A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow in the Everglades
Photo credit: USGS/David La Puma
Sparrow sounds: UF Hardy

 

The Endangered Birds of Florida

 

 

Sparrows

 

 

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis


To begin: what is a Bird?

A Bird is a warm blooded, bipedal (two legs)

vertebrate (has a backbone) with feathers,

bills and wings and most can fly.

It lays eggs to reproduce and many theories have

it classified as a direct descendant of Dinosaurs,

dating back to the Jurassic period.


 

This shy, tiny songbird is about five inches long,

and is dark olive gray and pale yellow in color.

They can be found in coastal salt marshes from New Hampshire,

south down to Florida and west across to Texas.

Their diet is a variety of insects and spiders.

The two sexes look similar.

A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
Photo credit: USFWS

 

In Florida, this Sparrow lives primarily in the Everglades and perhaps the Big Cypress Swamps.

It was listed as Endangered in March 1967 because of the ongoing destruction

of its limited habitat, from fires, hurricanes, construction and development

and continuing changes in water levels due to human interference.

 

"Their population was reduced from more than 6,000 in 1981 to fewer than 2,500 in 2002."

"Since 1992 their population has declined more than 60 percent."*

*Learn more in this excellent dissertation by David La Puma:

Come Hell or High Water

A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
Photo credit: USGS/David La Puma
 

Despite the ongoing battle over their Everglades habitat, the bird hangs on.

 

This same set of factors resulted in the extinction of the similar

Dusky Seaside Sparrow,

the last of which, died in captivity in 1987? or(1990)?

 

It would seem that we have not learned much since then:

Judge Upholds Decision

Court House News Service

A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
A Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
Photo credit: NPS/Lori Oberhofer
 

 


Places to learn more:

 

Audubon

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

Balancing on the Brink

The Everglades and the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

Center for Biological Diversity

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

Department of Justice

A Tale of Two Species

 

Endangered Cape Coral Seaside Sparrow

 

Everglades Restoration Plan

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

FFWCC

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

FWS

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

NPS

Everglades National Park- Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

Palmetto-Pear Preserve

Birding

 

USFWS

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

 

USGS

Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

Patuxant Wildlife Research Center

Wildfire in Everglades

 


 

Walking with the Alligators

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Last edited September 5, 2018

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