Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Florida Birds......The Feathered Kind

usbackroads information--Florida Birds

I started bird watching during my college years exploring the few remaining salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay Area.  I did develop a fondness for salt marshes, freshwater marshes and swamps.  Of course, these days they are all called wetlands.

When I moved to Idaho I still roamed the swamps of north Idaho:

It was about this time that I started to get dogs to help with bird watching.  They pointed out all sorts of interesting birds, even those hiding in wheat fields.

Florida has a lot of wetlands.  Almost a third of the state is public land and most of that is one foot under water.  So a swamp.

Knowing this I packed my image stablilized binoculars and a handy bird guide on the IPAD.

The east coast of the United States during the past two years have had ANYBODY that could migrating to Florida for the winter.  Of course, the birds have been doing this for thousands of years. If you head to Florida in the winter, bring your binoculars there will be plenty of birds to greet you.

Florida is just loaded with birds in winter.  You can bird watch in a county park, deep in the suburbs, or even from your motel room balcony.  This fellow killed a squirrel on the motel grounds and flew into a tree to skin and eat his breakfast.  He did eat the tail whole.


I did turn on the IPAD to identify him as a Broad-Shouldered Hawk.  A new species for me.  So I used my IPAD to "tweet" a Broad-Shouldered Hawk call to him.  He was NOT impressed.  Looked around looking for the "trespasser" and glared at me for good measure.  He then left for another tree to eat his breakfast in peace.

Terry, Susie and I did take a walk at a local county park. There was a boardwalk overlooking part of the swamp.  As we looked back on the marsh, a couple pointed out a 14 foot alligator hidden just beyond the rushes.  However, what caught my attention was an American Bittern hidden in the "weeds"  Can you spot him?  Where is my pointing dog to point him out!!

Yep, he is right in the middle of the picture.  So this is him when he comes out in the open.  He is, however, still thinking about doing that camo thing.

From the same spot there were plenty of new and wonderful birds to view.

I highly recommend a bird guide on a tablet.  Field guide books are finished.  There are plenty of field guides for tablets that are much, much better than using a standard book.  For example, you can play bird calls, look for similar birds, and easily search by location and habitat.  I use the IBIRD guide, but there are other guides out there.  Read the reviews and pick the one that works best for you.  The Birding Natural field guides are pretty much mature and better than those on other topics. At this point, buy the field guide for the tablet and not a paper book.  You will not regret making the change.

As noted before ( are the way to go for bird watching binoculars.

Here is another review of them:

If your into the natural world.  Get the binoculars and the field guides for the tablet.  What are you waiting for??  It is the 21st century!!  Here are Terry and Susie along the trail.  Notice that Terry is wearing those fancy binoculars.

As noted before the place to find great places to explore are the birding trails for the individual states:

For Florida follow this link:

Florida is really for the birds in winter.  It is a lot more fun than reading those funny "adult" subject billboards found along Florida highways.

Of course, some people head to Florida to get that heartbeat rate up a bit.  As the signs warn there are plenty of these guys laying around the best birding sites.  More pictures on them soon.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Florida is an incredible place for birding. There are so many species that you'll find there that you'll find nowhere else in the country. You just have to time your trip right.