South Florida Winter Weekend: Dec 11—15, 2013

A Relaxed and Easy Tour

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Fort Lauderdale
Tour Limit: 7
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (95.2 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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Brennan Mulrooney

Brennan Mulrooney was born and raised in San Diego, California. Growing up, his heart and mi...


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Wood Stork

Wood Stork— Photo: Michael O'Brien

Enjoy mild winter weather tracking down several species unique to South Florida, fantastic close range viewing opportunities, centered on one of the crown jewels of the National Park System, Everglades.

In early December most of the country is deep in winter's icy grasp, while the forecast for South Florida is most likely sunny with temperatures in the 70s. As if that weren't enough reason to visit, the "winter" birding in the region's hardwood hammocks, swamps, and world-famous wetlands is fantastic.

This weekend tour will focus on getting maximum enjoyment out of some of South Florida's marquis birding destinations. Beginning birders will appreciate the chance to study large dramatic waterbirds at close range (including the white morph of Great Blue Heron, Wood Stork, and Roseate Spoonbill), while the more seasoned participant will look forward to tracking down some of the region's specialties like Snail Kite, Short-tailed Hawk (much easier to see in winter), Limpkin, White-crowned Pigeon, and the increasingly rare Smooth-billed Ani.

We will spend one full day exploring the many wonderful destinations inside Everglades National Park, seeing its characteristic sawgrass prairies, hardwood hammocks, pinelands, mangrove swamps, and extensive mudflats. On another day we will visit a recent addition to the South Florida birding scene, the fabulous Wakodahatchee Wetlands, a man-made wetland ecosystem that functions as a natural filtration system for highly treated wastewater. This site has already attracted over 140 species of birds in its short history, and its convenient boardwalks often allow for uncommonly good looks at hard-to-see marsh birds. We will visit Key Biscayne and search the beautiful beaches and nearshore waters for Magnificent Frigatebird, Wilson's Plover, and a variety of other waterbirds. We will also spend some time in the greater Miami area tracking down some of the exotic species that now call it home such as White-winged Parakeet, Monk Parakeet, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common Myna, and Spot-breasted Oriole.

Good accommodations; easy terrain; moderately paced days with several easy walks on flat ground; generally mild weather.