A snow bird has landed in the tropics before tourist season and has fans flocking to this island off Miami with their binoculars and cameras.
The northern wheatear, a small thrush, was spotted last week at Bill Baggs State Park. Not since 1951, when record-keeping began, has the bird been this far south in the United States. There were only five previous sightings in Florida, all upstate and none since 1982, according to P. William Smith, record keeper for the Florida Ornithological Society.
Elizabeth Carter, a park staffer, discovered the bird. "I saw a patch of white on the rump, and it wasn't anything I knew, so I looked in my bird book," Carter said.
The picture was unmistakable, but the bird belongs in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.