About 80 percent of Southwest Florida is made up of wetland habitats that perfectly suit the needs of shorebirds, waders, ducks, grebes, gallinules, rails, some owls, woodpeckers and even songbirds. But there are certain local breeders and winter visitors that really depend on uplands, whether pinelands, scrub, dry prairies, oak or tropical hammocks. Being the most attractive areas for agriculture and human settlement, these places represent some of South Florida's most impacted and fragmented habitats. But now, with many of our endangered and threatened mammals, birds and reptiles -- such as Florida panthers, black bears, red-cockaded woodpeckers and gopher tortoises -- depending on this higher ground for food and shelter -- upland corridors are now being set aside for preservation. Although not as diversely speciated as our wetlands, some of our most unique birds live in these areas.

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                                           Species We See Regularly in Our Uplands From Nov. through April

Red-Tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Northern Bobwhite, Great-Horned Owl, Eastern Screech Owl, Chuck-Will's Widow, Common Nighthawks, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman's Sparrow, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-Shafted Flicker, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Great-Crested Flycatcher, Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, Gray Kingbird (Arrive in April or May), Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-Winged Swallow, Bank Swallows, Gray Catbird, Blue Jay, Florida Scrubjay, Brown-Headed Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Brown Thrasher, Loggerhead Shrike, Pine Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Light-Eyed Race of Rufous-sided Towhee, Painted Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, Brown-Headed Cowbird, Shiny Cowbird (March and April)





uired© CINDY HACKNEY 2012