwood–Mount Dora (where they now breed), and eight at Boca Raton. A Black Rail graced Panacea. There were 1104 Limpkins on 50 counts, among these 144 at Gainesville, 130 at Sarasota, and 123 at Kissimmee Valley. Florida’s 13,891 Sandhill Cranes were found on 51 counts, with 7880 at Gainesville, 850 at Clermont, and 820 at Melrose. One of the last few Whooping Cranes surviving from an unsuccessful reintroduction program that ended in 2008 was found at Gainesville.

There were 131 Black-necked Stilts on seven counts, and 962 American Avocets on nine. As expected, Cedar Key produced most of the state’s 1840 American Oystercatchers, with 1470; St. Petersburg provided the next-highest total, with 73. Cumulative totals of small plovers were 2986 Semipalmated on 35 counts, 128 Piping on 11, 91 Wilson’s on 14, and 90 Snowy on nine. The state’s 52 Whimbrels were found at Cedar Key (28), Matanzas (12), Coot Bay–Everglades N.P. (10), and Fort De Soto and Long Key–Lignumvitae (one each). Three Long-billed Curlews were found at Cedar Key, with another at Alafia Banks. Highest totals of the state’s 236 Marbled Godwits on 11 counts were along the peninsular Gulf coast, with 73 at Fort De Soto, 52 at Cedar Key, 37 at St. Petersburg, and 36 at Ten Thousand Islands. Red Knot numbers rebounded from the 120th season (with 1144 individuals), totaling 1758 on 18 counts, including 525 at Fort De Soto, 390 at St. Petersburg, and 225 at Cedar Key. Purple Sandpiper was missed this season. Fifteen counts tallied 36 American Woodcocks south to Alafia Banks, Green Swamp, and Cocoa.

Daytona Beach accounted for Florida’s two Pomarine Jaegers and three Parasitic Jaegers, with another Parasitic count-week at Bradenton. Lesser Black-backed Gulls totaled 531 individuals on 31 counts, among these 200 at Kendall Area, 89 at Key Largo–Plantation Key, and 60 at Cocoa. A Glaucous Gull was photographed at Port St. Joe. The sole Gull-billed Tern was at Coot Bay–Everglades N.P. Trios of Common Terns were documented at Fort De Soto and St. Petersburg. Forster’s Terns numbered 3292 individuals on 52 counts. Black Skimmers totaled 6112 individuals on 30 counts, with 850 at Naples, 700 each at Matanzas and St. Petersburg, 610 at Coot Bay–Everglades N.P., and 500 at Cedar Key.

The state’s sole Red-throated Loon was at Panacea. Pacific Loons were photographed at Pensacola, and—incredibly—inland at Melrose. Common Loon numbers were low, totaling just 863 individuals on 34 counts, including 162 at Cedar Key, 97 at Bay County, and 82 at Choctawhatchee Bay. Storks and wading birds totaled 131,361 individuals, among these 4799 Wood Storks, 448 “Great White Herons” (including 320 at Coot Bay–Everglades N.P.), 179 Reddish Egrets, 60,358 White Ibises, 9545 Glossy Ibises, 21 White-faced Ibises (all at St. Marks), and 1467 Roseate Spoonbills. Among the 560 Magnificent Frigatebirds found on 25 counts were 225 at Sanibel–Captiva, 79 at Ten Thousand Islands, and 51 at Lower Keys. There were 60 Brown Boobys at Biscayne N.P., with others at Bradenton (five), North Pinellas (three), and Fort De Soto (one). Northern Gannets totaled 511 individuals on 23 counts, with 99 at Daytona Beach. There were 12,765 American White Pelicans on 48 counts, and 17,271 Brown Pelicans on 53, including 80 inland at Lakeland, where they have bred.

Vultures totaled 19,228 Black on 70 counts, and 50,851 Turkey on all 74. Totals of diurnal raptors included 4109 Ospreys on 71 counts, 1592 Bald Eagles on 70, and 3834 Red-shouldered Hawks on 72. Twelve White-tailed Kites were tallied: six at STA5–Clewiston, five at Homestead, and one at Lower Keys–Key Deer N.W.R., the latter providing the second report for the Keys. Sharp-shinned Hawks increased from recent lower totals (100, 86, and 100 during the 118th–120th seasons, respectively), with 106 individuals on 50 counts. Cooper’s Hawks numbered 242 individuals on 59. Highest counts of the state’s 153 Snail Kites on 13 counts were 89 at Gainesville and 43 at Kissimmee Valley, with single-digit totals elsewhere. Short-tailed Hawks numbered 105 individuals on 26 counts, with 33 at Homestead and 18 at Kendall Area. Swainson’s Hawks were documented at Homestead (three) and Long Key–Lignumvitae (one). Owls on Florida CBCs were 26 Barn on 11 counts; 250 Eastern Screech-Owls on 50; 280 Great Horned on 55; 84 Burrowing on eight; 441 Barred on 48, and one Short-eared at Homestead. Belted Kingfishers were found on every CBC, with 2241 individuals statewide.

Red-headed Woodpeckers totaled 312 individuals on 33 counts. Dryobates totals were 2092 Downy on 66 counts, 48 Red-cockaded on seven, and 32 Hairy on 13. Northern Flickers numbered 432 individuals on 56 counts. Statewide caracara and falcon totals were 90 Crested Caracaras on 20 counts, 2013 American Kestrels on all 74, 100 Merlins on 48, and 71 Peregrine Falcons on 36. Sixteen psittacid species were found this season. The two most numerous species were 1044 Nanday Parakeets on 14 counts (including 250 at Sarasota, 230 at St. Petersburg, and 160 at Fort De Soto) and 825 Monk Parakeets on 18 counts (including 161 at St. Petersburg and 140 at Kendall Area). All of Florida’s 247 Yellow-chevroned Parakeets (on three counts) and 274 Mitred Parakeets (on two counts) were tallied within Miami-Dade County.

Single Ash-throated Flycatchers were documented at Clay County, Clermont, Daytona Beach, East Pasco, Gainesville, and Jacksonville. Great Crested Flycatchers totaled 295 individuals on 31 counts mostly in the southern third of the peninsula, with 63 at Fakahatchee and 53 at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The inaugural Homestead CBC produced four Brown-crested Flycatchers, one La Sagra’s Flycatcher, and a returning Tropical Kingbird! Florida’s 19 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were found on five counts, with eight each at Homestead and STA5–Clewiston, and one north to Zellwood–Mount Dora. The Cuban Pewee found at National Key Deer Refuge in November 2020 remained through February 2021 and was tallied on the Lower Keys–Key Deer N.W.R. count—this individual represents the first to be tallied on a CBC in the United States and Canada! Ten Least Flycatchers were found at Homestead, with others at Gainesville and Sarasota (count-week). Eastern Phoebes numbered 4707 individuals on 70 counts, including 550 at Gainesville and 185 at Lakeland. Male Vermilion Flycatchers were photographed at Choctawhatchee Bay and Clermont. A Bell’s Vireo photographed at Peace River was the sole CBC report. Yellow-throated Vireos totaled 34 on 11 counts, with 15 at Kendall Area, where a Warbling Vireo also was photographed.

The highest counts for the state’s 1761 Loggerhead Shrikes on 62 counts were 230 at Homestead, 167 at Peace River, 162 at Fort Lauderdale, and 110 at Venice–Englewood. Florida Scrub-Jays numbered 223 individuals on 15 counts, with the largest numbers in Brevard County, at South Brevard (55), Merritt Island N.W.R. (44), and Cocoa (31). Crow totals were 8574 American on 59 counts, and 52,915 Fish on 62. Parids numbered 2151 Carolina Chickadees on 33 counts and 3330 Tufted Titmice on 52. Fifteen Horned Larks were at Jackson County, where the species now is resident. Nine Purple Martins were documented at Sarasota; the first arrivals returned on 27 December! Barn Swallows were reported at Homestead (two) and Venice–Englewood (75; adequate details; small groups flying steadily southward, apparently representing late fall migrants), the latter representing an unprecedented winter report. Homestead produced an incredible 110 Cave Swallows, with two others north to Jacksonville also amazing.

The Florida range of Red-whiskered Bulbuls is limited to a small portion of the Kendall Area CBC circle; this season, five bulbuls were tallied. Kinglet totals were seven Golden-crowned on four counts and 1875 Ruby-crowned on 47. Cedar Waxwings numbered 3775 individuals on 47 counts, with 615 at Gainesville and 430 at Sarasota. It was a poor season for Red-breasted Nuthatches, with only seven individuals on three counts. Extremely local in the state, 15 White-breasted Nuthatches were at Tallahassee. Highest totals of Florida’s 494 Brown-headed Nuthatches on 33 counts were 41 at Panacea, 40 at West Pasco, 38 at Bay County, 37 at Avon Park, and 33 at St. Marks. The state’s sole Brown Creeper enlivened Tallahassee. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, found on every CBC, totaled 11,193 individuals, with 750 at Lakeland, 650 at Gainesville, and 625 at Kendall Area. Three Winter Wrens were found at Ichetucknee–Santa Fe–O’Leno, with another at Jackson County. Totals of Florida’s sturnids were two Common Hill Mynas at Kendall Area, 29,484 European Starlings on 67 counts, and 51 Common Mynas on five counts, the latter restricted to Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Eastern Bluebirds totaled 3512 individuals on 51 counts, with 345 at Gainesville, 265 at Bay County, 235 at Tallahassee, 213 at Choctawhatchee Bay, and 200 at Melrose. American Robins numbered 110,191 individuals on 58 counts, with 14,000 at West Pasco, 11,500 at Econlockhatchee, and 10,000 each at Aripeka–Bayport and South Brevard. A Red-legged Thrush from western Cuba (either coryi or rubripes) was discovered at Stock Island in October 2020, and it remained into April 2021. Found on the Key West CBC, it represented the second species added from Florida this season to the cumulative American/Canadian CBC list!

Forty Scaly-breasted Munias were found at Kendall Area, with 35 others at Pensacola. House Sparrows numbered 1771 individuals on 56 counts, with 150 at Dade County, 140 at Sarasota, 135 at Homestead, and 110 at Bradenton. Sprague’s Pipit was missed this season, while 191 American Pipits were found on eight counts south to East Pasco (30) and Kissimmee Valley (one). House Finches numbered 912 individuals on 44 counts, with 122 at Pensacola, 105 at Choctawhatchee Bay, and 102 at Gainesville. Purple Finches irrupted as far south as the central peninsula this season, with four at West Pasco, two at East Pasco, and one at Green Swamp marking the southernmost reports. Of 140 individuals detailed and accepted from 13 counts (with two others count-week), the highest totals were 54 at St. Marks, 35 at Ichetucknee–Santa Fe–O’Leno, and 20 at Gainesville. It was a minor season for Pine Siskins, with 54 on eight counts; one was south to Venice–Englewood. American Goldfinches numbered 3914 individuals on 63 counts, including 450 each at Gainesville and West Pasco, 210 at Tallahassee, and 170 at Wekiva River.

Nineteen species of sparrows were accepted; the rarest were one Clay-colored count-week at Homestead, single Dark-eyed Juncos photographed at Bradenton and St. Augustine, and two Lark Sparrows at Venice–Englewood (plus another count-week at Homestead). Field Sparrows numbered 25 individuals on 11 counts. Twenty-one Bachman’s Sparrows, difficult to locate during winter, were found on nine counts. Surprisingly, no CBC reported Fox Sparrow. Seaside Sparrow numbers on Florida counts fluctuate dramatically; this season, only 13 were found on six counts: eight on four counts along the Gulf coast (south to Aripeka–Bayport), and five on two counts along the Atlantic coast (south to St. Augustine). Nelson’s Sparrows numbered 31 individuals on seven counts, with 15 at St. Augustine, and four each at Cedar Key, Port St. Joe, and St. Marks. Saltmarsh Sparrows totaled 20 individuals: 10 at St. Augustine, four at Jacksonville and, surprisingly, three each along the central Gulf coast at North Pinellas and Fort De Soto. Seven Henslow’s Sparrows were tallied: four at St. Marks, two at Gainesville, and one at Lake City. Swamp Sparrows numbered 1638 on 56 counts, with 400 at Gainesville, 175 at Zellwood–Mount Dora, 160 at Avon Park, and 150 at Kissimmee Valley.

Single Yellow-breasted Chats were documented at Clay County and Homestead; the latter CBC also accounted for the state’s sole Yellow-headed Blackbird. Eastern Meadowlarks totaled 1634 individuals on 49 counts, including 150 at Gainesville, 130 at Homestead, and 90 at Jackson County. Bullock’s Orioles were photographed count-week at Kendall Area and Tallahassee. Ten Spot-breasted Orioles were tallied: four at Fort Lauderdale, three at Dade County, two at Kendall Area, and one at Boca Raton. Gainesville accounted for 120 of the state’s 177 Baltimore Orioles, with other counts including 24 at Tallahassee and nine at Melrose—what is it about northern Florida that attracts so many wintering orioles? Two Shiny Cowbirds were found at Homestead, with singles also at Bradenton and Kendall Area. Bronzed Cowbirds totaled only 34 on three counts: 30 at Homestead, two at Sarasota, and singles each at Bradenton and Kendall Area. Among the 6487 Brown-headed Cowbirds on 48 counts, 1500 at Jackson County represented the only four-digit total. Rusty Blackbirds numbered 155 at Gainesville and five at Melrose. Fifty-two Brewer’s Blackbirds were found this season: 51 at Jackson County and one at Bay County. Grackle totals were 33,319 Common on 70 counts and 21,284 Boat-tailed on 63.

This season, 25 species of New World Warblers were accepted. Rarest were one Prothonotary photographed at St. Petersburg, one Wilson’s at Kendall Area, single Tennessee at Gainesville and Kendall Area, and two Louisiana Waterthrushes at Kendall Area. Five species exceeded 1000 individuals statewide: 30,018 Yellow-rumped on 73 counts (every CBC except Biscayne N.P.), 18,692 Palm on all 74 counts; 6854 Pine on 68; 3225 Common Yellowthroats on 72; and 1164 Black-and-white on 67. Of the range-restricted wintering warblers, Kendall Area continues to rule supreme: 69 American Redstarts, 10 Cape May Warblers, 156 Northern Parulas, six Magnolia, 33 Black-throated Blue, 114 Prairie, and 11 Black-throated Green warblers! Summer Tanagers totaled 27 on 15 counts, all singles or duos except for 10 at Gainesville, where an adult male Western Tanager was also photographed. Northern Cardinals were tallied on every CBC except Long Key–Lignumvitae, with the highest counts of 925 at Gainesville, 275 at Tallahassee, and 190 at Melrose. An immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak was photographed at Alafia Banks, and a Pheucticus species was at Kendall Area. One Blue Grosbeak was photographed count-week at Sarasota. Painted Buntings numbered 550 individuals on 44 counts, with 81 at Homestead, 52 at Fort Pierce, and 44 at Kendall Area. A Dickcissel was photographed at Sarasota. One of the two male Black-faced Grassquits at Big Pine Key—literally a few hundred feet from the Cuban Pewee—was tallied at Lower Keys–Key Deer N.W.R.

For the 12th year, Bruce Anderson reviewed most of the rare bird documentation forms submitted by compilers—my apologies, Bruce, for not listing you as a coauthor of previous Florida CBC summaries. Following this review, we had intended to delete from the CBC database 53 reports of rare species accompanied by no or insufficient details. But a review of eBird maps revealed that 28 of these reports could be verified based on photographs imbedded in eBird checklists! In future seasons, we will continue to examine eBird maps for potentially verifiable birds found on CBCs—we cannot in good conscience allow such potentially legitimate sightings to be deleted from the CBC database simply because compilers failed to perform one of their primary duties—but we ask Florida’s compilers to greatly reduce the amount of eBird data-mining that we must perform. We deleted 25 birds from 21 counts—representing an acceptance rate of 99.73% of all Florida CBC reports. Three species were deleted from one count, two species were deleted from each of five counts, and one species was deleted from each of 15 counts. Species deleted this season were: Ring-necked Duck × Tufted Duck, Black Scoter, Semipalmated Sandpiper (from two counts), Common Tern (from five counts; we again remind compilers that documentation for this species is required statewide!), Great Cormorant, Broad-winged Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Great Crested Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Chipping Sparrow × Clay-colored Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow Warbler (from two counts), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and—most bizarrely, Glaucous-blue Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea), a species endemic to South America. We appended eight sightings with the “Details Desired” editorial code, and 20 totals—primarily for Mottled Duck—with the “Questionable Number” code.

Bruce and I appreciate the efforts of all of Florida’s CBC compilers and participants. We especially thank the compilers of the following counts for their careful attention to detail this season: Alafia Banks, Bradenton, Cedar Key, Cocoa, Crocodile Lake N.W.R., Dade County, Gainesville, Homestead, Ichetucknee–Santa Fe–O’Leno, Jacksonville, Kendall Area, Merritt Island N.W.R., Myakka River S.P., and Sarasota. Valeri Ponzo provided critical support to BP.