Spring in Florida 2023

Specialties & Migration

April 22 – May 01, 2023

Tour Length: 10 days
Est. Spaces Left: Waiting list!

Florida is unique among the 50 states with its geology, geography, flora, and fauna offering a fascinating mix of north and south, with a flavor of the Caribbean, and a major flyway for Neotropical migrants. This short and relaxed tour combs through Southern Florida’s highlights with visits to the world-famous Everglades, the beautiful Keys, the central pine barrens, and the remote Dry Tortugas. The Everglades are a one-of-kind natural wonder among southern Florida’s many wild treasures and the Keys offer spectacular beaches, plus unique hardwood hammocks home to numerous bird specialties. We will also spend a day in the Dry Tortugas amidst spectacular seabirds and we will witness the heartbeat of Spring migration here.
Even within the greater Miami area nature still survives and thrives among burgeoning development and we will visit local migrant hotspots and seek some of the ABA countable exotic species (always a fun and interesting venture).

Tour Leaders

Kip Miller

Focus

Birds, Photography, Wildlife

Price

Double Accommodation: $3975/person
Single Supplement: + $750
Deposit: $500

Max Group Size

7 (1 leader)

Pace

Relaxed; Short walks with optional longer walks; some longer drives

Future Departures

April 23, 2024

Tour Descriptions

Southern Florida harbors a large number of bird specialties, species that are absent or difficult to find in other parts of the ABA area, including Magnificent Frigatebird, Masked Booby, Sooty Tern, Brown Noddy, “Great White” Heron, Short-tailed Hawk, Snail and Swallow-tailed Kites, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, Mangrove Cuckoo, Antillean Nighthawk, White-crowned Pigeon, Florida Scrub-Jay, Gray Kingbird, Black-whiskered Vireo, “Golden” Yellow Warbler, and “Cape Sable” Seaside Sparrow. During this tour, we will stand excellent chances of seeing all south Florida specialties plus a wide variety of neotropical migrants with excellent photo opportunities of the myriad waterbirds and shorebirds.

The warm, tropical climate of the region also supports populations of many exotic and feral species, some of which are countable on the ABA list, including Gray-headed Swamphen, Monk and White-winged Parakeets, Nanday Parakeet, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common Myna, and Spot-breasted Oriole. We will spend some time adding these to our list and it is always fun to see what else is flying around the Miami area.

With luck one or two strays from the Caribbean could be present and we will make a special effort to find these, rare possibilities could include La Sagra’s Flycatcher, Bahama Mockingbird, Thick-billed Vireo, Bananaquit, and Western Spindalis, but these species are only sporadically present.

Locations

More Details

Trip Highlights

Top Birds

Short-tailed Hawk; Snail Kite; Mangrove Cuckoo; White-crowned Pigeon; Antillean Nighthawk; Gray Kingbird; Black-whiskered Vireo; the endemic Florida Scrub-Jay & rare Shiny Cowbird; Red-cockaded Woodpecker; Brown-headed Nuthatch & Bachman’s Sparrow; Sooty, Roseate & Bridled Terns; Brown & Black (uncommon) Noddies; Masked & Brown Boobies; American Flamingo (uncommon); countable exotics, such as Egyptian Goose, Gray-headed Swamphen, White-winged & Nanday Parakeets; Red-whiskered Bulbul; Common Myna & Spot-breasted Oriole; a plethora of migrant shorebirds, warblers, thrushes, vireos, buntings & tanagers; Caribbean rarities, e.g., Bahama Mockingbird and others can sometimes be found.

Top Mammals

Bobcat; West Indian Manatee; Key West Deer

Other Attractions

Dry Tortugas National Park & Historic Fort Jefferson; Key West; Everglades National Park; rare subtropical landscapes and habitats

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Miami International Airport at 4:00 PM

Accommodations

Comfortable 2 – 3 star hotels

Included

From Miami International Airport, 9 nights lodging, all meals from dinner on the first day to breakfast on last day guide, transportation, entry fees & permits, taxes.

Excluded

Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, other personal expenses.

Habitats Covered

Marshlands & swamps; pine woodlands; hardwood hammocks; coast & island habitats.

Expected Climate

Hot & humid in most places; can be cool on the boat trip to the Dry Tortugas.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

Credit cards/cash; Binoculars; Scope and tripod (optional); Sunglasses and sunscreen; Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses; Water bottle; Small umbrella; Small day pack/fanny pack; Small flashlight; Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater); Itch relief cream; Lip screen/balm; Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems; OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal); Toiletries; Small alarm clock; Field guides; Hiking Boots/Shoes; Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals; Light-weight long pants; Light-weight long-sleeved shirts; Hat with brim/visor; Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat; Rain jacket/windbreaker; Shorts; T-shirts; Swimsuit; Medium-weight jacket; PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping