Birding South Florida and the Keys
South Florida is one of those places that US birders often dream of visiting. The area is home to many species that are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere in the country, and has become famous for its remarkable concentrations of colorful songbirds during spring migration. A trip here is a must for anyone who is fascinated by visible migration, who wants a taste of birding in an exotic locale without having to travel abroad, or who aims to complete their ABA Area life list.
We time our tour during the height of spring migration, when the area’s avifauna is supplemented by throngs of migrants returning to their breeding grounds throughout eastern North America. Over the course of the week, we aim to maximize the number of species we find by visiting a diverse selection of habitats, including pine rocklands, prairies, cypress swamps, tropical hardwood hammocks, and mangrove swamps. Many of these habitat types are rare, occurring in the US only in South Florida, and are the only places to find South Floridian specialties such as Snail Kite, White-crowned Pigeon, and Mangrove Cuckoo.
A highlight of our South Florida tour is a boat trip to the Dry Tortugas, a set of small keys that is home to the only breeding populations of Magnificent Frigatebird, Masked Booby, Sooty Tern, and Brown Noddy in the contiguous United States. The islands are famous for attracting high concentrations of wood-warblers and other songbirds during spring migration. Those who are historically inclined might also know them as the site of Fort Jefferson, one of the United States’ largest historic fortresses. We spend hours here birding in and around Fort Jefferson, feeling dazzled by the incredible array of birds surrounding us and taking in the site’s history. The ferry ride to and from the islands additionally presents us the exciting opportunity to search for pelagic species, such as Audubon's Shearwater, and, there is always a possibility that we will encounter vagrants from the Caribbean islands.
More details about this trip:
Pricing: $2,290 USD, or £1,770 for 7 Days and 6 Nights
Group Size: Price is based on a group size of 5 to 8 participants.
Upcoming 2021 Dates:
April 7 to 13
Masked Booby, Limpkin, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Common Ground Dove, Barred Owl, Swallow-tailed Kite, Snail Kite, Sooty Tern, Brown Noddy, White-crowned Pigeon, Mangrove Cuckoo, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, Florida Scrub-Jay, Gray Kingbird, Black-whiskered Vireo, Red-whiskered Bulbul, White-winged Parakeet, Yellow-throated Warbler, Bachman’s Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Painted Bunting, Spot-breasted Oriole
West Indian Manatee, Key Deer
We visit Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area, Everglades National Park, take a boat trip to Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park, drive the Overseas Highway through the Keys…you will see many butterfly species, including White Peacock, Zebra Heliconian, Julia Heliconian and Ruddy Daggerwing.
Birding South Florida and the Keys with David Trently: April 7 to 13