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Birds of Evergrene



Evergrene takes great pride in having so many different species of birds living within the community and sharing in its green Audubon environment. There are almost 95 species of backyard birds and water birds in Evergrene, an impressive amount for a single neighborhood. The birds of Evergrene live the good life here, swimming and fishing, singing, and dancing, building homes, and raising youngsters. Evergrene maintains a habitat of wooded preserves and quiet lakes and ponds and offers the perfect environment for its wildlife. Pictures of every species are not yet included here but check out the 78 different species that our residents have taken pictures of on their own or in our special Bird Watching Classes. Photographers are given credit underneath each image, and Greg Braun, Evergrene’s Sustainable Ecologist, wrote each bird fact and description. Here is a list of all the bird species that have been documented in Evergrene. Photos of the highlighted birds are included here, and those not highlighted have not yet been photographed! Residents who would like to, may to share pictures of birds taken at Evergrene, can send it over to celineh@ourevergrene.com to have them added to the website!
 

Water & Wetland Birds

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American Coot

Mostly seen on the lake, but they may be found in other open-water areas, where they are often seen foraging on aquatic plants. Noisy, chicken-like swimmer, but not a duck. Known by its white bill. Excellent diver, awkward flier. An omnivore but will steal meals from other birds. Lives in flocks. Migratory. Males are pugnacious and territorial. - Alan Rubin

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Anhinga Male

Males have a showy black-&-white back, and turquoise eye make-up during the mating season. Often seen perching with its wings spread out to dry. Finds its food in the water, actively stalking fish, and spearing them with a long sharp bill. - Alan Rubin

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Anhinga Female

Females appear similar to the males but have brown feathers on their heads and necks. - Alan Rubin

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Bald Eagle

Bald eagles are primarily fish-eaters, and they are often seen circling high over the lake, looking for prey. Youngsters take 4-5 years to get the distinctive white head and tail. This photo of a bald eagle was taken at Evergrene! - Wayne Rivardo

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Black Vulture

Black vultures and turkey vultures are scavengers that feed on carrion.  Black vultures are bare headed with black plumage on the rest of their bodies, a hooked bill, broad wings, and short tails.  Black vultures make up for their poor sense of smell by following turkey vultures to carcasses. - Alan Rubin

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Brown Pelican

Brown pelicans are large, stocky seabirds with thin necks and very long bills.  They soar above the water looking for prey.  When they spot a fish, they dive down.  As they hit the water’s surface, the impact of their large bodies stuns the fish, which they scoop up in their expandable throat pouches.  Brown pelicans are year-round residents in Florida, but they are more often seen in coastal salt-water areas than in fresh waters.  When not foraging for food, pelicans stand near the water, such as on the pier at Lake Dorothy. - Alan Rubin

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Double-Crested Cormorant

The Canada geese decoys in the lake provide areas to perch for several species, including this Double-Crested Cormorant. Somewhat similar in appearance to the male Anhinga, a close look will differentiate the two – Cormorants have a down-turned hook at the end of their beak, while the Anhinga’s beak is straight. - Alan Rubin

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Fish Crow

Slightly smaller than the Common Crow that is not found in our area. Call sounds more like “Uh-uh” than common crow’s “Caw Caw”. Often flocks in large numbers over the lake in early morning. - Greg Braun

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Glossy Ibis

The long, sturdy, down-curved bill of the glossy ibis is the perfect tool for probing into wetland soils for crabs, crayfish, and other aquatic organisms. - Alan Rubin

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Great Blue Heron

Stately Great Blue Herons are frequently observed along the shoreline of Evergrene’s wetlands. They are year-round residents here, but so far, no evidence of nesting has been found. They are as tall as 4 feet, with a 6-foot wingspan. Grayish blue, a plume of black above the eyes. S-shaped neck. Expert fishers but will strike like lightening to grab a mouse or frog. - Wayne Rivardo

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Blue Heron Little

Our only small, all bluish-gray wading bird. Year-round resident. Beak and face also turn blue during the summer-time breeding season. Males undistinguishable from females. Young little blue herons are snowy white until 2-3 years of age. Occasionally seen splotched with white, blue and gray during molt to adult plumage. - Joyce Soucy

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Great Egret

Great Egrets are one of several species of white herons and egrets that are most often seen silently stalking for aquatic prey along the shorelines of Evergrene’s lakes, ponds, and canals. The snow-white plumage is the same in both males and females. Tall, white and dazzling. Yellow bill, black stick-like legs. Once hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes. - Wayne Rivardo

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Green Heron

Uncommon year-round resident. Often secretive. Stealthy hunter. - Alan Rubin

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Limpkin

Our only small, all bluish-gray wading bird. Year-round resident. Beak and face also turn blue during the summer-time breeding season. Males undistinguishable from females. Young little blue herons are snowy white until 2-3 years of age. Occasionally seen splotched with white, blue and gray during molt to adult plumage. - Wayne Rivardo

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Least Tern

Migrant that spends the summers in Florida. Typically arrives in March from southerly latitudes, nests April-July on the ground – on mostly-barren sandy patches, but may nest on flat roof-tops when natural habitats are not available or suitable, then returns south by Fall. - Alan Rubin

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Lesser Scaup

The striking black, gray and white plumage of adult male lesser scaup distinguish them from the more pervasive brown plumage of most of our other ducks.  Preferring large bodies of open water, at Evergrene, individuals of this migratory species are most often observed in the Lake from fall through spring, after which they migrate north to nesting sites across Canada to Alaska. - Alan Rubin

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Moorhen

Year-round residents at Evergrene, moorhens’ nest in the late spring and early summer in the dense emergent vegetation along wetland and lake shores. Also called the Common Gallinule, Florida Gallinule, and swamp chicken. Duck-like with a red forehead and yellow-tipped bill. Long legs and toes, often seen on lily pads. A better swimmer than flier. - Alan Rubin

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Mottled Duck

Evergene’s most common duck. Typically seen in family groups of 2 to 10 individuals. Non-migratory, often called the Florida duck. A close relative of the Mallard threatened by crossbreeding with them. Urbanization and draining of wetlands have reduced their available habitat. - Wayne Rivardo

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Osprey

Also known as the “Fish Hawk,” Ospreys are year-round residents in Florida, but the numbers increase during the fall, winter and spring when migrants from up north join our local population. The platform that we installed along the southwest shore of the lake in February 2020 is designed to attract Ospreys and/or Bald Eagles. - Wayne Rivardo

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Pied-Billed Grebe

Small, black, white and gray, duck-like birds that appear to have no tail. Often dive underwater searching for prey of crustaceans and small fish. - Joyce Soucy

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Red-Shouldered Hawk

The most common, year-round resident hawk in our area. Typically found in/near wet areas, where they search for frogs, snakes and other wetland prey species. - Joyce Soucy

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Ring-Billed Gulls

Often seen gathering on the deck near the Clubhouse, these gulls get their name from the dark ring around their otherwise yellow-colored bill. They migrate here from fall through spring. - Alan Rubin

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Roseate Spoonbill

The most colorful of the wading birds, Roseate Spoonbills have been seen with increasing regularity in recent years, foraging along the shores of Evergrene’s wetlands and waterways. - Alan Rubin

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Ruddy Duck

Ruddy ducks are small, compact ducks with stout, scoop-shaped bills and long stiff tails that are often pointed upward.  They dive to feed on aquatic invertebrates, mostly at night.  You might see them sleeping during the daytime as they float on the lake with their heads tucked backward under a wing. - Alan Rubin

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Sandhill Crane

Hard to miss. Big and grey with a red crown. Loves to dance, and not just in courtship. Males and females sing loudly together. Among the oldest living species of birds. - Alan Rubin

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Snowy Egret

The Snowy Egret’s long, thin, straight, black bill differentiates it from the larger, yellow-billed Great Egret and the smaller, yellow-billed Cattle Egret. Thought by some to be the most beautiful of North American Egrets and Herons. - Alan Rubin

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Tricolored Heron

Feathers of gray, purple and white give this species its common name.  Long toes give it the ability to walk on the large leaves of the White Waterlily (Nymphaea Odorata). - Alan Rubin

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Turkey Vulture

Mostly seen aerially; seem to have fun on windy days.  In Fl, most numerous fall-spring, then migrate to central U.S and southern Canada during the summer-time nesting season.  Wings usually held at a steeper “V” than black vultures, which are also often observed aloft. - Alan Rubin

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White Ibis

Highly social birds; flocks of White Ibis are commonly seen along Evergrene’s wetland edges. Very long reddish bill. This is a shallow-water wader, also seen on lawns in search of insects. Frequently coos softly while foraging; Highly sociable, feeding in flocks, and nesting in colonies. - Alan Rubin

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Wood Duck Male

Not your average Duck. Males have a red eye and a green and purple head, and a white cheek patch. Frequent spring-time occupant of several of Evergrene’s strategically placed nest boxes, including the highly visible one near the traffic circle. - Alan Rubin

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Wood Duck Female

Females are less flamboyant. Nests in tree cavities and nest boxes. Lays up to about a dozen round, golf-ball size eggs during the spring-time nesting season. Occasionally lays eggs in the nest of others. - Alan Rubin

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Wood Stork

Rcently re-classified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from endangered to threatened. Wood Storks have been seen with increasing regularity at Evergrene in recent years. Big, mostly white, bald-headed wader. Holds its long bill underwater until a fish is felt, then slams it shut like a mousetrap. Nests on tree-tops and in colonies. - Wayne Rivardo

Land Birds

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American Redstart

Yellow panels on the side of the female’s tail feathers distinguish this small migrant from all the other warblers.  Here Fall-Spring, then nests from Georgia to woodpeckers that are present at Evergrene. - Greg Braun

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Boat-tailed Grackle Male

The long, keel-shaped tail of the male led to the common name of this very abundant black-colored bird. Caution – don’t feed them, that’s why they are so common around the clubhouse. - Alan Rubin

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Boat-tailed Grackle Female

 Females are primarily brown and their tail is not as large and keel-shaped as the male. - Alan Rubin

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Black and White Warbler

The only all black and white warbler in FL.  Often gleans insects from trees with rough bark (e.g., oaks) while climbing upside-down on trunks and branches. Migrant, here fall-spring, then nests north to central Canada. - Greg Braun

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Blue Jay

Common, year-round resident.  Raucous calls.  Males indistinguishable from females. At less than 5” in length, this is one of our smallest birds. Most abundant from fall-spring.  More often heard than seen, but it’s call note is recognizable even when the bird is out of view. - Wayne Rivardo

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

At less than 5” in length, this is one of our smallest birds. Most abundant from fall-spring.  More often heard than seen, but it’s call note is recognizable, even when the bird is out of view. - Greg Braun

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Cardinal Male

A year-round resident species that nests at Evergrene. Male Cardinals have a characteristic song in the springtime. - Wayne Rivardo

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Cardinal Female

Female cardinals have the same distinctive crest and red beak, but have a duller plumage, to help them be inconspicuous while sitting on eggs. - Greg Braun

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Collared Dove

The collared dove gets its name from the black half-collar at the nape of its neck.  Collared doves are larger than mourning doves, with broad wings and squared-off tails. - Alan Rubin

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Common Grackle

Adult at right, juvenile at left.  Common, year-round resident.  Distinguished from boat-tailed grackles by their slightly smaller size, shorter tail and yellow eye. - Greg Braun

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Downy Woodpecker

Uncommon year-round resident.  The smallest of the 4 species of woodpeckers that are present at Evergrene. - Greg Braun

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Eastern Phoebe

Phoebes are the most common of the flycatchers in Florida.  Resident from fall-spring.  Gray back, white undersides with a faint yellow streak that is only seen in good views. - Greg Braun

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Eastern Screech Owl

The smallest owl east of the Mississippi, this species is a year-round resident at Evergrene.  They are the most common occupant in our nest boxes.  No “hoot owl”, this bird’s call is more of a high-pitched quavering trill, often heard at night.  Screech owls at Evergrene can be either the more-common red morph, or gray morphs. - Greg Braun

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Eastern Towhee

Uncommon year-round resident.  Most frequently heard and seen along the trail in the upland preserve on the west side of Evergrene Parkway near the Donald Ross Rd entrance. - Greg Braun

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European Starling

Increasingly common year-round resident.  Yellow bill on the otherwise dark body separates it from most of the other black-plumaged birds.  Won’t typically create its own nest but will use cavities created by woodpeckers or other species. - Alan Rubin

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Grey Catbird

Catbirds are named for their cat-like calls.  They are migratory birds that nest in northern climates.  They return to Florida in the fall and stay through the springtime.  Catbirds are heard more often than they are seen.  They are usually found in low bushes, but they occasionally venture out into the open to search for berries, including the native dahoon holly, shown in the photo above. - Alan Rubin

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Killdeer

A member of the Plover family, most of which are typically seen on sandy beaches, these year-round residents nest on the ground, which makes them fairly uncommon in areas where ground predators (bobcats, foxes, raccoons, dogs etc.) are common.  Two black necklaces distinguish it from other plovers. - Greg Braun

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Loggerhead Strike

Shrikes are uncommon at Evergrene - likely just a couple of families, which are most often seen perched in trees around the perimeter of the lake. - Alan Rubin

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Morning Dove

Although Mourning Doves do sing in the morning, they get their name from the plaintive, sad-sounding call. - Wayne Rivardo

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Northern Flickerr

One of the woodpeckers, this species is an uncommon year-round resident at Evergrene.  The dark spots on the tan and white undersides separate flickers from our other woodpeckers. - Joyce Souce

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Northern Mockingbird

A common year-round breeding resident at Evergrene.  Gets its name from unusual ability to mimic songs of other birds. - Alan Rubin

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Ovenbird

This small (~6”) migratory warbler nests across the northern U.S. during the summer and spends the fall, winter and early spring in Florida, the Caribbean and Central America.  Often in dense vegetation and seen foraging on the ground.  Diagnostic features are olive-green back, black streaks on white underside, russet crown and white eye ring.  Uncommon at Evergrene. - Alan Rubin

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Palm Warbler

Pale yellow on the underside, yellow on the under-side of the rump, and the habit of flicking its tail up and down separate this insect-eating migratory warbler from the other species of warblers that migrate through or spend fall-spring at our latitude. - Greg Braun

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Prairie Warbler

One of over a dozen species of insect-eating migratory Warblers that spend the fall, winter and spring in Florida. Prairie Warblers are identified by the combination of bright yellow chest and belly, black streaks on the sides, and olive green on the head and back. - Greg Braun

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Purple Martins

Migrants that spend most of the year in central or south America, purple martins return to the US in February or March.  Nest communally.  In some years, have nested in the purple martin condominium on the east side of the lake. - Greg Braun

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Red-Bellied Woodpecker

One of four species of insect-eating Woodpeckers that are present at Evergrene. The red-bellied is in a sub-group called the “Ladderbacks,” due to the appearance of alternating dark and light rungs on their backs. - Wayne Rivardo

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Red-Eyed Vireo

One of three species of vireos that have been documented at Evergrene.  Red eye not necessarily seen but look for gray cap and dark eyeline. No wing bars. - Greg Braun

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Red-Winged Blackbird

Found across most of the U.S. Red-winged blackbirds in Florida usually nest near water.  Relatively uncommon at Evergrene, this species is most frequently found in the wetland near the roundabout. -  Alan Rubin

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Snail Kite

Rarely seen at Evergrene, the endangered Snail Kite is an escargot-eater, with apple snails being their primary food source. -  Joyce Souce

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Solitary Sandpiper

Not all sandpipers are found at the beach.  The Solitary Sandpiper is a migratory species that is typically found foraging along wetland edges, either during the fall (when it is southbound), or during the spring, while stopping to refuel as it returns to northerly nesting areas across Canada to Alaska.  -  Greg Braun

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Swallow-tailed Kite

The long, forked tail and graceful flight pattern make this one of our most easily identified raptors.  They arrive from more southerly latitudes in late February and early March for their spring and summer time nesting season before returning south in the fall.  At Evergrene they are occasionally seen over the preserves in the northern part of the development. Greg Braun

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White-Winged Dove

An uncommon year-round resident, this species does well in urban settings, and is expanding its range in the U.S.  At Evergrene, most frequently seen around the lake. Greg Braun

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Yellow-Throated Warbler

The bright yellow throat distinguishes this insect-eating migrant from other warblers.  Males and females look very similar, which is unusual in warblers.  Arrive in our area in the fall, stay through spring, then migrate to the central U.S. for summer-time nesting. - Wayne Rivardo