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  • Birds

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  • Herprtofauna

  • Mammals

Birds of Buck Island Ranch

A checklist

by Michael A. McMillian and Reuven Yosef, 2001
Photos at Buck Island Ranch by Alex Calzadillo (burrowing owl), Lourdes Rojas (caracara), Joyce Voneman (barred owl) and Tom Bancroft (cranes & kingbird)


This checklist includes 161 species of birds recorded (through January 2001) at the Buck Island Ranch, Lake Placid, Highlands County, Florida, and site of the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center. The list includes 46 species confirmed as nesters, with an additional 9 suspected, but unconfirmed. Of 11 listed species, 4 are confirmed nesters (1 additional species is a possible nester). The list follows the American Ornithologists' Union's "Check-list of North American birds," seventh edition, 1998.



* indicates species confirmed nesting.

*? indicates species suspected of nesting

(L) are listed species.

S is specimen collected



Family Podicipedidae – Grebes

  • Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps



Family Pelecanidae - Pelicans

  • American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Family Phalacrocoracidae – Cormorants

  • Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

Family Anhingidae – Darters

  • Anhinga Anhinga anhinga



Family Ardeidae - Herons, Egrest and Bitterns

  • American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
  • Least Bittern*? Ixobrychus exilis
  • Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  • Great White Heron (here considered a color form of the Great Blue Heron)
  • Great Egret Casmerodius albus
  • Snowy Egret (L) Egretta thula
  • Little Blue Heron (L) Egretta caerulea
  • Tricolored Heron (L) Egretta tricolor
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Green Heron* Butorides striatus
  • Black-crowned Night Heron* Nycticorax nycticorax

  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax violaceus

Family Threskiornithidae - Ibises and Spoonbills


Subfamily Threskiornithinae

  • White Ibis (L) Eudocimus albus
  • Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus


Subfamily Plataleinae

  • Roseate Spoonbill Ajaia ajaja


Family Ciconiidae – Storks

  • Wood Stork (L) Mycteria americana


Family Cathartidae - American Vultures

  • Black Vulture* Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture* Cathartes aura



Family Anatidae - Swans, Geese and Ducks


Subfamily Dendrocygninae

  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis

Subfamily Anserinae

  • Snow Goose Chen caerulescens

Subfamily Anatinae

  • Wood Duck Aix sponsa
  • American Wigeon Anas americana
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  • Mottled Duck* Anas fulvigula
  • Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
  • Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  • Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  • Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
  • Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
  • Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator



Family Accipitridae - Hawks, Kites and Eagles


Subfamily Pandioninae – Ospreys

  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Subfamily Accipitrinae - Kites, Hawks, Eagles and Harriers

  • American Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus
  • White-tailed Kite*(S) Elanus caeruleus
  • Bald Eagle* (L) Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
  • Cooper’s Hawk* Accipiter cooperii
  • Red-shouldered Hawk* Buteo lineatus
  • Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus
  • Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni
  • Red-tailed Hawk*? Buteo jamaicensis


Family Falconidae - Falcons and Caracaras

  • Crested Caracara*(L) Caracara cheriway
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Merlin Falco columbarius
  • Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus



Family Phasianidae - Pheasants, Grouse and Turkey


Subfamily Meleagridinae – Turkeys

  • Wild Turkey* Meleagris gallapavo


Family Odontophoridae – New World Quail

  • Northern Bobwhite* Colinus virginianus



Family Rallidae - Rails, Gallinules and Coots

  • Black Rail Laterallus jamaicensis
  • King Rail*? Rallus elegans
  • Virginia Rail Rallus limicola
  • Sora Rail Porzana carolina
  • Purple Gallinule* Porphyrula martinica
  • Common Moorehen* Gallinula chloropus
  • American Coot Fulica americana


Family Aramidae – Limpkins

  • Limpkin (L) Aramus guarauna

Family Gruidae – Cranes

  • Sandhill Cranes*(L) Grus canadensis pratensis



Family Charadriiformes – Plovers

  • Killdeer* Charadrius vociferus


Family Recurvirostridae

  • Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus


Family Scolopacidae - Sandpipers and Allies

  • Greater Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

  • Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria

  • Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia

  • Dunlin Calidris alpina

  • Semipalmated Sandpiper(S) Calidris pusilla

  • Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

  • Dowitcher sp. Limnodromus sp.

  • Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago


Family Laridae - Skuas, Jaegers, Gulls and Terns

  • Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
  • Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
  • Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
  • Royal Tern Sterna maxima
  • Forester's tern Sterna forsteri



Family Columbidae - Pigeons and Doves

  • Rock Dove Columba livia
  • Eurasion Collared-Dove*? Streptopelia decaocto
  • White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
  • Morning Dove* Zenaida macroura
  • Common Ground-Dove*? Columbina passerina



Family Psittacidae - Lories, Cockatoos, Macaws and Parrots

  • Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri



Family Cuculidae - Cuckoos, Roadrunners and Anis

  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo* Coccyzus americanus



Family Tytonidae - Barn Owls

  • Common Barn Owl* Tyto alba


Family Strigidae - Typical Owls

  • Eastern Screech Owl* Otus asio
  • Great Horned Owl* Bubo virginianus
  • Burrowing Owl*(L) Athene cunicularia
  • Barred Owl*(S) Strix varia
  • Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus



Family Caprimulgidae


Subfamily Caprimulginae

  • Chuck-will’s-Widow*? Caprimulgus carolinensis
  • Whip-poor Will Caprimulgus vociferus


Subfamily Chordeilnae

  • Common Nighthawk* Chordeiles minor



Family Apodidae – Swifts

  • Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica



Family Alcedinidae - Kingfishers

  • Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon



Family Picidae - Woodpeckers and Wrynecks

  • Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker* Melanerpes carolinus
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
  • Downy Woodpecker* Picoides pubescens
  • Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
  • Pileated Woodpecker* Dryocopus pileatus



Family Tyrannidae - Tyrant Flycatchers

  • Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
  • Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
  • Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • Great Crested Flycatcher* Myiarchus crinitus
  • Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticals
  • Eastern Kingbird* Tyrannus tyrannus
  • Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana
  • Gray KingbirdTyrannus dominicensis


Family Laniidae – Shrikes

  • Loggerhead Shrike* Lanius ludovicianus


Family Vireonidae – Vireos

  • White-eyed Vireo* Vireo griseus
  • Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
  • Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus


Family Corvidae - Jays, Magpies and Crows

  • Blue Jay* Cyanocitta cristata
  • American Crow* Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Fish Crow Corvus ossifragus


Family Hirundinidae – Swallows

  • Purple Martin Progne subis
  • Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow* Stelgidopteryx serripennis
  • Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
  • Barn Swallow* Hirundo rustica


Family Paridae - Titmice and Chickadees

  • Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor


Family Troglodytidae – Wrens

  • Carolina Wren* Tryothorus ludovicianus
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
  • Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris


Family Regulidae

  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula


Family Sylviidae


Subfamily Sylviinae

  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* Polioptila caerulea


Family Turdidae - Thrushes

  • Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus
  • Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
  • American Robin Turdus migratorius


Family Mimidae - Mockingbirds and Thrashers

  • Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
  • Northern Mockingbird* Mimus polyglottos
  • Brown Thrasher* Toxostoma rufum


Family Sturnidae – Starlings

  • European Starling* Sturnus vulgaris


Family Motacillidae - wagtails and Pipits

  • American Pipit Anthus rubescens


Family Bombycillidae – Waxwings

  • Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum


Family Parulidae - Emberizid Finches and allies

  • Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
  • Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
  • Northern Parula* Parula americana
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
  • Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
  • Yellow-throated Warbler Denroica dominica
  • Prairie Warbler Dendroica discolor
  • Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum
  • Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata
  • Black and White Warbler Mniotilta varia
  • American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
  • Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus
  • Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus
  • Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
  • Common Yellowthroat* Geothlypis trichas
  • Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina


Family Emberzidae - American Sparrows and Towhees

  • Eastern Towhee* Pipilo erythrophthalmus
  • Bachman’s Sparrow*?(L) Aimophila aestivalis
  • Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
  • Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
  • Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
  • Le Conte’s Sparrow Ammodramus leconteii
  • Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
  • Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
  • Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum


Family Cardinalidae - Cardinal and Grosbeaks

  • Northern Cardinal* Cardinalis cardinalis


Family Icteridae - American Blackbirds and Orioles

  • Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorous
  • Red-winged Blackbird* Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Eastern Meadowlark* Sturnella magna
  • Common Grackle*? Quiscalus quiscalus
  • Boat-tailed Grackle*? Quiscalus major
  • Brown-headed Cowbird Molthrus ater


Family Fringillidae - Old World Finches and allies


Subfamily Carduelinae

  • American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis


ORDER Accipitriformes

Family Accipitridae

  • Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis

Fishes of Buck Island Ranch.

A preliminary checklist.

compiled by Fred E. Lohrer, 10 Febryary, 2005


This list includes fishes recorded from the Buck Island Ranch, Highlands County, Florida, currently the MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center operated by Archbold Biological Station. The classification and nomenclature follow Nelson et al. 2004 ( Nelson, J.S., E.J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Pérez, L.T. Findley, C.R. Gilbert, R.N. Lea, and J.D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Amer. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. No. 29:1-386). This list includes 16 fish species, and one additional species identified to genus, and includes 3 non-native species. This list is based on: a) records for 11 species recorded by Baber et al. (Baber, M.J., D.L. Childers, K.J. Babbitt, and D.H. Anderson. 2002. Controls on fish distribution and abundance in temporary wetlands. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 59(9):1441-1450); b) records for 5 additional species identified by Eva Hohausova  (pers. comm., 10 February 2005); and c) other records submitted by MAERC scientisist (these are indicated for each species).

Methods. Baber et al. sampled 6 isolated wetlands (not directly connected to ditches) chosen randomly from each of the 3 major habitat types at the Ranch (improved pasture, semi-native prairie, woodland habitat) each month during June - October 1999 using a dip net or throw trap. Hohausova sampled ditches with a dip net during 2003. No voucher specimens exist.--F.E.L.


H=species recorded by Hohausova    + = introduced species.


Order Lepisosteiformes

Family Lepisosteidae - gars

  • Florida Gar Lepisosteus platyrhincus


Order Cypriniformes

Family Cyprinidae - carps and minnows

  • Shiner species Notropis sp. H


Order Siluriformes

Family Ictaluridae - North American catfishes

  • Brown Bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus H


Family Clariidae - labyrinth catfishes

  • Walking Catfish Clarias batrachus +


Family Callichthyidae - armored catfishes

  • Brown Hoplo Hoplosternum littorale +H


Order Percopsiformes

Family Aphredoderidae - pirate perches

  • Pirate Perch Aphredoderus sayanus H


Order Cyprinodontiformes

Family Fundulidae - topminnows

  • Golden Topminnow Fundulus chrysotus
  • Banded Topminnow Fundulus cingulatus
  • Bluefin Killifish Lucania goodei


Family Poeciliidae - livebearers

  • Eastern Mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki
  • Least Killifish Heterandria formosa


Family Cyprinodontidae - pupfishes

  • Flagfish Jordanella floridae


Order Perciformes

Family Centrarchidae - sunfishes

  • Warmouth Lepomis gulosus
  • Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides (P.J. Bohlen, pers comm.)


Family Percidae - perches

  • Swamp Darter Etheostoma fusiforme H


Family Elassomatidae - pygmy sunfishes

  • Everglades Pygmy Sunfish Elassoma evergladei


Family Cichlidae - cichlids

  • Black Acara Cichlasoma bimaculatum +

Herpetofauna of Buck Island Ranch

A checklist

by Walter E. Meshaka, Jr., 1997


This checklist includes amphibians and reptiles recorded from Buck Island Ranch, Highlands County, Florida; currently the MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center operated by Archbold Biological Station (ABS). This list includes 19 amphibian species (5 salamanders and 14 anurans) and 34 reptile species (7 turtles, 1 crocodilian, 8 lizards, and 18 snakes). This list was published as part of Meshaka, 1997 (The herpetofauna of Buck Island Ranch: An altered wetland in south-central Florida. Fla. Sci. 60:1-7). This list is based, in part, on an earlier list by Erika A. Nowak and Walter E. Meshaka (1992. Checklist of amphibians and reptiles: MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center of Archbold Biological Station. Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid.). Common names, and their capitalization, for this Web edition of Meshaka’s 1997 list, follow Collins, J.T., 1997 (Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles, Fourth edition. Hertepological Circular No. 25, 40 pp.), and reflect the growing consensus among herpetologists of the utility and need for standard common names, and for their treatment as proper nouns.--F.E.L.


* = voucher specimens in the ABS reference collection.
+ = introduced species.



Order Caudata - Salamanders

AMPHIUMIDAE - amphiumas

  • Two-toed Amphiuma Amphiuma means*



  • Eastern Newt Notopthalmus viridescens*


SIRENIDAE - sirens

  • Northern Dwarf Siren Pseudobranchus striatus*
  • Greater Siren Siren lacertina*
  • Lesser Siren Siren intermedia*


Salientia - Frogs and Toads



  • Southern Toad Bufo terrestris*
  • Oak Toad Bufo quercicus


HYLIDAE - treefrogs

  • Southern Cricket Frog Acris gryllus*
  • Green Treefrog Hyla cinerea*
  • Barking Treefrog Hyla gratiosa
  • Pine Woods Treefrog Hyla femoralis*
  • Squirrel Treefrog Hyla squirella*
  • Southern Chorus Frog Pseudacris nigrita*
  • Little Grass Frog Pseudacris ocularis*


LEPTODACTYLIDAE - tropical frogs

  • Greenhouse Frog Eleutherodactylus planirostris*+


MICROHYLIDAE - narrowmouth toads

  • Eastern Narrowmouth Toad Gastrophryne carolinensis*


RANIDAE - true frogs

  • Gopher Frog Rana capito
  • Pig Frog Rana grylio*
  • Florida Leopard Frog Rana sphenocephala*



Order Testudines - Turtles


CHELYDRIDAE - snapping turtles

  • Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina


EMYDIDAE - box and water turtles

  • Florida Cooter Pseudemys floridana
  • Florida Redbelly Turtle Pseudemys nelsoni
  • Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina*


KINOSTERNIDAE - mud and musk turtles

  • Striped Mud Turtle Kinosternon baurii*
  • Eastern Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum


TRIONYCHIDAE - softshell turtles

  • Florida Softshell Apalone ferox


Order Crocodylia - Alligators and crocodiles


ALLIGATORIDAE - alligators

  • American Alligator Alligator mississippiensis


Order Squamata - Lizards and snakes


Suborder Lacertilia - Lizards


ANGUIDAE - glass and alligator lizards

  • Eastern Glass Lizard Ophisaurus ventralis*
  • Island Glass Lizard Ophisauris compressus*


GEKKONIDAE - geckoes

  • Indo-Pacific Gecko Hemidactylus garnotii*+
  • Mediterranean Gecko Hemidactylus turcicus*+


IGUANIDAE - iguanid lizards

  • Green Anole Anolis carolinensis*
  • Brown Anole Anolis sagrei*+


SCINCIDAE - skinks

  • Southeastern Five-lined Skink Eumeces inexpectatus*
  • Ground Skink Scincella lateralis*


Suborder Serpentes - Snakes


COLUBRIDAE - colubrid snakes

  • Eastern Racer Coluber constrictor*
  • Ringneck Snake Diadophus punctatus*
  • Eastern Indigo Snake Drymarchon corais
  • Corn Snake Elaphe guttata*
  • Eastern Rat Snake Elaphe obsoleta*
  • Mud Snake Farancia abacura*
  • Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum*
  • Southern Water Snake Nerodia fasciata*
  • Florida Green Water Snake Nerodia floridana*
  • Rough Green Snake Opheodrys aestivus*
  • Striped Crayfish Snake Regina alleni*
  • Black Swamp Snake Seminatrix pygea*
  • Brown Snake Storeria dekayi*
  • Eastern Ribbon Snake Thamnophis sauritus*
  • Common Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis*


VIPERIDAE - vipers and pit vipers

  • Cottonmouth Agkistrodon piscivorus*
  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus adamanteus
  • Pigmy Rattlesnake Sistrurus miliarius*

Mammals of Buck Island Ranch


A checklist

by Michael A. McMillian, 1999, revised 8 January 2007.
Photos at Buck Island Ranch by Tom Bancroft


This checklist includes mammals recorded from Buck Island Ranch, Highlands County, Florida; currently the MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center operated by Archbold Biological Station (ABS). A total of 31 species of mammals (24 native and 7 exotic) has been recorded from Buck Island Ranch as of 14 January 1997. Among the native species, the black bear, panther, and fox squirrel occur only rarely or sporadically on the Ranch. Nomenclature to the species level follows Jones et al. (1986) and subspecific terminology follows Hall (1981), exept for changes proposed by more recent studies. An asterisk denotes an exotic species.


Order Marsupialia [= Polyprotodontia] - marsupials

Family Didelphiidae - opossums

  • Virginia opossum  Didelphis virginiana pigra


Order Insectivora - moles and shrews

Family Soricidae - shrews

  • Least Shrew  Cryptotis parva floridana
  • Shorttail Shrew  Blarina carolinensis peninsulae


Family Talpidae - moles

  • Eastern Mole  Scalopus aquaticus australis


Order Chiroptera - bats

  • bat species (needs work)


Order Xenarthra - armadillos, sloths, and anteaters

Family Dasypodidae - armadillos

  • *Nine-banded armadillo  Dasypus novemcinctus mexicanus


Order Lagomorpha - rabbits, hares, and pikas

Family Leporidae - rabbits and hares

  • Eastern Cottontail  Sylvilagus floridanus floridanus
  • Marsh Rabbit  Sylvilagus palustris paludicola


Order Rodentia - rodents

Family Sciuridae - squirrels

  • Eastern Gray Squirrel  Sciurus carolinensis extimus
  • Fox Squirrel  Sciurus niger shermani


Family Cricetidae - [= Muridae] - native rats and mice

  • Eastern Harvest Mouse  Reithrodontomys humulis humulis
  • Cotton Mouse  Peromyscus gossypinus palmarius
  • Marsh Rice Rat  Oryzomys palustris natator
  • Hispid Cotton Rat  Sigmadon hispidus floridanus
  • Florida Water Rat  Neofiber alleni nigrescens


Family Muridae - introduced rats and mice

  • *Black Rat  Rattus rattus
  • *House Mouse  Mus musculus 


Order Carnivora - carnivores

Family Canidae - wolves, foxes, dogs, coyote

  • Coyote  Canis latrans
  • Red Fox  Vulpes fulva
  • Gray Fox  Urocyon cinereoargenteus floridanus
  • *Domestic Dog  Canis familiaris


Family Ursidae - bears

  • Black Bear  Ursus americanus floridanus


Family Procyonidae - raccoons, coatis, and allies

  • Raccoon  Procyon lotor elucus


Family Mustelidae - weasels, skunks, otters, and allies

  • River Otter  Lutra canadensis lataxina
  • Eastern Spotted Skunk  Spilogale putorius ambarvalis
  • Striped Skunk  Mephitis mephitis elongata


Family Felidae - cats

  • Florida Panther  Felis concolor coryi  -- Two sight records:  8 January 2007, animal ran in front of truck, seen by Rachel C. West; and 2006, swimming across Harney Pond Canal and walking on the dike, reported by Patrick J. Bohlen.
  • Bobcat  Lynx rufus floridanus
  • *House Cat Felis catus


Order Artiodactyla - even-toed ungulates

Family Suidae - swine

  • *Feral hog  Sus scrofa


Family Cervidae - deer, elk, moose, and allies

  • *Elk  Cervus canadensis
  • White-tail Deer  Odocoileus virginianus seminolus (?)


Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl


Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara


Barred Owl

Barred Owl


Brown Hoplo

Brown Hoplo


Pig Frog

Pig frog (Rana grylio), showing the diagnostic white line on the hind limb. Photo by Tom Bancroft.


Red Fox

Red Fox


White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer


Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes