The Kendall CBC was run on December 22, 2017. After tabulating all the results, we had an excellent 137 “countable” species (pending acceptance of reports by the State Compiler), with another 11 species of exotics, and two Count Week-only birds (White-tailed Kite and House Finch). We tallied 1 new countable species for the count – Reddish Egret – and a new exotic, Scaly-headed Parrot. The most unusual finding was a photographed Western Tanager, the second time for this count (we had 2 in 2011). As is usual, the three species with the highest individual numbers were Laughing Gull (2,850), Turkey Vulture (2,200), and White Ibis (1,710).
The Kendall CBC specializes in wintering neotropical migrants, particularly warblers and vireos. Last year, we were 2nd in the nation in high-count species (15), of which about half were warblers. This year’s numbers were again excellent: Northern Parula (159), Cape May Warbler (13), Black-throated Blue Warbler (27), Yellow-throated Warbler (60), Prairie Warbler (97), Black-and-white Warbler (81), American Redstart (53), and Black-throated Green Warbler (16). We also tallied 2 Wilson's Warblers and a Nashville Warbler.
Several of these will again be national highs! In addition we set our all-time records of all 3 of the usual wintering vireos: Yellow-throated (an astounding 23), White-eyed (14), and Blue-headed (66). Yellow-throated Vireo has been shown to be an expected wintering bird; in 2011 we had the national high with 4 birds, but increased residential area coverage since 2014 has pushed the numbers to 10, 9, 13,and 16. The 23 this year beats the existing all-time high record for any North American CBC of 16, which we had set just last year!
On the down side, as expected, duck and shorebird numbers were very low, as there seems to be almost no good habitat left in the area. Aside from feral Muscovy Ducks/Mallards and Egyptian Geese, our total of fresh-water ducks was of only 34 individuals of 4 species (2 Mottled Ducks, 3 Gadwall, 1 Northern Shoveler, and 28 Blue-winged Teal).
Extra work by a number of volunteers in pre-dawn / post-sunset hours got us 4 owls (Barn, a record 5 Great Horned, Eastern Screech, and Burrowing) plus Eastern Whip-poor-will and King Rail. We also had some excellent birds from our feeder watchers/yard birders. That said, I know that there have to be more feeder watchers in the area; please contact me to participate next year!
I’d like to express my appreciation to Carlos Sanchez, for putting together count teams in the Coral Gables/High Pines areas (and making a delicious tiramisu for the compilation party!), to Frank Ridgely, who each year coordinates all the volunteers at Zoo Miami, and to Montgomery Botanical Center and Fairchild Gardens for site access. Thanks, too, to everyone who promptly completed rare bird reports. Finally, thanks to Liset for making the Compilation Party food and snacks, and putting up with a houseful of hungry, tired and thirsty birders at the end of the day!
A big thank you to all the birders who participated in the count, without whom this CBC would not exist:
Joe Montes de Oca
Stacie Saylor Weiss