Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 21:28:33 -0500
Reply-To: "James F. Flynn, Jr." <jflynn@AMERICA.NET>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: "James F. Flynn, Jr." <jflynn@AMERICA.NET>
Subject: Re: Georgia's bird-standing
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
In response to Eran's email:
Jeff Sewell stated in a recent Field Notes report (I believe in the
GOShawk) that Georgia is too far east, too far west, too far north, and
too far south, or something to that effect, which certainly seems to be
true to a point for those of us who are constantly searching for
Another contributing factor is a relatively low density of birders in
the two areas which which should produce the most vagrants, the coast
and the southwest corner. (The Lookout Plateau should probably be added
to that list).
> It would be interesting to consult the checklists of other states for
Here is how Georgia compares with surrounding states using widely
accepted state list totals (those published by the ABA, 1997):
South Carolina: 403
North Carolina: 427
By the way, Michigan has 401 species on its checklist.
Note that when compared with other states on the Atlantic seaboard,
Georgia does not compare well, especially when land mass is taken into
account. In addition to low birder density on the coast, much of the
coast (ie, barrier islands) is inaccessible (not a bad thing, in my
Here is how I interpret Eran's lists, but this is probably target
practice for long-time Georgia birders:
> A number of species are absent which do not fall into the above categories
> and thus beg the question: why are they so rare in Georgia ? (or do they
> go unnoticed in the state more than we know of, which I tend to doubt) ?
> They are:
> Red-necked Grebe - Georgia is just a bit far south; this species is rare in VA and NC, except during invasion years; sea watches during migration from, say Tybee Island, would probably produce one or two at least every other year. This species is not on Florida's Regular checklist, but this is due more to unsubmitted reports than to the species' actual non-occurrence.
> Brant - listed as rare but probably regular in Florida's annotated checklist; they are fairly local on their wintering grounds in NC and VA.
> Common Merganser - a nemesis bird for many GA birders, so there are a lot of people looking for them; Georgia is too far south and too far east for this species, which is very hearty, to occur with any regularity in the state; partial to fresh water.
> Limpkin - somewhat dependent on apple snails, which I don't think are found in any abundance in south Georgia.
> Roseate Tern - not enough pelagic study.
> Long-eared Owl - too secretive; generally takes a lot of effort to locate even within their range.
> Alder Flycatcher - probably overlooked; difficult to identify if they don't sing.
> Finally, I would like to turn a question over to GABO knowledge: are the
> following species reported ***EVERY YEAR*** from Georgia, at least once ?
> Fulvous Whistling-Duck - no, but should be
> Rough-legged Hawk - no
> Black Rail - yes; presumed to breed in GA, but very local
> Yellow Rail - no
> Barn Owl - yes; breed
> Northern Saw-whet Owl - no
> Bewick's Wren - no
> Lark Sparrow - no, but should be
> Lapland Longspur - no