[Tweeters] Florida Keys birding and a question on chickens

Louise Rutter louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org
Tue Apr 16 12:15:56 PDT 2013

Many thanks once again to everyone who offered advice and information on
birding in the keys. Despite the presence of a non-birding spouse, limiting
my birding to an hour or so in the mornings while he slept on, and a couple
of dual purpose locations like forts, I found over 100 species, including 6

I think the oddest sightings of the trip were of the reptilian variety,
though, including an endangered North American crocodile which has taken up
residence in the moat of the fort on the Dry Tortugas (seriously, not a
joke!) and a green iguana nonchalantly swimming alongside the boat some 4
miles from land.

I am curious on a question of listing semantics, if anyone knows the fine
details. Why are the feral chickens on the keys not a countable bird? They
are listed on ebird, but do not count towards the species total. Internet
research leads me to believe these birds have been independent for decades,
a more than viable population which replenishes numbers despite hundreds
being caught and taken to farms to reduce the 'nuisance value'. What
criterion are the red jungle fowl (domestic variety) not meeting that is
satisfied by the feral pigeons in the same towns?

Louise Rutter


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