Birding Hotspots

Birdwatcher's Paradise

Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

Florida is a special place, a birder's paradise that provides year-round birdwatching opportunities. Our mild climate, geographic location and diverse habitats attract hundreds of bird species. More than 470 species occur here, including such sought-after finds as the rare Florida burrowing owl, Florida scrub-jay, snail kite and a wealth of wading birds.
Whenever you visit, Florida birding has something to offer. Some species, like limpkins, occur here year-round, while others, like swallow-tailed kites and painted buntings come to Florida to raise their young in spring and summer. Other migratory species only pause to rest and feed before or after crossing the Gulf of Mexico in October and April.

Getting Started

Female Snailkite
Florida Snail Kite

These sites represent some of the top birding spots in Florida. They were selected for their easy access and dependable birding. They are but a small sampling of the parks, preserves and natural areas where visitors can see the state's exceptional birdlife. The kind of birds you will see depends on the time of day and year, location and climate.

Use this information to visit the many beautiful and unique natural areas in Florida that provide shelter and sustenance to hundreds of bird species. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead before traveling to sites.

Birding Tips

  • Most birding sites listed in this guide offer free entry or have minimal entrance fees.
  • The sites' visitors centers offer a wealth of information on the property, and some offer guided tours.
  • Visiting hours can vary; always call ahead.
  • Take along water, sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Birding can be more rewarding with a birdwatching guide, available at most book stores.

Looking for more?

burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl

Try the Great Florida Birding Trail, a 2,000-mile driving tour of more than 400 birding locations. From beaches to lost-in-time wetlands, explore Florida's diverse habitat, wildlife and local flavor.

To help you keep track of this spectacular range of birdlife, be sure to pick up a Checklist of Florida's Birds.

FWC Facts:
Spring and summer are the best times to listen for the elusive 5-inch Bachman's sparrow. Their song begins with a loud, clear whistle followed by an extended trill.

Learn More at AskFWC