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Audubon Florida Birdathon 2024 Wrap-up

Members and staff collectively recorded a whopping 188 total bird species across the Sunshine State.

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. Members recorded a total of 122 species, including 11 species not spotted by staff.

Most Species Seen

Stephanie Cain of St. Petersburg submitted the list with the most species at 71, followed by the Allens, 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.

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 included Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, and Red-headed Woodpecker.

Staff Overview

On the staff side, the event was a bit more competitive, and several staff members teamed up for the effort. The Tallahassee team of Julie Wraithmell, Beth Alvi, 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 O team of Vicky Johnston, Danielle Ivey, and Paul Gray spotted 61 species at Highlands Hammock State Park and Everglades to Gulf NWR, with the only recorded sightings of Crested Caracara and Stilt Sandpiper, to name a few. While birding migrant traps and urban parks in the Naples area, Keith Laakkonen and Renee Wilson recorded 79 species including the only records of Kentucky Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, and Black-throated Blue Warbler.

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 Jimenez whose Roseate Spoonbill was another solo sighting on the staff side. And to wrap it all up, Holley Short killed it with 69 total species, eight of which were not recorded by anyone else, including Lesser Black-backed Gull, Acadian Flycatcher, and Piping Plover.

The combined total number of species recorded by staff was 172.

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!!”

A white bird in a wetland
Great Egret. Photo: Alan Rubin

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