Wildside Weekender

FLORIDA: Sandhill Crane Colts & Nesting Birds

JLW Florida Wildside Weekender (72)


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2024 :: April 19 - April 22
2025 :: April 18 - April 21



From: $2,299 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Orlando, FL (MCO)


3-5 Participants


2024: 5 Spaces Available


This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of FLORIDA: Sandhill Crane Colts & Nesting Birds

  • Hands-on photo instruction for wildlife and landscape photography with Nikon Professional Jennifer Leigh Warner
  • Photograph Central Florida’s endangered bird species such as Sandhill Cranes and Florida Scrub Jay
  • Photograph nesting birds such as Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets and Wood Stork

Description of FLORIDA: Sandhill Crane Colts & Nesting Birds

Spring time in Florida is a truly special time. Birds nest early in the southeast so by mid-April chicks have arrived and parents are busy tending to their nests. Sandhill Cranes in Florida do not migrate so this is one of the only places in the lower 48 to see Sandhill Crane colts. These yellowish orange fluff balls don’t stay small for very long, so catching a glimpse of these endangered subspecies is a real treat.

Length of Tour


Brief Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Orlando, Florida travel to hotel in Titusville

Day 2 – Photograph in Merritt Islands National Wildlife Refuge evening in Orlando Wetlands Park

Day 3 – Morning at Orlando Wetlands Park evening at Merritt Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Day 4 – Morning at Orlando Wetlands Park, head back to Orlando for afternoon flights home.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Orlando and head to Titusville to check into the hotel.
We will meet this evening for dinner and a meet and greet. Here we will also discuss the coming weekend, photography strategies, logistics, and expectations.

Day 2 – We will head out for sunrise at Merritt Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This park is home to one of the only Florida Scrub Jay breeding populations. Merritt Island consists of 140,000 acres; the refuge provides a wide variety of habitats: coastal dunes, saltwater marshes, managed impoundments, scrub, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks. These habitats provide habitat for more than 1,500 species of plants and animals and 15 federally listed species.

In the afternoon we will head over to Orlando Wetlands Park. This park is home to many nesting birds including, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Wood Stork as well as Sandhill Cranes.

Day 3 – Today we will start our morning at the Orlando Wetlands Park. We will continue to photograph nesting birds while looking for Sandhill Crane colts.

In the afternoon we will head back to Merritt Islands National Wildlife Refuge for more bird photography. Perhaps we will come across a Bobcat, American Alligator or a Nine-banded Armadillo that lives within the refuge.

Day 4 – Return Home.
We will spend one last morning photographing in the Orlando Wetlands Park before heading back to the Orlando International Airport for your afternoon flights.


Cost is $2,299 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Orlando, FL (Airport code MCO.
This trip ends in same as arrival city (Airport code ).

This tour price does not include meals, beverages, tips, or items of a personal nature.

The tour cost does include lodging, transportation to and from Orlando International Airport, entrance fees/permit fees, and


Single Supplement

If a single hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $225 will be assessed.

NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.


Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.


Deposit Requirements

A $750 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

This trip includes standard hotels.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Easy hiking, it is Florida, there might be an elevation gain of 8′ at some point!

You want to have a good selection of lenses with you on this trip.

  • Telephoto lens – 400 mm or larger for wildlife (I use the Nikon 200-500 mm)
  • A wide-angle lens for environmental and landscape images
  • A tripod will be a must for photographing sunrise or sunset
  • The weather along the coast can get quite chilly in the mornings. Make sure you are bringing a coat and hat.
  • Waterproof hiking boots. We will be hiking along the beach and your feet can get very wet.

The cost of the tour does not include meals, although we will be eating meals together.

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map