Florida is a big panhandle that juts out of the southeastern most part of the North American Continent. Northern Florida blends in with the rest of the southeastern States. Central Florida is a place of transition. And South Florida has its own climate and is quite different. We will visit both Central and South Florida on this agenda.
Florida borders the Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Gulf of Mexico on the West. Temperatures can be surprisingly cool during a cold snap (still no snow!) and will probably require a light jacket. But by the time we reach South Florida you will forget it is winter. Temperatures near 80 degrees might even make you feel hot!
The habitats in Florida are varied. This State enjoys a rich density of birdlife even in the winter months. According to eBird more than 350 species of birds have been recorded just in the last week of January. (eBird.org 1900-2014 4th wk of January as of June 2015).
The mild temperatures and huge number of wintering birds in Florida make it a prime destination for any birder. A few of the species we’ll be looking for include Mottled Duck, Wood Stork, Magnificent Frigatebird, Anhinga, American Bittern, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Snail Kite, Bald Eagle, Short-tailed Hawk, Purple Swamphen, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, Wilson’s Plover, Snowy Plover, Piping Plover, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Skimmer, Common Ground-Dove, Crested Caracara, Nanday Parakeet, Monk Parakeet, Florida Scrub-Jay, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Painted Bunting, and Boat-tailed Grackle. This will be an exciting trip!