Winter Florida Birding Workshop: Jan 25—30, 2016

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

Departs: Orlando
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (80 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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Louise Zemaitis

Louise Zemaitis is an artist and naturalist living in Cape May, New Jersey where she is a po...


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Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret— Photo: Michael O’Brien

A short, workshop-style tour focusing on close study of birds and not on amassing a large species list; field sessions augmented by short evening lectures.

Florida has long been a famous birding destination. Although much of the attention often goes, justifiably, to South Florida, the sheer number of birds wintering in Central Florida makes it an equally exciting destination and the perfect place to hold a birding workshop.

Focusing most of our efforts in a relatively small area between Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Merritt Island, we’ll explore the wide variety of habitats that make this area one of the “birdiest” regions of the country. Several wetland reserves hold high concentrations of waterfowl and herons, an always-interesting variety of secretive marsh birds, and innumerable small passerines—many of them remarkably approachable. Coastal lagoons, particularly around Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, frequently hold large numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds offering excellent opportunities for study.

Limpkin

Limpkin— Photo: Michael O’Brien

And it will be a particular treat to visit Daytona Beach to witness one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in all of the Southeast: the evening fly-in of staggering numbers of gulls. Not only is this a spectacular sight, it is also ripe with learning opportunities for sorting out these often confusing species, and perhaps the chance to find a rarity or two. Of course, Florida is well-known for its specialty birds, and, during our travels, we are likely to come across Limpkin, Snail Kite, and the Florida-endemic Florida Scrub-Jay.

Based out of Titusville, our activities will focus on studying and learning about various groups of birds rather than attempting to amass a large species list. Field sessions will include time in the unique habitats that promise exposure to different families of birds—waterfowl, herons, shorebirds, gulls, warblers, and more—while focusing on improving our birding skills through the use of field guides, field marks, and vocalizations. Our time outside will be complemented by evening lectures and discussions, heavily illustrated with photos.

We emphasize that this workshop presents a special opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about birds, and that it will prove valuable for beginning birders as well as more experienced observers.

A relaxed-paced trip to bird-rich areas; extended periods of time viewing one bird or group of birds; easy walking and travel conditions; pleasant weather expected.