Thursday, May 27, 2021

Missing my MDR of twenty species

Although I do not keep a running total of species seen as I enter them into the eBird app, I usually reach my Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) of  20 without trying very hard. I just noticed that my last eight eBird checklists (since May 18) never got above 21 species: 20, 19, 19, 16, 20, 21, 13, 14. 

Warblers and vireos (even a couple of locally breeding species), egrets, Killdeer, and Common Nighthawks have been scarce or absent from the Wounded Wetlands. Some birds are less conspicuous because they are tending to nests and young. Cardinals and Carolina Wrens are singing less often or are silent, but doves and mockingbirds do fill the air with their songs. 

On one of those dull mornings this past week, standing vigil lakeside just after sunrise, I heard the call of a Green Heron. "Heard only" birds are accepted by eBird, but I tried unsuccessfully to find it-- until it walked out into the open:

A shaggy immature Great Blue Heron cast a reflection:

A Loggerhead Shrike hunted for grasshoppers from a low perch and a hungry youngster waited:

A singing Northern Cardinal was only visible with my flashlight:

An Osprey flew low overhead:

This adult Mourning Dove allowed a close approach:

Nearby, an immature of its species eyed me with suspicion:

A Little Blue Heron foraged along the canal:

Overhead, Purple Martins dined on mosquitoes:   

Sunlight brought out the iridescence in the plumage of a male Boat-tailed Grackle:

A venomous Cottonmouth Water Moccasin lounged near shore:

Close look at its black mask and slit pupil:

This curious Gray Squirrel was far from any trees and dashed off to find one as I approached:

At sunrise, a sunburst:

The sky was brightening up, but the Pine Bank had not yet been touched by the sun's rays:

UPDATE (MAY 26): Sad news about the youngest Bald Eaglet P Piney 27

The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida released this statement about P Piney 27, the first eaglet to fall from the nest, at the age of about 5 weeks on April 18:

“The Audubon Center For Birds of Prey is saddened to report that the first eaglet rescued from the Pembroke Pines nest had to be humanely euthanized due to the severity of her injuries and lack of response to treatment. These difficult decisions are not made lightly and are discussed with a consulting vet and US Fish and Wildlife to determine what is best for the bird and their future quality of life. While this is not the outcome we all hoped for, we are grateful to those who watched this nest and helped rescue this young bird when her nest collapsed. The prognosis for the sibling who also has a wing fracture is still uncertain, but we are doing our best to give it every opportunity to heal and get a second chance at life. We appreciate your support and understanding.”

This was my first photo of P Piney 27, on March 18, exactly one month before he (we assumed a male because of its slower growth and passive behavior in the nest) fell from the damaged nest. He was probably a little over one week old at this time: 

This was my last photo of him with P Piney 26, his older and larger (presumed) sister in the nest, on April 7: 

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Linking to:

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

Bird D'Pot

Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday


Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display


  1. Hi Ken,
    that MDR - is that some kind of competition? I like your pictures no matter how many there are.
    Herzliche Grüße und danke fürs Mitmachen beim Naturdonnerstag.
    Best regards and thank you for participating in Nature Thursday

    1. @ Elke-- The 20 Bird Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) is BirdChaser's prescription. "Birders need to see a minimum number of species each day in order to stay sharp." Of course the MDR may vary, depending upon the location and season. See:

  2. Such beautiful photos and interesting birds..Love the narration..You are as good a story teller as you are a photographer. Water Moccasin...creepy. Not a fan. Have a nice Memorial Day weekend.

  3. Wonderful shots of the Green Heron. Interesting that you heard him before you saw him!

  4. Great collection again with quite attractive script. Sad to hear at the end

  5. What a gorgeous collection of photos!

  6. A great variety of wildlife! I see lots of snakes on my evening walks but thankfully they are nonvenomous king snakes.

  7. So sad about the little eagle. We don't have anything nearly as exotic around Owl's Farm (except for barred owls), but the surfeit of rain has played havoc with our nesting backyard birds. I don't think any of the three cardinal pairs managed to hatch and rear their eggs before the nests got too soggy to hold together. I found one intact egg and one broken one after one of our storms, but haven't seen any young'ns at all. Yesterday, though, I saw a mom and dad titmouse herding their noisy, hungry babies (three) who seemed to be doing quite well at learning their ways around the yard. Thanks for the terrific photos!

  8. Your appreciation of nature is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

  9. Hello, Ken
    Your Green Heron photos are awesome. I also love the Shrike, Osprey and the Purple Martin in flight. I hope that snake was heading away from you. It is sad news about the eaglet not surviving. I loved all your birds and photos, great sky shots too. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend. PS, thank you for your visit and comment on my blog.

  10. Sad to learn of the young eaglet's passing, Kenneth, especially since it would have matured into a magnificent adult. I chuckled when reading about the MDR of bird sightings as some days I can manage not to see a handful, if that. The water moccasin gave me the creeps more so that its poisonous and hopefully did not claim any victims on your sighting.

  11. Hello. A great collection of birds. Wonderful photos and interesting post.

  12. All the photos are great! I love most the one with the Great Blue Heron and the reflection in the water.

  13. Amazing variety you have there! They are all beautiful and it's so interesting to see all living in proximity to one another. The snake was a little scary...Sad about the eaglet.

  14. The flash makes that Cardinal really glow!! Lovely

  15. The green heron photos are stunning. Oh, heck, they ALL are! Though this is as close to that cottonmouth as I hope to get!
    Thanks for linking up at

  16. What an amazing abundance of wildlife. Before we moved to Saudi Arabia, we lived in Miramar for 15 years, which neighbors Pembroke Pines.

  17. Incredible images. Havea a great week.

  18. Wonderful photos. I love the pic of the Cardinal.
    The snake looks very aware of its surroundings.
    I know if I saw one, I’d be running for the hills.

  19. You always have wonderful creatures to see. I think, sometimes, we have to settle for quality over quantity.

    Thanks for sharing your link at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

  20. Wonderful collection, Ken. Just sad to know about Piney. But you all tried your best.


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