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.
Weedon Island Preserve-
Hillsborough River State Park –
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary –
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve –
Collier-Seminole State Park –
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.
Alligator Lake Recreation Area –
Ichetucknee River State Park –
Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge –
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so many kinds of birds. I agree that Florida is the premier birding state! 😀
ben recently posted..Grand Canyon Air Tour – A Marvelous Way to See the Sights
Florida is definitely number one for birds.
I think looking for birds so enhances any trip outside. John feels lost without binoculars and I feel lost without a camera. Of course I would really like a 150-500 mm lens so I could get some great close-ups.
What a great lot of birds you saw. I especially love the pelicans.
Leigh recently posted..Hiking the Nokomis Trail, Lake Superior Provincial Park
Pelicans perched on a sign in the water captures the spirit of Florida in my opinion. Glad you liked them. I would like a better zoom myself.
Omg! so many kinds. You’ve given me a reason to visit Florida.
Jeff recently posted..Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Reviews
It is a different side of Florida from the beaches, retirement communities, and theme parks.
Great shots! I find it amusing that I’m going to “tweet” your bird photos. 😛
I hope people don’t find it a fowl tweet 🙂 One pun deserves a worse one.
This is an impressive two-week roadtrip. For someone who says he’s not a birder it sure seems that way to me.
Trips By Lance recently posted..48 Hours in New Orleans on NBA Road Trip
I do enjoy seeing birds, but definitely an amateur at identification. I can get the main ones right, but it gets difficult with the sparrows and warblers.
def thought that osprey was eating another bird until i read the caption and saw it was a fish. so many emotions in such a short amount of time.
the lazy travelers recently posted..no travel required: #frifotos
Ospreys and bald eagles eat fish, but falcons and hawks will eat other birds.
What lovely captures of these beautiful birds–except for the vultures. Those things creep me out.
Leah recently posted..Where should I go for my Big Four-Oh?
Yep, saw a lot of vultures driving today from Dallas to San Antonio.
You always take such great wildlife photos, Ted! I used to have no real interest in birds, until I went to Africa. Now I have such a great appreciation for their beauty, which is often overlooked.
Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Ways to Live in the Present Moment.
Thanks Erin. I do the best I can with the tools I have. One of these days I am going to get a real camera with a zoom and take better pictures. Until that day, this is it 🙂
I caught the birding bug in Costa Rica. Like you I’m still fairly amateur compared to some of the diehard birders out there but I certainly enjoy seeing them outside. I’m lucky to have a great birding area her in coastal Virginia as well as when visiting family in Tampa
Brianna recently posted..The wild side of central Florida
I have been to Costa Rica and have enjoyed the birds there as well as Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Guyana is an incredible birding place, but Florida stacks up well with any place in the world.