I just got in the mail today my birding certificate from Wings Over Florida. I’m a Cardinal level which means I’ve identified between 50-149 birds in Florida. My life list is a lot longer because I’ve seen tons of birds in tons of states across America. Since I moved here, for the Wings of Florida certificate I had to start over with my Florida list. Birds that don’t count on the list are: Muscovy Duck, Rock Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Budgeriger, Monk Parakeet, Spot-breasted Oriole, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Black-hooded Parakeet, White-winged Parakeet, House Finch, House Sparrow, European Starling.
I’m almost at the 150 mark since I moved here. Just a handful to go and hopefully I can make it further inland this migration season to see from of my feathered friends I miss from the other states I’ve lived. That level is called the Scrub Jay Level, which is considered intermediate or 150-249 bird types. Wish me luck.
Wings Over Florida is part of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Great Florida Birding Trail. Check them out at www.myfwc.com/wof for your checklist and application.
Along with my certificate I also recieved The Great Florida Birding Trail brochure, Checklist of Florida’s Birds, Commemorative Guide The Great Florida Birding Trail, and separate maps for the West Florida Birding Trail, Panhandle Birding Trail and South Florida Birding Trail.
I am so excited about the migratory bird season and hope to see some really cool birds. I live a few minutes from Myakka State Park and have never seen the Scrub Jay so I plan to get that one on my list. I want to focus this winter on ducks and I also hope to see a Whooping Crane. Whooping Cranes were introduced to Florida and are rarely spotted. I got to see one in TX before we moved here. We were driving to Corpus Christi for the weekend and were planning to visit the nature preserves for bird watching. Driving down the interstate from Houston a HUGE bird flew out in front of us from the swampy grass in the median. It was a Whooping Crane. I never got a picture of it or any other but I saw it. I’m hoping to actually spot one and photograph it this time. But for now my memory is the best picture.
Edited: I did finally get my Scrub Jay certificate. I’ve moved to Alabama. I can still bird watch in FL which is about an hour’s drive but it’ll take longer now to get to the next level. I hope to find some more great birds in Alabama. I’m living under a different migration flyway.