The Real Snowbirds of South Florida: Using Citizen Science to Assess the Ranges of South Florida's Overwintering Birdsh Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Levine, Alexander V


  • The overwintering ranges of North American bird populations are shifting and the winter ranges of south Florida’s landbirds remain understudied. Expert-drawn range maps used for scientific studies and environmental public policy could therefore be depicting inaccurate ranges for many migratory birds. This study used citizen science data from eBird (2001–2017) to evaluate patterns in overwintering avian species richness and identify discrepanciesin expert-drawn species range maps for overwintering passerines in south Florida. Most of Florida’s overwintering bird species were sighted in south Florida. Of the species observed there between 2001 and 2017, 66% had range map discrepancies. Fifteen target species were examined in the present study and fourteen of them were sighted in south Florida throughout the winter. None of these were depicted on range maps as overwinterers. These results showed that current expert-drawn range maps likely misrepresent the current winter ranges of passerine species in south Florida.

publication date

  • June 27, 2018


  • Citizen Science
  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Florida
  • Migration
  • Ornithology
  • Overwintering
  • Range Maps

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)