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Amazing Birds of Laurel Oak 

Photos taken in the Laurel Oak Community by Gerry Mauriz.

Amazing Birds of Laurel Oak, Kathryn Young and Rick Greenspun professional

bird guides from Sarasota Audubon Society, Brian Becker of Native Bird Boxes who maintains our boxes, joined Gerry (photographer) and I in the bird survey of the

golf courses on March 22, 2018. We counted 63 species- almost twice the

number counted by Brian in 2014.


The WOW bird of the day was the Swallow Tailed Kite – the “reverse snow-bird.” These forked tailed black and white aerial acrobats fly 3,000 miles from the Amazon jungle to nest in Florida and other southern states. They have been sighted since, so they may be nesting

in the area. In July together with their young, they will join other kites in preparation

for the flight back to South America.


The rarest bird of the day was the Cliff Swallow seen flying with other swallows over

13 West early in the morning. It looks a bit like a Barn Swallow but has a square tail.

At first we misidentified it, but Rick’s photograph confirmed it for the

Cornell Ornithology reviewers on eBird.


There were 6 species of warblers. Most of the ducks had flown north but we still found, Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked ducks and Lesser Scaup swimming at lakes on 10 West and 1 West. Then we spotted a pair of Wood Ducks, our shy native breeding ducks

at lake by 1 West. They have been seen since with another pair! It would be

wonderful to see them nesting in tree cavities at Laurel Oak.


Two flocks of 40 Cedar Waxwings surprised us high in the trees along Bee Ridge by 3 West. The courting cooing of White-Winged Doves was wonderful to hear from the

oaks in the club-house parking lot and at the Tennis Center.


We missed seeing our Bald Eagles, Barred Owl and almost missed the Limpkin, but Phyllis Keyser told us she had just seen it on 1 East. You may know the Limpkin more from its loud call which carries quite a distance. They feed almost exclusively on snails and were once difficult to find. Many birders come to Florida to see this bird.


The other WOW is that Gerry, who has become quite the nature photographer, has prepared a photo gallery of the birds seen at Laurel Oak. Although most were taken

at the club, he has supplemented it with photos of birds seen at the club

but not taken there. Click Here to see Gerry's album.


The complete list of birds was submitted to eBird, a refereed citizen science project run at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and can be viewed online - Click Here


By Yolie Mauriz April 22, 2018

The Acorn

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