Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rare sighting: Cuban Pewee in the Everglades

This Saturday I saw a rare Cuban Pewee at Everglades National Park, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will be able to treasure for years with beautiful photos and video thanks to Jeff Bouton, my guide and photography expert. The Pewee was spotted about a week ago, the first sighting in the park ever and only the third sighting of this species in North America.

The Cuban Pewee, a resident of northern Bahamas and Cuba that lives in pine forests, mangroves, and swamp edges, is a small gray flycatcher with a dark head, orange bill and telltale white crescent behind the eye. The one that I saw in the Long Pine Key forest in the Everglades flitted about from branch to branch in the same area for a good part of the afternoon, enchanting a group of a dozen or so birders staking it out, with its distinctive call "dee, dee, dee, dee." Its wings looked a bit ragged and worn but it was a very active little thing!

The bird was first discovered in the Everglades by birding guide Larry Manfredi. There was a story in the Miami Herald about the sighting: link here.

I was at Everglades National Park with a group of birders from the Tropical Audubon Society. The group was led by Jeff Bouton, an expert in digiscoping, a photography technique that combines the use of a digital camera with a scope. With Jeff's help, I was able to take some amazing photos of the Pewee as well as other birds in the South Dade area that morning. I posted some photos here. Not all of them are digiscoped, some are regular photos off my digital camera.

What an amazing day!

Digiscoped Video of Cuban Pewee at Everglades National Park

Eastern Kingbird

Baltimore Oriole

Cardinal (digiscoped)

European Starling (digiscoped)

Tree Snail

Everglades Anhinga Trail


Red-shouldered Hawk

Baltimore Oriole (digiscoped)

Everglades National Park, Coe Visitor Center

1 comment:

  1. Great Post, Ana! I went out to Shark Valley a couple of weeks ago. Your photos are much better than mine.