2024 Audubon Florida Birdathon Wrap Up

Birders fanned out across the Sunshine State to count 188 species.

Birdathon 2024 was a success! We birded across Florida's diverse habitats, from wetlands to ranchlands, beaches to neighborhood parks. More than a hundred Audubon members and staff participated between April 20 and 26, logging a whopping 188 total bird species across the Sunshine State. The total number of species recorded by staff was 172.

Folks have been so generous in using Birdathon to raise awareness and funds for two of Audubon Florida's gateways to the birdy world: the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and the aviary at the Center for Birds of Prey. If you would still like to give a gift, consider making a pledge on behalf of the 188 total Birdathon species!

Most Species Seen

Stephanie Cain of St. Petersburg submitted the list with the most species at 71, followed by Sandy and Phil Allen, who submitted lists from nine locations in the Port Charlotte area and a total of 63 species. Kim Jarvis on the Space Coast submitted her trip report from eBird with 53 species.

We also received lists from Rivertown Community and trails, Yulee, the Evergrene Community, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and Osprey, to name a few.

Staff Highlights

The Tallahassee team of Julie Wraithmell, Beth Alvi, Adrienne Ruhl, Erika Zambello, and former staff member Marianne Korosy racked up the most species on their combined list with 112, including 27 unique species, like Orchard Oriole, Swamp Sparrow, Swainson’s Warbler, and White-breasted Nuthatch. Meanwhile, the Lake Okeechobee team of Vicky Johnston, Danielle Ivey, and Paul Gray spotted 61 species at Highlands Hammock State Park and Everglades to Gulf National Wildlife Refuge, with the only recorded sightings of Crested Caracara and Stilt Sandpiper, to name a few. Holley Short and her husband Bryan Winston picked up 62 species along the coast in the Tampa Bay region, centered on efforts at Fort De Soto Park.

While birding migrant traps and urban parks in the Naples area, Keith Laakkonen and Renee Wilson recorded 79 species, including the only records of Burrowing Owl, Black-whiskered Vireo, and Mangrove Cuckoo, while at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Allyson Webb spotted the only Snail Kite of the week. Kudos to Sarah Lathrop Sauerland who was the only staff member who recorded a Northern Flicker and Karina Jiménez whose Roseate Spoonbill was another solo sighting on the staff side.

Special Sighting Highlights

Lori Hansen of Arcadia got the only record of a Barn Owl. Richard Coon of Palm Beach Gardens submitted the only list containing a Hermit Thrush. Stephanie Cain (St. Pete) recorded an Eastern Wood-Pewee! Other sighting highlights? Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, and Red-headed Woodpecker.

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos and videos, lists long and short, and especially for sharing your observations and thoughts like, “I saw several of my favorites today!!”

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