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Bird Checklists of the United States

Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys
National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Chiefland, Florida


Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge was established July 16, 1929. It is located in the Gulf of Mexico near the town of Cedar Key, Florida. The islands that comprise the refuge range in size from 1 to 120 acres. Its founding purpose was "as a refuge and breeding ground for birds..." Cedar Keys Refuge supports one of the largest colonial bird nesting sites in north Florida.

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1979 with the objective of preserving the Suwannee River delta and estuary ecosystem. This 51,000-acre refuge is located Levy and Dixie Counties, Florida and serves as an important feeding area for the nesting birds of the Cedar Keys Refuge.

This checklist includes 254 species of birds and is based on observations by refuge personnel and visiting ornithologists. If you should find an unlisted species, please let us know at Refuge Headquarters. We appreciate your help in updating our records. At the end of the checklist, an additional 25 species are listed which are considered accidental occurrences to the refuge.


Seasonal appearance

Sp - Spring - March to May
S - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - September to November
W - Winter - December to February

Seasonal abundance

a - abundant: (a common species which is very numerous)
c - common: (certain to be seen in suitable habitat)
u - uncommon: (present but not certain to be seen)
o - occasional: (seen only a few times during a season)
r - rare: (seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years)
* - nests on the refuge


GREBES Sp S F W ___ Common Loon c r c c ___ Horned Grebe u - u u ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c c c c
PELICANS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ Magnificent Frigatebird c c c o ___ American White Pelican u - u u ___ Double-crested Cormorant* a a a a ___ Anhinga* c c c c ___ Brown Pelican* a a a a
HERONS, EGRETS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern u u u u ___ Least Bittern* u u u - ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Great Egret* c c c c ___ Snowy Egret* c c c c ___ Little Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Tricolored Heron c c c c ___ Cattle Egret* c c c c ___ Green Heron* c c c u ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* c c c c ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron* c c u u
IBISES, SPOONBILL AND STORK Sp S F W ___ White Ibis* a a a a ___ Wood Stork u u u o ___ Roseate Spoonbill - u - r
WATERFOWL Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan - - r r ___ Snow Goose - - r r ___ Wood Duck* c c c c ___ Green-winged Teal u - u u ___ American Black Duck o - o o ___ Mottled Duck r r r r ___ Mallard u - u u ___ Northern Pintail u - u u ___ Blue-winged Teal u - u u ___ Northern Shoveler u - u u ___ Gadwall u - u u ___ American Wigeon u - u u ___ Canvasback u - u u ___ Redhead u - u u ___ Ring-necked Duck u - u u ___ Greater Scaup r - r r ___ Lesser Scaup o - o o ___ Common Goldeneye o - o o ___ Bufflehead u - u c ___ Hooded Merganser c u u c ___ Common Merganser r - r r ___ Ruddy Duck u - o u ___ Red-breasted Merganser c - c c
VULTURES, HAWKS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture* c c c c ___ Turkey Vulture* c c c c ___ Osprey* c c c c ___ American Swallow-tailed Kite* c c u - ___ Bald Eagle* u u u u ___ Northern Harrier u o u u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u - u u ___ Cooper's Hawk* u u u u ___ Red-shouldered Hawk* c c c c ___ Broad-winged Hawk u u u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* u u u u ___ American Kestrel* u u u u ___ Merlin r - u r ___ Peregrine Falcon o - o o
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS (Quail, Turkey and Allies) Sp S F W ___ Wild Turkey* u u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite* c c c c
RAILS, GALLINULES AND COOTS Sp S F W ___ King Rail u u u u ___ Clapper Rail* c c c c ___ Yellow Rail - - - r ___ Sora u - u u ___ Purple Gallinule u u u r ___ Common Moorhen* c c c c ___ American Coot u r u u ___ Limpkin* u u u u ___ Virginia Rail u - u u ___ Black Rail* u u - r
SHOREBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover c u c c ___ Snowy Plover - - - r ___ Semipalmated Plover c - c c ___ Piping Plover o - o r ___ Killdeer* c u c c ___ Black-necked Stilt r - - r ___ American Avocet r - - r ___ Greater Yellowlegs c - c c ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u - u u ___ Solitary Sandpiper o - o - ___ Willet c c c c ___ Spotted Sandpiper c o c c ___ Whimbrel u - u u ___ Marbled Godwit u - u u ___ Ruddy Turnstone c u c c ___ Red Knot u - u u ___ Sanderling c - c c ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u u u - ___ Western Sandpiper c - c c ___ Least Sandpiper c u c c ___ Pectoral Sandpiper r - r - ___ Dunlin c o c c ___ Stilt Sandpiper - - o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher c u c c ___ Long-billed Dowitcher u o u u ___ Common Snipe c - c c ___ American Woodcock o - o o ___ American Oystercatcher u - c c ___ Laughing Gull c c c c ___ Bonaparte's Gull o - o u ___ Ring-billed Gull c u c c ___ Great Black-backed Gull - - - r ___ Herring Gull c o c c ___ Caspian Tern u u u u ___ Black Skimmer c c c c ___ Common Tern u - u o ___ Forster's Tern c - c c ___ Least Tern c c c o ___ Royal Tern c c c c ___ Sandwich Tern u u u u ___ Black Tern o - o -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Mourning Dove* c c c c ___ Common Ground-Dove* c c c c ___ White-winged Dove - - o -
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo r - r - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* u u u -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl o o o o ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* c c c c ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Barred Owl* c c c c ___ Burrowing Owl o - o - ___ Short-eared Owl - - - u
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* c c c - ___ Chuck-will's-widow* c c c r ___ Whip-poor-will - - u -
SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift c c c - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* u u u r
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher* c o c c
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker u u u u ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u - u u ___ Downy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Northern Flicker* c u c c ___ Pileated Woodpecker* c c c c
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee u u u - ___ Acadian Flycatcher* o u - - ___ Eastern Phoebe u - u c ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* c c c - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c - ___ Gray Kingbird* c c c -
MARTINS AND SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin u u u - ___ Tree Swallow c - c c ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* u u u - ___ Barn Swallow u u u - ___ Bank Swallow o - o -
JAYS AND CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ Fish Crow* c c c c ___ Scrub Jay u u u u ___ American Crow* c c c c
CHICKADEES AND TITMICE Sp S F W ___ Carolina Chickadee* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse* c c c c
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Brown-headed Nuthatch* o o o o ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch o - o o
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper u - u u
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Carolina Wren* c c c c ___ House Wren u - u u ___ Winter Wren r r - r ___ Sedge Wren c - c c ___ Marsh Wren* c c c c
KINGLETS AND GNATCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r - o o ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c c ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* c c c c
THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird* c c c c ___ Veery u - u - ___ Gray-cheecked Thrush o - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Wood Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u u ___ American Robin c - c a
THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird c r c c ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher* c c c c
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit u - u u
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing c - u c
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike* c c c c ___ European Starling* c c c c
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo c c c c ___ Yellow-throated Vireo u u u - ___ Red-eyed Vireo c c c - ___ Solitary Vireo u - u u
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler r - - o ___ Golden-winged Warbler - - r - ___ Tennessee Warbler o - o - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - u u ___ Northern Parula* c c c r ___ Yellow Warbler u u u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler r - o - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - u - ___ Cape May Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c a ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler u - u - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler o - o - ___ Blackburnian Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler* c c c c ___ Pine Warbler* c c c c ___ Prairie Warbler* u u u r ___ Palm Warbler c - c c ___ Bay-breasted Warbler o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - o - ___ Cerulean Warbler o - o - ___ Black-and-white Warbler c r c u ___ American Redstart u - u - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* c u c - ___ Worm-eating Warbler u - u - ___ Swainson's Warbler r r r - ___ Ovenbird c - c u ___ Northern Waterthrush u r u - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush u r u - ___ Kentucky Warbler u - u - ___ Connecticut Warbler r - r - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c c ___ Yellow-breasted Chat u u u r ___ Hooded Warbler* c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler o - o o
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager* u c u - ___ Scarlet Tanager o - o -
NEW WORLD FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Northern Cardinal* a a a a ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak u - u - ___ Blue Grosbeak u u - - ___ Indigo Bunting u o u - ___ Painted Bunting o r o -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* c c c c ___ Bachman's Sparrow* u u u u ___ Chipping Sparrow u - u u ___ Field Sparrow u - u u ___ Vesper Sparrow u - u u ___ Savannah Sparrow c - c c ___ Grasshopper Sparrow r - - o ___ Henslow's Sparrow - - - o ___ Le Conte's Sparrow - - - o ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow o - o u ___ Song Sparrow c - c c ___ Seaside Sparrow* c c c c ___ Swamp Sparrow c - c c ___ White-throated Sparrow c - c c ___ Dark-eyed Junco o - o o
BLACKBIRDS, GRACKLES, COWBIRDS AND ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a a ___ Bobolink r u - u ___ Eastern Meadowlark* c c c c ___ Rusty Blackbird - - - u ___ Common Grackle* u u u u ___ Boat-tailed Grackle* a a a a ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c c ___ Orchard Oriole u c u - ___ Northern Oriole o - o u
OLD WORLD FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Purple Finch o - - o ___ American Goldfinch c - u c ___ Pine Siskin - - - r
INTRODUCED NON-NATIVE SPECIES Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
These additional species are of rare or accidental occurrence, in most instances substantiated by only one or two records:

Red-throated Loon                    White-rumped Sandpiper
Red-necked Grebe                     Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Brown Booby                          Common Black-headed Gull        
Northern Gannet                      Sooty Tern
Oldsquaw                             Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Black Scoter                         Western Kingbird
Surf Scoter                          Bewick's Wren
White-winged Scoter                  Warbling Vireo
Reddish Egret                        Black-whiskered Vireo
Glossy Ibis                          Fox Sparrow
Canada Goose                         White-crowned Sparrow
Sandhill Crane                       Shiny Cowbird
Long-billed Curlew


For additional information contact:

Refuge Manager
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
16450 NW 31 PL
Chiefland, Florida 32626
Telephone: (352) 493-0238
http://cedarkeys.fws.gov

This resource is based on the following source:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1995.  Birds of Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys 
     National Wildlife Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1995.  Birds of Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys 
     National Wildlife Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govcedarkey.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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