Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The island has a diversity of habitats and is wider and more densely wooded than other barrier islands in the area. The nine miles (14.5 Km) of Gulf beaches are good for observation of shorebirds, gulls, terns, and fish eating raptors such as Bald Eagles and Ospreys. Large expanses of both salt and freshwater marshes and bayous provide good viewing of many species of water birds, including divers, waders, shorebirds, and ducks. The interior ridge and swale system provides for a wide diversity of passerines and raptors. The oak ridges along the Gulf provide excellent habitat for neotropical migrants.
The refuge represents the normal westward breeding range limit for American Oystercatchers and Boat-tailed Grackles in Florida. In addition, the refuge includes an 86 acre (35 hectare) mainland tract and the 46 acre (19 hectare) Pig Island in Franklin and Gulf counties, respectively. This diversity in habitats allows for a diversity in birds.
The seasons bring about marked changes in the species and abundance of birdlife. Best opportunities for observing the greatest variety and number of birds occur during spring and fall. Waterfowl are most easily seen on the refuge from mid-November through late January. Shorebirds are most common during late spring and early fall.
The nomenclature and order of the following refuge checklist are in accordance with the Sixth (1983) A.O.U. checklist and supplement.
It includes 249 species of birds and is based on observations by refuge personnel and visiting ornithologists. Prepared by Thomas E. Lewis, reviewed by Barbara and Stephen Stedman, Douglas McNair, and Richard West. We will appreciate your help in updating our records. If you observe any rare, accidental, unlisted birds, or other notable sightings, please notify the refuge office.
Bald Eagle and shorebird nesting areas are posted and closed to the public. Please honor these signs.
Ethics for Birdwatching
Take care not to disturb nesting birds, exposing eggs and young to extreme temperatures and predation.
Disturb wintering wildlife as little as possible, particularly during critical feeding and resting periods. They need all of their energy reserves to withstand the stresses of harsh weather and migration.
Do not litter. Many birds die when they become entangled in fishing lines, 6-pack rings and other trash, or when they mistake garbage for food.
Sp - Spring - March to May
S - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - September to November
W - Winter - December to February
a - abundant: numerous and widely distributed, sure to be seen
c - common: should be seen or heard 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
x - accidental: out of normal species range
+ - no longer occurs on the refuge
* - known or suspected to have nested on refuge
For further information contact:
LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon c r u c
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* u u c c ___ Horned Grebe u r o u
GANNETS, PELICANS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ Brown Booby - x - - ___ Northern Gannet u r o u ___ American White Pelican u r o u ___ Brown Pelican a a a a ___ Double-crested Cormorant a c a a ___ Anhinga* u u u u ___ Magnificent Frigatebird o o o -
HERONS, EGRETS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern o r o o ___ Least Bittern* c c u r ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Great White Heron - x - - ___ Great Egret* a a a a ___ Snowy Egret* a a a a ___ Little Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Tricolored Heron* c c c c ___ Reddish Egret o o o o ___ Cattle Egret* c c c r ___ Green Heron* c c u u ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron c u u c ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron* u u o r
IBISES, SPOONBILLS AND STORKS Sp S F W ___ White Ibis o o o o ___ Glossy Ibis o o o o ___ Roseate Spoonbill r r - - ___ Wood Stork u u u o
WATERFOWL Sp S F W ___ Snow Goose - - u u ___ Canada Goose - - r r ___ Wood Duck* c c c c ___ Green-winged Teal c - c c ___ American Black Duck r - r r ___ Mottled Duck - r r r ___ Mallard r - r o ___ Northern Pintail o - o o ___ Blue-winged Teal c u c u ___ Northern Shoveler u - u u ___ Gadwall u - u u ___ American Wigeon u - u u ___ Canvasback o - o o ___ Redhead u - u u ___ Ring-necked Duck u - u u ___ Greater Scaup o r o o ___ Lesser Scaup c o c c ___ Black Scoter u - o u ___ Common Goldeneye u - o u ___ Bufflehead c - c c ___ Hooded Merganser u - c c ___ Red-breasted Merganser c o c a ___ Ruddy Duck o - o o
VULTURES Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture o o o o ___ Turkey Vulture c c c c
HAWKS AND ALLIES Sp S F W ___ Osprey* c c u o ___ American Swallow-tailed Kite* u u - - ___ Mississippi Kite o o o - ___ Bald Eagle* c u u c ___ Northern Harrier u r u u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o r u u ___ Cooper's Hawk o r u o ___ Red-shouldered Hawk* c c c c ___ Broad-winged Hawk o o u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk u u c c ___ Golden Eagle r - r r ___ American Kestrel u - u u ___ Merlin o - o o ___ Peregrine Falcon r - o -
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Wild Turkey* + + + + ___ Northern Bobwhite* + + + +
RAILS, GALLINULES, COOTS AND CRANES Sp S F W ___ Black Rail* o r r o ___ Clapper Rail* c c c c ___ King Rail o o o o ___ Virginia Rail u - u u ___ Sora c r c c ___ Purple Gallinule* o u o r ___ Common Moorhen* c a a u ___ American Coot c o c c ___ Sandhill Crane r - o o
SHOREBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover c u u c ___ Snowy Plover* u u u u ___ Wilson's Plover* o o o r ___ Semipalmated Plover c u c c ___ Piping Plover o r o o ___ Killdeer u r u o ___ American Oystercatcher* u u u u ___ Black-necked Stilt* o o o - ___ American Avocet r o o o ___ Greater Yellowlegs u o u o ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u o u o ___ Solitary Sandpiper o o o - ___ Willet* c c a a ___ Spotted Sandpiper c u c u ___ Whimbrel o o o r ___ Long-billed Curlew r - r r ___ Marbled Godwit o r o r ___ Ruddy Turnstone c u c u ___ Red Knot u r u o ___ Sanderling c c c c ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u o u - ___ Western Sandpiper u r c o ___ Least Sandpiper c c c c ___ White-rumped Sandpiper o r o - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper o r o r ___ Dunlin c r u c ___ Stilt Sandpiper o r o r ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u r o u ___ Common Snipe o - u o ___ American Woodcock r - r o ___ Wilson's Phalarope r r r -
GULLS, TERNS AND SKIMMERS Sp S F W ___ Laughing Gull a a a c ___ Bonaparte's Gull u - o u ___ Ring-billed Gull c o c c ___ Herring Gull u o u u ___ Gull-billed Tern o o o - ___ Caspian Tern u u u u ___ Royal Tern c c c u ___ Sandwich Tern u c u - ___ Common Tern o u o - ___ Forster's Tern c c a c ___ Least Tern* c c u - ___ Sooty Tern - x x - ___ Black Tern o u o - ___ Black Skimmer c u c u
PIGEONS AND DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove r r r r ___ Eurasian Collared-Dove o o o o ___ White-winged Dove - - r r ___ Mourning Dove* u u c u ___ Common Ground-Dove* u u u u
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo r r r - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* u u u - ___ Groove-billed Ani - - r r
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl* r r r r ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* u u u u ___ Great Horned Owl* c c c c ___ Barred Owl r r r r
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* u u u - ___ Chuck-will's-widow c c u - ___ Whip-poor-will o - o o
SWIFTS AND HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift* u u u - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* o o o -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher u u c u
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker r r r r ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u - u u ___ Downy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Red-cockaded Woodpecker - - - r ___ Northern Flicker u o u u ___ Pileated Woodpecker r r r r
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee o o o - ___ Acadian Flycatcher r r r - ___ Eastern Phoebe u - c c ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* c c u - ___ Western Kingbird* r - r - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c - ___ Gray Kingbird r r r -
MARTINS AND SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin* u u o r ___ Tree Swallow a o a a ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* o o o r ___ Bank Swallow o o o - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c r
JAYS AND CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* u u u u ___ American Crow o o u u ___ Fish Crow* u u u u
CHICKADEES, TITMICE Sp S F W ___ Carolina Chickadee* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse o r o o
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Brown-headed Nuthatch* u u u u
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Carolina Wren* a a a a ___ House Wren o - u u ___ Sedge Wren u - u u ___ Marsh Wren* u u c c
KINGLETS AND GNATCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r - r r ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c c ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* c c c u
BLUEBIRDS, THRUSHES AND ROBINS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird r - r r ___ Veery u - u - ___ Swainson's Thrush o - o - ___ Hermit Thrush o - u u ___ Wood Thrush u r o - ___ American Robin c - u a
MIMIC THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird c - a c ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher* u u c u
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit - - o r
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing o - o o
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike r r r r
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling o o o o
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo* c c c u ___ Solitary Vireo u - u u ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* o o o - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* c c c - ___ Black-whiskered Vireo r - - -
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler r r r - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler o - o r ___ Tennessee Warbler - - u - ___ Northern Parula* a a a - ___ Yellow Warbler o o o - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler - - u - ___ Magnolia Warbler r r u - ___ Cape May Warbler o - - - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler r - o - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler a - a a ___ Black-throated Green Warbler o - o - ___ Blackburnian Warbler r - o - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler* c c u o ___ Pine Warbler* a a a a ___ Prairie Warbler u o u - ___ Palm Warbler u - c u ___ Bay-breasted Warbler r - u - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - o - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u o u o ___ American Redstart o r u - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* u u o - ___ Worm-eating Warbler o r u - ___ Ovenbird o - u r ___ Northern Waterthrush u r u - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush r - r - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c c ___ Hooded Warbler u u u - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat u u r -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager* c c c - ___ Scarlet Tanager o - o -
CARDINALS, GROSBEAKS Sp S F W ___ Northern Cardinal* a a a a ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak o - o - ___ Blue Grosbeak c u u - ___ Indigo Bunting c o u - ___ Painted Bunting r - r -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* a a a a ___ Bachman's Sparrow r r r r ___ Chipping Sparrow u - u u ___ Field Sparrow o - o o ___ Vesper Sparrow r - r r ___ Lark Sparrow r - r r ___ Savannah Sparrow u - u u ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow u - u u ___ Seaside Sparrow* u u u u ___ Song Sparrow o - o o ___ Swamp Sparrow c - c c ___ White-throated Sparrow u - u u ___ White-crowned Sparrow o - o o ___ Dark-eyed Junco r - o o
BLACKBIRDS, GRACKLES, COWBIRDS AND ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink - u - o ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a a ___ Eastern Meadowlark u o u u ___ Boat-tailed Grackle* a a a a ___ Common Grackle* c c c c ___ Shiny Cowbird r - - - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c u u u ___ Orchard Oriole* c u o - ___ Northern Oriole r - o -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Siskin r - r r ___ American Goldfinch o - o o
Refuge Manager St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 447 Apalachicola, Florida 32329-0447 Telephone: 904/653-8808This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1995. Birds of St. Vincent 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 St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govvincent.htm (Version 22MAY98).