Saturday, January 7, 2012

Targets for 2012

Last January I posted 5 bird targets for 2011:

1. Golden Eagle (if I were going to the neotropics this year I would replace "Golden" with "Harpy")
2. Black Rail (the Yellow Rail has me foolishly optimistic)
3. Gryphon Vulture (I missed this 4 years ago in Crete, hoping to see one in Croatia)
4. Roller
5. Eurasian Bee-eater

The only one I managed to get was Eurasian Bee-eater (several hundred in Greece!).  Since I have no plans to visit Europe this year, Gryphon Vulture and Roller will have to wait for another year.

For 2012 that leaves...

Golden Eagle: One was seen on the Mattamuskeet Christmas Bird Count, but not by me (in 2009 three were seen).  And I believe that as I write, birders are staring at one out at Alligator River NWR. 

Black Rail: We tried to find one during our North River Marsh rail extravaganza, but these are essentially impossible to find in winter if they aren't calling.  I need to go after one in the breeding season!

Since I'm expecting to go to a Society of Wetland Scientists Conference in Orlando this summer, I'll add Florida Scrub Jay, Limpkin and Black-bellied Whistling Duck.  I think these should be possible if I can get out to the proper habitat.

2012 targets:

1. Golden Eagle
2. Black Rail
3. Florida Scrub Jay
4. Limpkin
5. Black-bellied Whistling Duck


  1. Hi,

    in case you didn't know, a population of Golden Eagles winter each winter in Highland County Virginia and they are somewhat easy to see. If you want more info I can give it to you.

    Gabriel Mapel
    Augusta County, Va

  2. Thanks Gabriel!

    I'll keep that in mind.

    I'm hoping I'll get one this winter at Mattamuskeet since I'll be down there doing research and there's usually one or a few around.