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Razorbill sightings thrill Florida bird watchers

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 07:29 PM
GAINESVILLE -

Razorbill sightings thrill bird watchers

Bird watchers are flocking to catch a glimpse of cold-weather birds making a rare South Florida appearance.

Razorbills are black-and-white birds with penguin-like features. They're normally spotted in the North Atlantic, but hundreds have flown into Palm Beach County since early December.

Marshall Iliff of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells The Palm Beach Post that razorbills have been spotted in Florida about a dozen times in the past, but usually only one at a time and never in the large flocks seen recently.

It's not clear why the birds have flown so far south. Razorbills also have been spotted in Miami Beach, the Florida Keys and Florida's Panhandle.

State wildlife officials are planning necropsies on dead razorbills that have washed ashore.

FHP trooper sues over data searches

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper who arrested a Miami police officer clocked going 120 mph on Florida's Turnpike says other law enforcement officers illegally accessed her personal information to intimidate her.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Trooper Donna Watts filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Watts says 88 officers illegally accessed her personal information more than 200 times.

Watts says officers then made threatening calls to her home, stopped their vehicles in front of her driveway and played pranks, such as sending pizza deliveries to her house.

Watts' October 2011 arrest of off-duty Miami Police Officer Fausto Lopez made national news. Lopez was fired in September after an internal investigation found that he showed a pattern of reckless speeding.

Groundwater levels studied in 9 counties

North Florida's two water management districts are studying ways to restore and maintain groundwater levels by using reclaimed water or surface water from rivers. .

The Gainesville Sun reports that the North Florida Aquifer Replenishment Initiative is studying the northeastern area of the Suwannee district and the northern area of the St. Johns district.

The study includes all or part of Alachua, Union, Bradford, Hamilton, Columbia, Putnam, Duval, Clay and Nassau counties.

Much of the area lies in a water resource caution area, meaning supplies are not projected to meet future needs.

Studies to gather more data on the causes of depleted aquifer levels and springs flow are continuing as the districts investigate ways to replenish the aquifer.

From wire reports

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