Thursday, April 20, 2006

Where is the Birding Capital of America?

The St. Petersburg-Clearwater area in Florida recently touted itself as a top candidate for the title "Birding Capital of America." Pinellas County apparently sits at the convergence of three zones (temperate, subtropic and Caribbean), and it hosts birds -- more than 365 species -- from all three zones. Among its notable residents and visitors are Least Tern, Merlin, Little Blue Heron, Barred Owl and Black-crowned Night-Heron.

I do have to agree that a location that hosts Roseate Spoonbills three out of four seasons is a pretty cool site.

Is it possible to have a Birding Capital of America? (Or is it simply a silly marketing ploy? ;)

If it is possible, how do we choose a city, county or region to bear that title?

Do we determine a capital solely on the number and variety of species seen and heard?

If not, what other criteria can we consider?

What sites do you nominate for Birding Capital of America?

Map courtesy of Snob Hollow Designs. Roseate Spoonbill courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.


Anonymous Mike said...

I nominate NYC. Not only is it already the capital of the world, but it's also one of the most carefully, continuously birded areas anywhere. A warbler doesn't light on a tree in the five boroughs without someone noticing and promptly announcing it on a listserv or blog.

I might also add that the entire city has been meticulously constructed to channel birds into a handful of circumscribed habitats for easy observation. Central Park is the most expensive migrant trap on the planet!

April 24, 2006 8:45 AM  

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