Flying penguins in Florida???

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I get to the City Pier and see my first razorbill as it pops up from under the pier.

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He was chasing after the little minnows.

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Down again after that last bite.

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Giving me the eye.

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All wet.

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All morning they kept feeding around the pier.

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After an hour, they went cruising down the beach. We (a big group of photogs) followed them.

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Safety in numbers?

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Bye, bye.

The first post of a razorbill sighting in Florida was around 12/7. By 12/14, razorbills had been seen at the piers at Anna Maria Island, which is about an hour south of me. Soon the Florida bird forums were flooded with sightings of them all over Florida including the gulf coast. With it being right before Christmas and me working in retail, I could not get down there before leaving for Atlanta to spend the holidays with the in-laws. We drove back from Atlanta late Wednesday night and I immediately packed up to drive down early the next morning to find them. Hubby had to go to work and was like “Why don’t you sleep in?”. I said “No way, I gotta go find those razorbills.” Luckily, they were still hanging around and may still be there until spring.

This is a rare bird in Florida. Only 14 sightings on the east coast in the history of recording bird sights. No one knows the real reason they came this far. They usually spend their summers no more south than North Carolina. Some wonder if hurricane Sandy messed up their feeding grounds and they headed farther south for food. But to be on the west coast, they had to swim down around the keys and back up the gulf. People are worried about how they will make it back home. Do they know to go back south the way they came or are they going to try to go north up to the panhandle and get stuck there in the winter? They usually don’t migrate over land so it’s not known if they will fly across.

The sightings of this bird rare to Florida has even made the local news Razor bill article.

I spent about 3 hours watching a small group of razorbills swim around the two piers there along with a large group of photographers and bird watchers. As I was leaving, I heard a young girl yell “Look at the penguins. I didn’t think there were penguins in Florida.”

Camera Critters

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