Spring in Florida 2023

Specialties & Migration

April 22 – May 01, 2023

Tour Length: 10 days
Est. Spaces Left: Available

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: $3775/person
Single Supplement: + $700
Deposit: $500

Max Group Size

7 (1 leader)

Pace

Relaxed ; Short walks with optional longer for Flamingo; 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

Gallery

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 and Bachman’s Sparrow; Sooty, Roseate & Bridled Terns; Brown & Black (uncommon) Noddy; Masked, Brown & Red-footed (rare) Boobies; American Flamingo (uncommon); countable exotics such as Egyptian Goose, Gray-headed Swamphen, White-winged and Nanday Parakeets, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common Myna, and Spot-breasted Oriole. Caribbean rarities, e.g., Bahama Mockingbird and others can sometimes be found.

Top Mammals

West Indian Manatee, Key West Deer

Other Attractions

Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys, unique geology and botany, butterflies

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 first day to breakfast on last day
guide, transportation,entry fees & permits, taxes & tips (tips to guide optional)

Excluded

Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, other personal expenses.

Habitats Covered

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

Expected Climate

Hot & humid in most places; can be cool on boat trip to 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/wind breaker
Shorts
T-shirts
Swimsuit
Medium-weight jacket
PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping

Recommended Reading

  • National Geographic Field Guide to The Birds of North America (7th Edition) Jon Dunn, et. al. 2017, National Geographic Society