Florida Winter Birding Break

Trip Description

Brief Itinerary

South Florida in the winter is a great time to go birding and to enjoy the wildlife in this relatively warm area of the country. The temperature usually reaches into the 70’s each day. A number of year-round species will be new for most North American birders including Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrow, Snail Kite, Short-tailed
Hawk, Purple Gallinule, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, and Pine Warbler. The Everglades, pine forests, prairies, cypress and mangrove swamps will produce a great
variety of species.

This trip covers the key birding sites around Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale. The trip includes Everglades National Park (Shark Valley), Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and many more excellent sites, and the trip covers all key habitats including wet prairie, pine flatwoods, palmetto palm forest and more.

Starting in the pine/palmetto palm forest for Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Bachman’s Sparrow, we will proceed to cypress swamp and marsh at the Corkscrew Swamp Audubon Sanctuary and Everglades National Park for
warblers, herons, egrets, Snail Kites and a few wintering sparrows. While some of the specialties of southern Florida will be hard to find in winter, White-crowned Pigeon, and if we are lucky, Mangrove Cuckoo, will be
possible – but Caribbean strays often find their way to the area at that time of year and we will chase any reported species that we can easily get to. Besides a possibility for winter rarities, Fort Lauderdale birding also offers the opportunity to search for some exotic parrots, Spot-breasted Oriole, Red-whiskered Bulbul and Common Myna, which have become naturalized and in some cases
“countable.”

Day 1: Flights arrive into Fort Myers airport. Afternoon and/or evening birding for those who arrive early enough.

Day 2: Birding and wildlife watching at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Day 3: Birding all day at three sites: Oscar Scherer State Park, Myakka River State Park, and Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area.

Day 4: Birding at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary; afternoon birding at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park. Transfer to Fort Lauderdale.

Day 5: Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Green Cay Wetlands in the morning. Afternoon return to Fort Myers area.

Day 6: More birding around Fort Myers.

Day 7: Bird in morning for anything we may have missed in the Fort Myers area. Flights out in the afternoon from Fort Myers.

 

More details about this trip:

Detailed Itinerary

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