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Central Florida Backyard Bird Identification

The following are birds that you might see in a Central Florida backyard. This is not a comprehensive list, but hopefully it will help you identify the visitors to your yard and the “customers” at your feeders.

  • American Avocet

    I’m yet another bird that visits Florida during the wintertime.  I have a shape similar to a Black-necked Stilt, but I don’t have a black head and my beak curves up a little bit.  If you find me in late summer or early spring, you might find that my head and neck are pink, which is my breeding plumage.

  • American Bittern

    I live in Florida year-round, but I’m easier to find in the winter months when the vegetation dies back to reveal my location.  I stand very still for long periods of time, then stalk my prey very slowly.  Herman once joked that it wouldn’t be good to watch a video of me in slow motion!

  • American Coot

    I migrate to Florida in the wintertime. You’ll find us in large flocks in marshy areas. We like to splash as we perfect the art of running on water!

  • American Kestrel

    I’m a colorful little falcon.  Look for me year-round in Florida.  Keep an eye out for me on telephone wires.  I’m also fond of tall treetops!

  • American Oystercatcher

    I’m one of the more animated birds along Florida’s coasts.  You’ll hear me calling as I fly in, and with my bright orange beak, I’m hard to confuse with other shorebirds.

  • American Robin

    I’m supposed to symbolize springtime, but I’m only in Florida during the winters. Look for my well-known red tummy. Sometimes you’ll hear me fly overhead, but I don’t always land to say hello. I’m not a big fan of feeders, thanks – I prefer my insects.

  • American Wigeon (Male)

    Yep, I’m yet another duck that visits Florida in the wintertime!  Look for my bluish beak with black tip, or for the white crown of my head.  In good light my head appears to have a dark green patch.

  • Anhinga

    You’ll find me sunning myself on the water.  My call sounds like a groan.  I’m not the most elegant flier, but I’m fun to watch when I go fishing. The fish that I eat are bigger than my head.

  • Bald Eagle

    You can find America’s symbol of freedom throughout Florida, especially in the wintertime.  We nest in Florida.   Our nests are huge, deep enough that we can hunker down with our babies to protect them.  We nest in late winter and our babies fledge in the spring.

  • Baltimore Oriole (Female)

    While I’m not as brightly colored as my orange male counterpart, my yellow feathers and black face should help you easily identify me.  I pass through Florida during spring and fall migration.  If you have fruit trees (orange, mulberry, etc.), watch for me there, because I love to drink the nectar!

  • Barn Swallow

    Like most swallows, I’m a tiny bird that flies around really fast.  Unlike a Tree Swallow, I have brown on my chin and underside.

  • Barred Owl

    Who? Who? You’ll hear me most often at night, and sometimes during the day (I’m the owl that you’re most likely to see during the day.) I like to hide in tall trees while I search for my prey.

  • Belted Kingfisher

    I’m one of the first winter migrants to return to Florida in the late summer.  My call in the wetlands is distinctive, and you’ll almost certainly hear me before you see me.  My bright blue colors are hard to miss!

  • Black Skimmer

    You can find me along the beaches and some of Florida’s lakes during the summer.  Some of us are year-round residents.  Our call is a sharp “bark.”  We are unusual birds because our lower beak mandible is longer than the top mandible.  We use our beak to “skim” over the water and catch fish.

  • Black Vulture

    I’m not the prettiest bird in the world, but I serve a useful purpose.  I clean up by eating dead animals and carrion, thereby preventing the spread of bacteria.  My face is featherless so that bacteria doesn’t build up on me.  Don’t confuse me with my brother, the Turkey Vulture, who has a red face.

  • Black-and-white Warbler

    Like most warblers, I visit Florida in the wintertime. Some people say my call sounds like a squeaky wheel. I’m one of the only warblers that likes to hang out upside down, often on the trunk of your tree.

  • Black-bellied Plover

    Despite my name, you may see me without a black belly.  I hang out on Florida’s beaches during the winter, when my feathers are drab and brown-spotted.  In the spring I get my pretty black face and belly.

  • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

    You’ll find me in marshy areas. I have a fun whistling call that you won’t be able to miss. If you try to photograph me, have fun, because I like to fly away!

  • Black-crowned Night-Heron

    Find me around lakes and marshy areas.  Like my name suggests, I’m most active in the evenings and at night.  Look for my dark head and red eye to distinguish me from other herons.  You can find me year-round in Florida.

  • Black-necked Stilt

    Look for my exceptionally long legs in marshy areas. Don’t try to get too close. I will definitely run.

  • Blackpoll Warbler

    I’m one of the many warblers that passes through the Sunshine State during spring and fall migration.  Look for my black and white colors high in the trees!

  • Blue Jay

    I’m a backyard bully. I run little birds away from the feeder in order to get more food for myself. My call sounds like ‘Jay, Jay!’ and it sometimes makes little birds mistake me for a hawk. They scatter, leaving more food for me!

  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

    I’m a tiny grey bird and I almost never sit still. Instead of eating your seed at feeders, I prefer to find my own insects, thank you very much. Look for me dodging in and out of trees and shrubs. I’m in Florida year-round, but I’m much easier to find in winter, when my northern buddies come to visit.

  • Blue-headed Vireo

    I’m a little gray and white bird that visits Florida in the wintertime.  You might mistake me for a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher or a Ruby-crowned Kinglet if you don’t see me up close.  Look for my white eye rings to identify me!

  • Blue-Winged Teal (Female)

    I’m a small duck that comes to Florida in the wintertime.  I’m one of the first migrant ducks to arrive, usually in early September.  Our females are brown with pretty blue patches on our wings.

  • Boat-tailed Grackle (Female)

    If you’re lucky, you’ll see me more in the Publix parking lot than in your backyard. I’m a loud little piggie who will squawk his head off while cleaning out your feeders, all year round!  My name comes from my broad tail, which distinguishes me from other grackles.

  • Boat-tailed Grackle (Male)

    If you’re lucky, you’ll see me more in the Publix parking lot than in your backyard. I’m a loud little piggie who will squawk his head off while cleaning out your feeders, all year round!  My name comes from my broad tail, which distinguishes me from other grackles.

  • Bobolink (Female)

    Find me in Florida during a few fleeting months in spring and fall during migration.  We’re cousins of the Red-Winged Blackbirds.  Our females are brown and white.

  • Bobolink (Male)

    Find me in Florida only during the spring and fall migration.  My black body and yellow wings make me easy to identify.  I’m a bird of the wetlands, and a cousin of the Red-Winged Blackbirds.

  • Brown Thrasher

    I’m a year-round bird in Florida, but you might not notice me much except in spring. My name comes from the fact that I ‘thrash’ around in the brush when I’m hunting for food.  If you find your mulch scattered out of the edges of your flowerbeds, it’s a good sign that I’m around!

  • Brown-headed Cowbird

    I travel in flocks, and when I invade your backyard, don’t expect me to leave until your feeders are empty! Females will implant their eggs in the nests of other bird species, and most of the birds are silly enough to raise our babies as their own, leaving us to keep pigging out at your feeders! What a life!

  • Bufflehead (Female)

    I’m a fairly rare duck in Central Florida area in winter.  Our females have dark heads and a distinct white stripe.

  • Burrowing Owl

    Find me in open, grassy areas.  Like my name, I build my nest in burrows under the ground.  Sometimes I use old gopher tortoise holes.  I am a favorite with photographers because my animated expressions are such fun to capture.  Watch out – I’m addictive! :)

  • Carolina Chickadee

    Don’t be surprised if I’m the first bird to check out your new feeders. I live in northern Florida all year round and I’m a model backyard birdie – neat, well-mannered, cheerful, singer. My call sounds like my name — ‘chick-a-dee-dee-dee.’

  • Carolina Wren

    Find me year-round. My favorite hangouts are under bushes and shrubs, so you’ll likely hear me way before you see me.  Don’t be offended if I never come out!

  • Caspian Tern

    Of all of Florida’s terns, I’m the one who has the reddest beak. I can be found in Florida year-round, and not just by the ocean.  I hang out near fresh water, too, and your best bet to find me is to watch for me to fly by.

  • Cattle Egret

    In the wintertime, my feathers are all white, but in the spring, I get orange streaks in my head and neck.  I’m a common bird in Florida’s cow pastures.  In the springtime, my face is accented with bright pink and purple to help me attract a mate.

  • Cedar Waxwing

    Trust me, you’ll hear me when I arrive in Florida in the wintertime. My call is very shrill and unmistakable. I prefer to stay at the top of tall trees. My favorite food is wild berries.  Don’t be surprised if a flock of us visits your neighborhood, especially in late spring.

  • Common Gallinule

    I’m a common resident of ponds and marshes.  The swamps echo with the sound of my calls, which sound like I’m laughing at you.  (Don’t take it personally.)  In springtime, look for my babies too. They are tiny fuzzballs that fuss a lot.  I used to be called a Common Moorhen until the bird experts changed my name to Common Gallinule.

  • Common Ground Dove

    Look for me to hang out with other doves.  I’m a bit smaller than the more common Mourning Dove.  I’m fairly secretive.  I’ll take off if I see you coming, and you might see the pretty brown undersides of my wings in flight.

  • Common Loon (Non-breeding)

    I visit Florida’s coasts during the wintertime.  I wear my non-breeding plumage when I visit, so you’ll see my gray back and white stomach as I swim the ocean.  I have a pretty long beak!

  • Common Nighthawk

    I’m a common bird of Florida’s grasslands during the summer months.  As my name implies, I’m most active at night.  You might be more likely to see me flying than perched, although I like to sit out on fenceposts, too!

  • Common Yellowthroat (Female)

    Our females are less colorful than our black-and-yellow male counterparts.  But we’re still pretty in our own right!  I like to hop around in the shrubs, where I blend right in.

  • Common Yellowthroat (Male)

    I’m a year-round Florida resident, although you might notice me more in the wintertime, when my northern friends are visiting the Sunshine State. I’m a fan of insects, and if you have an aphid-covered bush in your yard, I’ll happily come to take care of it for you!

  • Crested Caracara

    I live year-round in select portions of Central Florida.  A really good place to go to find me is Viera Wetlands.  I’m a raptor who looks like a vulture, but I’m really a falcon.  I have a striking orange beak and black top to my head.  Our juveniles lack the orange beak.

  • Double-crested Cormorant

    I’m a quiet bird who you’ll see flying overhead in the marshes and around lakes.  Don’t confuse me with an Anhinga – my beak looks a lot different!

  • Downy Woodpecker

    I’m the smallest woodpecker, almost identical to the Hairy Woodpecker. I’ll gladly eat suet and seed cakes if you’ll offer them to me.  You may not see me much if you live in a neighborhood without mature trees.

  • Dunlin

    I’m an average-sized shorebird who spends my winters on the coasts of Florida.  Look for my bright black tummy when spring comes, but you won’t see it for long, because I fly north to raise my kids!

  • Eastern Bluebird

    Tempt me to your yard by offering mealworms and a nesting box. But please make sure the house sparrows don’t take over the nesting box — they will knock my eggs out!

  • Eastern Phoebe

    I show up during the wintertime. You’ll probably hear me before you see me–my call sounds like my name, ‘Phoebe, Phoebe.’ I don’t really partake of the seed offered at feeders. Look for me up high, I’m like a mockingbird in that I’m usually perched on the highest branch around.

  • Eastern Towhee (Female)

    “Drink Your Tea!”  That’s what my call sounds like. My preferred food is insects and berries, but I’ll visit your ground feeders, too. I’m a year round bird in Florida.

  • Eastern Towhee (Male)

    “Drink Your Tea!”  That’s what my call sounds like. My preferred food is insects and berries, but I’ll visit your ground feeders, too. I’m a year round bird in Florida.

  • Eurasian Collared-Dove

    I’ve been known to sample the bird seed at Lowe’s before you buy it. Your satisfaction is guaranteed! I’m a very friendly little bird. Unfortunately for me, when hawks appear, I tend to freeze.

  • European Starling (Adult)

    I’m a bit of a pest.  I’m an introduced species, meaning that I’m not native to the US.  Find me in big flocks, all over the place!

  • European Starling (Juvenile)

    I’m a bit of a pest.  I’m an introduced species, meaning that I’m not native to the US.  Find me in big flocks, all over the place!

  • Forster’s Tern

    I’m bigger than a Least Tern and smaller than a Royal Tern.  Look for my petite beak and black cap (at least in the springtime, when I’m in my breeding plumage).

  • Glossy Ibis

    I’m a cousin of the common White Ibis, but my feathers are dark and glossy.  Look for me in the marshes and around water.  I can be quite pretty when my feathers catch the light of the sun.

  • Gray Catbird

    I really do sound like a cat! My calls are interspersed with little ‘mieu’ sounds. I’m a big fan of wild berries.  I winter in Florida, usually arriving in mid-October.

  • Gray-cheeked Thrush

    You’ll only find me in Florida during spring or fall migration.  My cheeks don’t have the rosy hues of my cousin the Swainson’s Thrush, so they call me Gray-cheeked.

  • Great Blue Heron

    I’m a very common bird of marshes and swamps. You’ll often see me standing still, stalking my food.  Watch me when I catch a fish.  I’m fun to watch as I throw my head back and swallow my fish whole.

  • Great Egret

    My everyday feathers are white and boring, but in my breeding plumage, I’m much fancier. I get a green mandible and fluffy tail feathers.  I’m one of the more common white birds that you’ll see in Florida’s marshes.  I’m bigger than my cousins the Snowy and Cattle Egrets.

  • Great-crested Flycatcher

    I’m a summertime visitor to your Florida backyard. Look for me in the springtime, when I’m quite vocal as I mate. Then I tend to disappear as I take care of my babies and hunt for my insects.  If you put out a bluebird house, I might choose to nest in it.

  • Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs

    You guessed it, they named us for our yellow legs!  We’re shorebirds that winter in Florida.  There are two varieties of us: a bigger “Greater” Yellowlegs, and a smaller “Lesser” Yellowlegs.  We’re easiest to identify if we’re together.  If you only see one of us, then listen to our calls to distinguish us.  Our bigger birds have longer calls.

  • Green Heron

    I’m a secretive bird of marshy areas. I like to hide, but if you look hard, you can find me year-round.  I sometimes squawk as I take flight.

  • Green-winged Teal

    I’m named for the green on my wings, but I’m most easily distinguished by my brown head with green stripe.  I visit Florida in the wintertime.  I’m smaller than most ducks.

  • Herring Gull

    Look for me along the coasts during the wintertime.  I’m a large gull with a red dot on my beak.  Watch me for a while and you might see me catch a crab!

  • Hooded Merganser (Female)

    Our females are brown and a little less striking than our black-and-white males.  We winter in Florida and we love to dive.  We appear to be very joyful as we bob for our food!

  • Hooded Warbler (Female)

    You’ll only find us in Florida during spring and fall migration.  Our males are the ones with black hoods.  Our females have blackish caps and yellow tummies.

  • Horned Grebe

    I winter in the northern to central regions of Florida.  Look for my bright red eye and you’ll know it’s me.  You’ll have to visit me farther north in Canada or Alaska to see my spectacular breeding colors!

  • House Finch (Female)

    I’m another very common backyard bird. It used to be that you wouldn’t find me farther south in Florida than the Panhandle, but I’ve been expanding my range. My song is very cheerful and my buddies and I fuss a lot as we fight over the seed at your feeders. More, please!!

  • House Finch (Male)

    I’m another very common backyard bird. It used to be that you wouldn’t find me farther south in Florida than the Panhandle, but I’ve been expanding my range. My song is very cheerful and my buddies and I fuss a lot as we fight over the seed at your feeders. More, please!!

  • House Sparrow

    I’m one of the most common birds in North America. I was introduced in New York in the early 1850s, and I quickly spread across the continent. I can be kind of a pest. If you let me, I will take over all your feeders and nest boxes. (Female on left, male on right)

  • House Wren

    I come to Florida in the wintertime. I’m a big fusser – you’ll be amazed when you realize that such a tiny little bird is making such a big racket. I eat insects and hide in shrubs, but if you stumble upon me in your yard, I’m not that afraid of you.

  • Indigo Bunting (Female, Male Winter)

    Like many birds, our females are less striking than our males.  We’re a drab brown instead of bright blue.

  • Indigo Bunting (Male)

    I’m one of the few birds that’s blue!  I migrate through Florida in the spring and fall.  But when I pass through, I might be in my non-breeding plumage, which is a drab brown.

  • Killdeer

    My name comes from the sound that I make, “kill-deer!”  I’m a shorebird, but you don’t have to go to the water to find me.  I frequent golf courses and other flat spaces too.  I live year-round in Central and Northern Florida.

  • King Rail

    I live in Florida all year round, but you’re most likely to find me in the winter, when the vegetation dies back.  I like low-lying freshwater areas.  If you see me, take a picture quick, because I can be hard to find!

  • Laughing Gull (Winter)

    I’m pretty much the most common gull that you’ll find on Florida’s beaches.  In the wintertime I lose my black head.  I really do sound like I’m laughing when I get excited with a group of my friends!

  • Least Bittern

    I’m even more secretive than my cousin the American Bittern.  I dwell in the reeds of bullrushes, using my big feet to keep my balance as I walk along the branches.  Look for me at places like Viera Wetlands or Orlando Wetlands Park.

  • Least Sandpiper

    I live in Canada during the summer and come to Florida in the winter. Look for me by the ocean or at the edge of ponds in marshy areas. You can distinguish me from other sandpipers because of my yellow legs.

  • Least Tern

    I’m Florida’s smallest tern.  I arrive in late April to breed on the beach.  I tend to leave by the end of August.  Look for my bright black cap and stripe by my eye.

  • Lesser Scaup (Male)

    I’m a pretty black duck that winters in Florida.  I’m very similar to my cousin the Greater Scaup, who prefers the ocean water and lacks the small bump on the back of my head.

  • Limpkin

    I live in Florida year-round. My favorite food is apple snails, and you will often see me eating them.

  • Little Blue Heron

    I look a lot like a Tricolored Heron, but my beak is pale blue and I don’t have brown streaks.  Our juvenile birds are white, and they molt into their blue colors in their first year.  So if you see a blue-and-white bird, you’ll know it’s me!

  • Loggerhead Shrike

    Check out my beak – I may look like a nice little bird, but I’m actually like a small hawk.  I hunt my food, then often impale it on a fencepost or other sharp object.  Don’t mistake me for a mockingbird, who has similar coloring. I live in Florida year-round.

  • Mallard

    I’m one of the most common ducks that you’ll find near ponds.  My babies are cute little yellow and black fuzzballs.

  • Marbled Godwit

    Like many shorebirds, I come to Florida in the wintertime.  Find me along the beaches.  I’m easy to identify by my long beak.  Note how mine is long and straight – that’s one of the ways you can distinguish me from a Long-Billed Curlew.

  • Marsh Wren

    Head out to the marsh and look carefully in the bushes for me.  I like to hide.  You’ll only find me in the winter in Florida.

  • Mourning Dove

    Some people mistakenly think I’m an owl when they hear my mournful coo. Others think my flying chatter sounds like ‘Look out below!!’  I’m a common visitor to your bird feeders, but I have a hard time landing on them. Usually I end up eating the seed that the other birds spill.

  • Muscovy Duck

    I hang around ponds and lakes.  Look for the markings on my face to distinguish me from other ducks.

  • Mute Swan

    I hang out on some of Florida’s lakes.  My elegant long neck distinguishes me from other birds.  Look at how I puff up my wings behind me as I glide along the water!

  • Northern Bobwhite

    If you think my name is strange, listen to me call, and you’ll understand…Bob-White, Bob-White! I’ll come to your backyard to visit your ground feeders. Ask the doves to move over for me.  But if you try to find me at Circle B, don’t bring Dyeyo with you, or you’ll never find me! :)

  • Northern Cardinal (Female)

    I’m one of the most familiar backyard birds. I nest in Florida and you may see several broods of little cardinals each year. My ‘chip, chip’ call note is distinctive.

  • Northern Cardinal (Male)

    I’m one of the most familiar backyard birds. I nest in Florida and you may see several broods of little cardinals each year. My ‘chip, chip’ call note is distinctive.

  • Northern Flicker

    I’m a year-round Florida woodpecker. You might be surprised to find me more on the ground than in a tree. I dig a lot for insects for dinner.

  • Northern Mockingbird

    I’m a bird of high places…look for me at the tops of trees, fences, etc. I love to sing, sometimes right through the short summer nights. My songs are imitations of other birds, but one way to distinguish me from the real birds is that my songs tend to repeat, six times in a row. I like suet and insects. Watch for me to hop around displaying my wings as I search for my dinner.

  • Northern Mockingbird (Juvenile)

    I look a lot like my parents, but smaller and with some streaking on my chest.  You’ll hear me before you see me.  I’m very persistent when it comes to begging for my dinner!

  • Northern Parula

    I’m a little gray warbler that lives in Florida year-round.  Look for my yellow patches on my stomach to identify me.  I start to sing in the spring as I breed, and you might find it easier to find me if you know my song.  I like to get up high and then sing my heart out!

  • Northern Pintail (Male)

    I’m a distinctive-looking duck that winters in Florida.  If you look at my tail, it comes to a sharp point, hence my name “pin-tail.”  Our males have a distinctive brown head, and our females are mottled brown.

  • Northern Shoveler (Female)

    I’m one of the many ducks that visit Florida in the wintertime.  My long bill makes me easy to identify.  Our males have bright green feathers, and our females are brown.  Often you’ll find us butt-up as we dabble for fish!

  • Northern Shoveler (Male)

    I’m one of the many ducks that visit Florida in the wintertime.  My long bill makes me easy to identify.  Our males have bright green feathers, and our females are brown.  Often you’ll find us butt-up as we dabble for fish!

  • Northern Waterthrush

    I’m a little guy who you might find flitting in the trees during the spring and fall migrations.  I’m a little like a Palm Warbler with a streaked tummy.  I don’t stick around long!

  • Orange-crowned Warbler

    I visit Florida in the wintertime.  Look for me in low shrubs and vegetation.  I’m not as brightly colored as other warblers, but when the sun hits my feathers, I can be quite pretty!

  • Osprey

    Don’t mistake me for an eagle. I’m big, but I’m not that big! I also have black markings that distinguish me from the eagle. My favorite food is fish, and don’t be surprised when you see my do a dive-bomb to catch my dinner.

  • Ovenbird

    I’m a cute little brown bird that visits Florida in the wintertime.  My brown stripes on my stomach and head distinguish me from other birds.

  • Painted Bunting

    If you’re lucky, I will visit your backyard in the wintertime, when I migrate to Florida. You’re most likely to see our males, which are brightly colored. Our females are a muted green. We feed on millet seed and appreciate extra bushes to hide in, please!

  • Pied-Billed Grebe

    I’m a little diving bird who lives year-round in Florida, but I’m easier to find in the wintertime.  In my breeding plumage I have a pretty line across my beak.  If you see a little bird ducking into the water and emerging far away after a minute or so, it might be me.

  • Pileated Woodpecker

    I’m the biggest woodpecker you’ll see in your Florida backyard. I hope you have some nice big dead trees for me!

  • Pine Warbler

    I hang out mostly in pine trees. My yellow coloring is very striking and distinguishes me from other birds.  I’m a year-round resident in northern to Central Florida, but I’m seen most during the winter.

  • Piping Plover

    You can find me on the beaches when I migrate through Florida in the spring and fall.  I’m a cute little plover, with distinct black stripes and orange legs.  Enjoy me while I’m here, because I won’t stay for long!

  • Prairie Warbler

    I’m one of the few year-round resident warblers in Florida.  I’m a brightly colored little guy who likes the tops of tall trees. Don’t expect me to sit still for long, because I like to move around!

  • Purple Gallinule

    A lot of people get excited when they see me in the marshes because I’m so colorful. I’m a year-round resident in Florida.  I love to climb in the reeds, where my big feet help me climb without falling.

  • Purple Martin

    I come to Florida during the summertime (what’s the opposite of a snowbird? a hurricane bird?) I’m different because I actually like coming close to your house. Put a Purple Martin house in your yard, no more than 100 feet from your house, and I will gladly come and build a nest for you. Our males are bright navy/purple (depending on how light hits them), and the females are a lighter purple/white.

  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker

    I’m probably the most common backyard woodpecker in Central Florida. Put out a nest box for me, give me some dead trees and suet, and I’ll happily spend all year in your yard.  Although if you don’t have mature trees in your area, don’t be surprised if I’m not around much.

  • Red-breasted Merganser

    Find me in Florida in the wintertime, often along the coast.  My red beak makes me easy to distinguish from my friends the Hooded Mergansers.  If I come out of the water for you, you’ll see that my feet are as bright as my beak!

  • Red-headed Woodpecker

    I’m not overly common in Central Florida, but if you have pine trees in your area, look for me.  My bright red head distinguishes me from other woodpeckers.

  • Red-Shouldered Hawk

    I’m a menace that lives in Florida year-round. If you see me in your yard, it probably means that you have lots of songbirds. Unfortunately, natural selection is an important part of our birdie ecosystem.  I’m probably the most common hawk in Central Florida.

  • Red-Winged Blackbird

    If you feed me, I will come! I am one of the most likely piggies, I mean, birdies, that you will see in your backyard. If you forget to feed me, I’ll sit on your neighbor’s house and fuss at you until you remember.

  • Red-Winged Blackbird (Female)

    Our female birds don’t have red wings!  We’re brown and white streaked birds.  The females and juveniles look alike.

  • Redhead

    My head is actually more brown than red, but if the sun shines on me, you’ll understand my name.  I visit Florida in the wintertime.  I’m not as common in Central Florida as other ducks.

  • Ring-necked Duck (Female)

    I’m one of the most common wintering ducks in Florida.  Our females are brown, and we lack the ring on our neck that give the species its name.

  • Ring-necked Duck (Male)

    I’m one of the most common wintering ducks in Florida.  I have a distinctive strike across my beak, but my name comes from the ring on my neck.  Unless you’re in great light, you won’t see the ring on my neck in the field.

  • Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (Adult)

    You might see me during migration.  My bright red spot is hard to mistake, even when I stay high in the trees.  I don’t stick around for long!

  • Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (Juvenile)

    I’m a rare migrant bird who passes through Florida on my way south for winter. The picture is representative of females and juveniles; our males are black with bright red tummies. I’m a big fan of American Beautyberry!

  • Roseate Spoonbill

    My name is very fitting for me – I use my spoon-shaped beak to fish for my food in the water. I’m a popular bird among bird-watchers because of my bright colors.  If you see a pink bird flying overhead, don’t assume it’s a flamingo – it’s probably me!

  • Royal Tern

    I’m one of the birds that you’ll find on Florida’s beaches during the winter.  I have a distinctive orange beak.  Try to photograph me with a fish in my mouth!

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Male)

    Some people have the mistaken impression that there are no hummingbirds in Florida, just because we’re not very easy to find. But if you’ll plant some hummingbird-friendly plants in your yard (especially red flowers), then I will come and visit. My wings beat about 100 times a second, and I really do sound like I’m humming as I zip around your yard. I like to flit around nectaring from your flowers, then I go sit in trees to rest.  Our males have bright red throats, but if you see me from the side, you’ll think my throat is black.

  • Ruddy Duck (Female)

    I’m a duck that winters in Florida.  Our males have bright blue bills and black-and-white heads that make us easy to distinguish from other ducks.  Our females are more drab, with gray-brown heads and beaks.  We often like to stay out in the middle of the lakes, where we’re hardest to photograph!

  • Ruddy Duck (Male)

    I’m a duck that winters in Florida.  Our males have bright blue bills and black-and-white heads that make us easy to distinguish from other ducks.  Our females are more drab, with gray-brown heads and beaks.  We often like to stay out in the middle of the lakes, where we’re hardest to photograph!

  • Ruddy Turnstone

    I’m a quiet little shorebird that you can often find running along the waves at the beach.  My name comes from my habit of turning over rocks and stones to find my food.  I’m cute to watch as I run in the surf!

  • Sanderling

    Look for me scurrying along Florida’s beaches during the winter.  I’m as white as the sand, and I’m super fast.  I run along in front of the waves, grabbing my food from the sand.

  • Sandhill Crane

    Trust me, you’ll hear me! I fuss a lot when I fly. I frequent marshes, and sometimes golf courses. I’m not too afraid of people, but that doesn’t mean you should try to feed me.

  • Sandwich Tern

    I’m a common tern of Florida’s beaches.  You can distinguish me from other terns by my beak – I’m the one with the yellow tip on my bill.

  • Savannah Sparrow

    I’m a small bird that arrives in Florida during the winter.  Look for the yellow over my eye to distinguish me from my cousin the Song Sparrow.

  • Scarlet Tanager (Male)

    Look for my bright red feathers during spring and fall migration.  My cousin the Summer Tanager looks similar, but his wings are all red.  Mine have some black on them.  Enjoy me while you can because I don’t stay in the state for long!

  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

    I’m a beautiful gray bird with an extremely long tail.  If you see my flying with my tail spread, you’ll understand why they call me scissor-tailed.  I’m not supposed to be in Florida at all. I tend to stay in the mid-west, like in Texas and Mexico.  But occasionally I have to play tourist and visit the Sunshine State!

  • Scrub Jay

    If you live in the right areas of Central Florida, and if your neighborhood has lots of native plants, you might be lucky enough to see me in your backyard. My habitat is limited to Central Florida, and there aren’t very many of us.

  • Sedge Wren

    I’m a secretive little bird of the marsh.  I come to Florida in the wintertime.  My dark streaks are different than other wrens.

  • Snail Kite

    I’m one of the few birds that you can only find in Florida.  We don’t go further north than Central Florida.  We love to eat apple snails.  We have sharp curved beaks that allow us to pull the snails out of their shells to eat.

  • Snow Bunting

    As my name suggests, I’m found in snowy places…which means I’m a rare sighting in Florida!  Occasionally I’ll stop over in Florida for a little while, usually if I’m injured during migration.

  • Snow Goose

    I’m a rare bird in Florida. We typically migrate along the major flyways, and we sometimes stray to Florida.  We’re pretty and petite.  Most of us are white, but some of us are bluish in color, and we’re called blue morphs.

  • Snowy Egret

    I’m a year-round Floridian bird. Don’t confuse me with a cattle egret – I’m the one with the yellow and black beak (except in the spring, when my lores are red!).  You can often find me fishing around the pond.  My babies are much cuter than I am.

  • Sora

    I’m a secretive little bird who comes to Florida in the wintertime.  You’ll find me at the edges of ponds in the marshy areas.  Look closely or you’ll miss me – I blend right in!

  • Summer Tanager (Female)

    I spend my summers in Central to Northern Florida.  Our males are bright red, and our females bright yellow.  I’m easiest to find during spring migration, when there are a lot more of me passing through your backyard!

  • Swallow-tailed Kite

    I fly to Florida in the spring, raise my young, then return to South America for the winter.  I’m a distinctive black-and-white raptor you’ll see soaring through the summertime skies.  Look for my distinctive forked tail.

  • Tennessee Warbler

    I migrate through Florida as I pass from my wintering grounds in South America to my breeding grounds in Canada.  Look for the yellow tint on my back to distinguish me from other warblers.

  • Tree Swallow

    I’m a small bird with bright blue feathers on my back and white feathers on my tummy.  I fly really fast, and I like to dive and swoop around you.  Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few minutes to get your camera or binoculars focused on me!

  • Tricolored Heron

    I’m a common, year-round bird of marshy areas. I like to go fishing, and I will stalk my food for hours.  I look a lot like my cousin the Little Blue Heron, but he’s all blue and I’m multi-colored.  Look for my white tummy and the brown on my back.

  • Tufted Titmouse

    If you’re wondering, my name means ‘Tufted Little Bird.’ I’m a big fan of huge oak trees. My call sounds like the name ‘Peter, Peter, Peter.’ I will definitely come to your feeders!

  • Turkey Vulture

    I’m not the prettiest bird in the world, but I serve a useful purpose.  I clean up by eating dead animals and carrion, thereby preventing the spread of bacteria.  My face is featherless so that bacteria doesn’t build up on me.  Don’t confuse me with my brother, the Black Vulture, who lacks my red face.

  • Veery

    Birders consider me a “good find” during spring and fall migration.  Those are the only times you’ll fine me in Florida.  I’m lighter and less spotted than my other thrush cousins.

  • White Ibis

    You might find me hunting insects in your yard, particularly if you live near a pond or lake. Don’t confuse me with a cattle egret – look at my beak!

  • White-eyed Vireo

    I’m a year-round bird in Florida. I like to spend time by myself in the tops of trees. You might have to look hard to find me in your backyard.

  • White-Faced Ibis

    I’m a very rare migrant in Florida.  I typically winter in Mexico and breed along the Rocky Mountains out west.  But a few of us show up regularly in Florida, often at the same time each year. Look carefully at the white markings on my face in order to distinguish me from my very similar-looking cousin the Glossy Ibis.

  • White-Winged Dove

    Another Dove.  In Central Florida I’m not as common as the Mourning Doves.  Ground feeders, please!

  • Wilson’s Plover

    I’m a quiet little shorebird that you’ll find on the beaches.  I breed in central to southern Florida, so watch out for my eggs that blend into the sand.  You might think I look similar to my cousins the Piping Plover and Snowy Plover.  Look closely at our face and neck markings to distinguish us.

  • Wilson’s Snipe

    I’m a little brown shorebird with a really long beak.  I hide in the vegetation by the edge of ponds.  Often you’ll scare me away before you see me.  I only visit Florida during the wintertime.

  • Wood Duck (Male)

    I’m a secretive duck on Florida’s lakes.  Our males are gorgeous, and our feathers shine green and blue and purple in the sun.  We’re not big fans of people, though, so we’ll take off if you get too close to us.

  • Wood Stork

    I’m an endangered bird, but our population is growing. We nest in colonies. Our adults are extremely ugly with our wrinkled faces.

  • Wood Thrush

    I migrate through Florida each spring and fall.  I’m the thrush with the darkest spots on my tummy.  I also have a distinctive loud call that you’ll likely hear long before you see me.

  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo

    Bird-watchers spot lots of us in Florida during spring and fall migration.  You might at first mistake me for a mockingbird, but if you look closer, I do have a yellow beak!  Don’t worry, you won’t go cuckoo by spending too much time with me.

  • Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

    Find me in the wetlands and along the coast of Florida.  I’m a year-round resident in the southern part of the state, and a summer visitor to the northern parts.  I love crabs and I bet you’d enjoy watching me toss them around as I eat.  I’m pretty easy to find at Fort De Soto park.

  • Yellow-rumped Warbler

    I’m the most common warbler in Florida during the winter.  During the winter, you’ll see my black and white colors more than my yellow accents.

  • Yellow-throated Warbler

    I’m a wintertime visitor with a happy ‘chip’ call note (you might confuse my call with a cardinal’s). I’ll sample your black oil sunflower for you!