USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version



Published in: Witmer, G. W., W. C. Pitt, and K. A. Fagerstone, editors. 2007. Managing vertebrate invasive species: proceedings of an international symposium. USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Also available online at


Florida has a mild climate, diverse natural habitats, and a growing, mobile human population. Florida also hosts thousands of species of introduced plants, fish, and wildlife. A recent compilation lists 196 non-native bird species, comprising 15 orders, which have occurred in Florida. The list includes 72 species of parrots and parakeets (psittaciformes), 51 passerines, and 22 species of waterfowl (anseriformes). First sightings of newly introduced bird species in Florida increased rapidly through the 1980s, but numbers of new species detected appear to have subsided since then. Sources of introductions are often not reported, but of those that are known, most derive from intentional releases (e.g., for hunting) or escapes from private collections, parks, or zoos. Based on this list and other sources within the state, we identified 14 non-native bird species now considered to be established in Florida. We review those species in particular, and discuss impacts that they are having. We use Christmas Bird Count data to examine geographic and temporal patterns of non-native bird occurrence within the state. We identify additional non-native bird species that are emerging as potentially serious management problems in Florida, and we recommend actions for efficient, effective management of non-native bird issues.