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#ABArare – Thick-billed Vireo – Florida

On August 23, Alberto Hernandez and Luis Gles discovered an ABA Code 4 Thick-billed Vireo at Bill Baggs State Park in Miami-Dade, Florida.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (open 8 am to sundown; $4 entrance fee for single-occupant vehicle, $8 for vehicles with 2-8 occupants) is located at the southern end of Key Biscayne. To get here from Miami, take the Rickenbacker Causeway (State Road 913) from the southern end of I-95. It becomes Crandon Blvd on Key Biscayne. Continue on to its end at the park. This bird was seen near the helicopter pad.

Thick-billed Vireo is a resident in the Bahamas, Caicos Islands, Tortue Island off of Haiti, Hispaniola, the Cayman Islands, at Isla de Providencia and on St. Catalina Island in the western Caribbean, and recently (1989) on Key Paredón in Cuba (ABA Checklist, Seventh Edition, Pranty et al.).  In  Florida it is casual, with all records representing the brownish race T. c. crassirostris. Notably, the first record for the ABA Area was of three photographed birds from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park from 9 September – 26 October 1989.

Thick-billed Vireo is closely related to 8 other scrub-dwelling vireos including White-eyed of which it is thought to be most closely related and at times considered as a conspecific (Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 15).