Florida is the premier birding state
It seemed wherever I drove in Florida on a recent road trip, I saw a brown sign indicating it was on the Great Florida Birding Trail. This is not a surprise as Florida is the supreme state regarding sunshine and birds. I don’t think it is even debatable that the state it number one when it comes to the top birding destination in the country.
Florida has over 2,000 miles of shoreline, the Everglades and the Big Cypress in the south, and many beautiful rivers, lakes, swamps, and forests rich with bird life. You have herons, egrets, shore birds, gulls, birds of prey, songbirds, ducks, and many others. There are a whopping 510 birds on the state of Florida bird checklist.
The Great Florida Birding Trail
The Great Florida Birding Trail is a self-guided highway trail that links 515 different birding hot spots in the state of Florida. In the south I visited Fakahatchee Strand, Collier Seminole, and Corkscrew Swamp that made the list. In the west I visited Alligator Lake, Ichetucknee Springs, Crystal River, the Hillsborough River, and Weedon Island. Check out the list on the website linked above and see which spots you have visited or would like to visit.
While you will not find 510 bird pictures in this photo essay, you will see a decent amount as I traveled almost the whole length of the state in my two week road trip. I am not a professional birder, nor am I a professional photographer, but I have always enjoyed seeing and identifying birds while in the midst of an adventure. I do not have the patience to sit in one place for long to wait for a bird, but if I see one while I am hiking, canoeing, or skiing, I will stop and check them out and try to capture on camera.
When you hit the Florida highways, take a look for the brown sign. You will know you are nearing an outdoor place filled with some kind of adventure and a lot of interesting birds. If I misidentified any species, please let me know in the comment section.
Collier-Seminole may be the best birding spot of all the places I visited, but I hiked the adventure trail and only saw this red-shouldered hawk. If you kayak into the 10,000 Islands or into the Everglades, you will see tons of birds.
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