Central Florida Bird Photography Locations

This page documents some of the Central Florida bird photography locations that I visit most (and a few other favorite spots for good measure).  Part of the reason that I started this blog was to share information about good locations.  Hopefully the information below helps you plan your trip or find a particular bird.  Click the links to get more details about each site, along with blog posts about those locations.

Alligator Farm

Alligator Farm
Description

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is an alligator zoo with a boardwalk into a wading bird rookery. The alligators rest below the bird nests, protecting the birds from predators like raccoons. The Alligator Farm caters to bird photographers, clipping tree branches so that visitors can look directly into bird nests. It’s not unusual to see baby birds hatching!

My favorite part about this place is that you can see Roseate Spoonbills nesting.

Photography Advice

Long lenses and intermediate telephotos are both good here. A flash will provide useful fill light on cloudy days and for flight shots.

Consider joining the Photography Program for early entry onto the boardwalk.

When to GoFebruary through June
Species Photographed (7)Cattle Egret, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Great Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, Wood Stork
Websitehttps://www.alligatorfarm.com
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L614750
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 13 posts from Alligator Farm

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Description

A beautiful stretch of beach almost untouched by houses and human presence, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful beach for a sunrise walk and a visit with sea turtles.  The 20-mile stretch of beach is the most significant area for loggerhead sea turtle nesting in the world, and the most significant area for green turtle nesting in North America.

Photography Advice

Turtle nesting season runs from June to September.  Get to the beach before sunrise and take a walk.  You might get lucky and find a turtle returning to the ocean after laying her eggs!

An intermediate telephoto lens is perfect for photographing the turtles.  I always take a wide angle for sunrise, too.

The turtles are very tired after creating their nests and laying their eggs. Please do not get close to them, block their passage to the ocean, or stand in front of them.

When to GoApril through September
Species Photographed (3)Green Sea Turtle, Herring Gull, Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Websitehttps://www.fws.gov/refuge/Archie_Carr/
eBirdNone
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 14 posts from Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge

Black Skimmer Colonies

Black Skimmer Colonies
Description

Black Skimmers nest along beaches of Florida in the summertime.  If you are lucky enough to find a colony with young babies, you’ll be in for lots of “awe”-inspiring moments!

Photography Advice

Most people prefer intermediate telephotos with these birds. I always bring my Beast also for close-ups.

Your best bet is to lie down on the sand.  That gets you eye-level with the birds for better shots.  It’s less scary to the birds if you pick a spot and stay in it for a while.

It’s hard to keep sand out of your gear.  Plan ahead and bring a towel or something for your camera to sit on when you’re not using it. Bring a paintbrush to remove sand when you leave.

Black Skimmers are listed as a Threatened Species by the State of Florida. It is illegal to bother the birds or touch the babies. Please be respectful of our feathered friends!

When to GoJune and July
Species Photographed (13)American Oystercatcher, Black Skimmer, Black-Bellied Plover, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Brown Pelican, Double-Crested Cormorant, Laughing Gull, Least Tern, Ring-Billed Gull, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, White Ibis, Willet
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 37 posts from Black Skimmer Colonies

Blue Cypress Lake

Blue Cypress Lake
Description

Blue Cypress Lake is a large lake about 20 miles west of Vero Beach. It is known for the hundreds of Ospreys that nest in its cypress trees from March through May. This place is also incredible for sunrises and sunsets framed with the cypress trees. You can rent a pontoon boat from Middleton Fish Camp, or better yet, go out with one of their guides.

Photography Advice

Long lenses and intermediate telephotos are both good here. Don’t forget the wide-angle for sunrise.

When to GoMarch to May
Species Photographed (1)Osprey
Websitehttp://www.middletonsfishcamp.com/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L715880
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 6 posts from Blue Cypress Lake

Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park
Description

Blue Springs State Park is a great place to see manatees during the winter.  It’s also known for migrants during the spring and fall.

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens you want to carry on a hike

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttps://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/blue-spring-state-park
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/camerica/hotspot
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Blue Springs State Park

Bok Tower

Bok Tower
Description

Bok Tower Gardens is a beautiful garden in Lake Wales, Florida, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. The gardens surround the historic Bok Tower, whose carillon bells ring out through the gardens on a daily basis.

I love to visit Bok Tower for flower photography, as well as during bird migration. It’s a good place for small birds like Eastern Towhees, Tufted Titmice, and Brown Thrashers. It’s also a reliable location in Central Florida for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.

Photography Advice

I usually take my long lens for bird photography, and a second body with a macro lens for flower photos.

When to GoYear round
Species Photographed (23)Black-and-white Warbler, Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, Eastern Towhee, Gray Catbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Mute Swan, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Ovenbird, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Tufted Titmouse, White-Eyed Vireo, White-Winged Dove, Wood Duck, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Websitehttp://boktowergardens.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L269400
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 22 posts from Bok Tower

Brevard Zoo

Brevard Zoo
Description

The Brevard Zoo is a fun little zoo in Melbourne, Florida. It makes a good day trip along with a visit to the Viera Wetlands. You’ll see a good number of animals in a family-friendly environment.

Photography Advice

An intermediate telephoto around your neck makes a great walk-around lens.

When to GoYear round
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttps://brevardzoo.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L829934
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Brevard Zoo

Brian Piccolo Park

Brian Piccolo Park
Description

Brian Piccolo Park is a an athletic park outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is known to wildlife photographers for the Burrowing Owls that nest in the grassy fields. The nests are blocked off for protection, and the birds are pretty tame. You can settle down with a camera at owl-eye level and photograph all sorts of fun behaviors with these comical owls.

Photography Advice

Long lenses and intermediate telephotos are both good here.

Don’t leave your cameras or your laptop in the car.

When to GoFebruary through June
Species Photographed (1)Burrowing Owl
Websitehttp://www.broward.org/Parks/BrianPiccoloPark/Pages/Default.aspx
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L299733
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 3 posts from Brian Piccolo Park

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens
Description

Callaway Gardens is one of our favorite vacation getaways. The gardens are located about an hour southwest of Atlanta, or a seven-hour drive from Orlando.

The gardens are particularly well known for their gorgeous displays of azaleas in the spring, and for the amazing Fantasy in Lights display of Christmas lights in November and December. I also enjoy photographing songbirds in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden. There are daily Birds of Prey shows with easily photographable raptors. The Day Butterfly Center is fun for butterfly photography.

We usually stay at the Mountain Creek Inn. We’ve also rented a cottage and enjoyed that very much.

Use Azalea Watch to plan your spring trip!

Photography Advice

Take as many lenses as you can – long lenses for birds, macro for flowers, and wide-angle for landscapes. It’s all here!

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (38)American Goldfinch, American Robin, Bald Eagle, Black-and-white Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Brown Thrasher, Canada Goose, Cardinal, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Blue Heron, Great Horned Owl, Harris's Hawk, House Finch, Mallard, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Orchard Oriole, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Martin, Red-Eyed Vireo, Red-Tailed Hawk, Red-Winged Blackbird, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Song Sparrow, Summer Tanager, Tufted Titmouse, White-Breasted Nuthatch, White-Throated Sparrow, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Websitehttp://www.callawaygardens.com/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L368011
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 25 posts from Callaway Gardens

Cape Coral Burrowing Owls

Cape Coral Burrowing Owls
Description

Cape Coral plays host to the largest number of Burrowing Owl nests in Florida.  They are literally all over!  Start by the public library and have fun. :)

Photography Advice

Most people prefer to use an intermediate telephoto lens for the Burrowing Owls.  I use my Beast (600mm) lens to give the birds a little more space and because I prefer tight portraits.

If the owls start fussing at you, you’re too close.  Please respect our feathered friends!

When to GoFebruary through June
Species Photographed (1)Burrowing Owl
Websitehttp://ccfriendsofwildlife.org/burrowing-owl/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1340123
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 1 posts from Cape Coral Burrowing Owls

Chinsegut

Chinsegut
Description

Chinsegut is a nature preserve located just outside Brooksville.  It’s a reliable spot for Red-headed Woodpecker and Eastern Bluebird.

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens you want to take on a hike.  Keep an eye out for deer!

Check the webpage for hours before you go.

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (5)Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Tufted Titmouse
Websitehttps://myfwc.com/education/outdoor-skills/chinsegut/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1948799
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 1 posts from Chinsegut

Circle B Bar Reserve

Circle B Bar Reserve
Description

The Circle B Bar Reserve is one of my favorite places to photograph. It’s located in Lakeland off Winter Lake Road, close to the USF Lakeland campus. The preserve was a cattle ranch that was restored in the early 2000s to its native wetland habitat. A series of berms give people an opportunity to hike through the wetlands and view wildlife. The area is particularly good for birds. Alligators and otters are popular with tourists.

Photography Advice

Bring a long lens and be prepared to walk!  Park in the lot closest to the Nature Center.  You’ll easily walk several miles as you explore the trails.  Consider taking a water bottle, especially in the summertime.

When to GoAll year round, but best birding is from November to April
Species Photographed (123)American Bittern, American Coot, American Goldfinch, American Kestrel, American Pipit, American Redstart, American Robin, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, Barred Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Black Skimmer, Black Vulture, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Black-Necked Stilt, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Blackburnian Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Blue Jay, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Headed Vireo, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Bobolink, Broad-winged Hawk, Brown Pelican, Bufflehead, Carolina Wren, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Cooper's Hawk, Double-Crested Cormorant, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Gadwall, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, Great Egret, Greater Yellowlegs, Green Heron, Green-Winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, House Wren, Indigo Bunting, Killdeer, King Rail, Lark Sparrow, Laughing Gull, Least Bittern, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Magnolia Warbler, Marsh Wren, Mottled Duck, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Cardinal, Northern Harrier, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Parula, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Osprey, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Purple Martin, Red-Eyed Vireo, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Winged Blackbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Redhead, Ring-Billed Gull, Ring-Necked Duck, Rock Pigeon, Roseate Spoonbill, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Ruddy Duck, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Snail Kite, Snowy Egret, Sora, Swamp Sparrow, Tennessee Warbler, Tree Swallow, Tricolored Heron, Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Vulture, White Ibis, White-Crowned Sparrow, White-Eyed Vireo, White-Faced Ibis, Wild Turkey, Wilson's Snipe, Wood Duck, Wood Stork, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Yellow-Throated Warbler
Websitehttp://polknature.com/explore/circle-b-bar-reserve
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1106225
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 224 posts from Circle B Bar Reserve

Cockroach Bay Preserve

Cockroach Bay Preserve
Description

Cockroach Bay Preserve is an eBird hotspot.  It’s best known to me as the location where Tree Swallows congregate prior to spring migration.  The millions of birds that form a “murmuration” are most impressive.

Photography Advice

To photograph the swallows, take a wide-angle lens on a night without clouds so that the dark mass of birds is silhouetted against the sunset.

When to GoEnd of March for Tree Swallows
Species Photographed (1)Tree Swallow
Websitehttps://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/locations/cockroach-bay-preserve
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L684255
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Cockroach Bay Preserve

Coral Cove Park

Coral Cove Park
Description

Coral Cove Park is a small county park near Jupiter, Florida. I love to visit the rocky beaches for sunrise.  It’s a good place to go shelling, too.

Photography Advice

Take a wide-angle lens and a tripod. An intermediate telephoto might also be good for framing the sunrise.

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttp://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/Coral-Cove.aspx
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/malaysia/hotspot/L1843060
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 3 posts from Coral Cove Park

Cox Road Kingbird Roost (Polk)

Cox Road Kingbird Roost (Polk)
Description

The Cox Road Kingbird Roost is a dirt road in an orange grove off Highway 60 in Polk County.  It is a well-known roost for the Western Kingbird in the wintertime.   Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are also frequent visitors there, along with the occasional Fork-tailed Flycatcher.

Photography Advice

Take a long lens and a beanbag so that you can shoot from your car window as much as possible.

When to GoOctober through April
Species Photographed (5)American Robin, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Headed Vireo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Western Kingbird
WebsiteNone
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L6590839
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Cox Road Kingbird Roost (Polk)

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area
Description

The Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area has a 4-mile wildlife drive that is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the late winter and spring.  Check the website for details.

Photography Advice

Take your longest lens.  I didn’t have a super-productive outing on my first visit but I’d like to try it again.

When to GoWintertime
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttps://www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/emeralda-marsh/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L624720?yr=cur&m=&rank=mrec
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

Fort De Soto

Fort De Soto
Description

Fort De Soto is incredible for bird photography! My favorite time to go is in the spring, when the birds are in their breeding colors, and around September, when the terns congregate prior to migrating. The entire park is good for birding, but my favorite places are North Beach, the East Beach Turnaround, and the Mulberry bush area and East Beach woods (for migrating birds).

 

Photography Advice

Take every lens you can carry! I use my long lens for bird portraits and far-off rarities, my intermediate telephoto for flight shots, and my wide-angle for landscapes.

Fort De Soto is one of those rare places where you can photograph both sunrise and sunset over the ocean!

Check the website for road closures before you go!

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (87)American Oystercatcher, American Redstart, Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black Skimmer, Black-Bellied Plover, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-hooded Parakeet, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Brown Pelican, Cape May Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Common Ground-Dove, Common Loon, Common Tern, Dunlin, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Fish Crow, Forster's Tern, Gray Catbird, Gray-Cheeked Thrush, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Horned Owl, Hermit Thrush, Herring Gull, Hooded Warbler, Indigo Bunting, Lark Sparrow, Laughing Gull, Least Sandpiper, Least Tern, Little Blue Heron, Loggerhead Shrike, Long-Billed Curlew, Long-billed Dowitcher, Magnificent Frigatebird, Marbled Godwit, Mute Swan, Nanday Parakeet, Northern Mockingbird, Orchard Oriole, Osprey, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Piping Plover, Red Knot, Red-Breasted Merganser, Red-Eyed Vireo, Red-Winged Blackbird, Reddish Egret, Ring-Billed Gull, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Roseate Spoonbill, Royal Tern, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Sandhill Crane, Sandwich Tern, Scarlet Tanager, Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-Billed Dowitcher, Snowy Egret, Snowy Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Summer Tanager, Swainson's Thrush, Tennessee Warbler, Tricolored Heron, Veery, Western Sandpiper, Whimbrel, White Ibis, Willet, Wilson's Plover, Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-Throated Vireo
Websitehttp://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L127332
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 73 posts from Fort De Soto

Gatorland Rookery

Gatorland Rookery
Description

Gatorland is an Orlando amusement park. While tourists come looking for alligators, birders come to visit the Wading Bird Rookery, a boardwalk over gator territory that gives you close access to dozens of bird nests. The Great Egrets start nesting in early February, and by May, the rookery is a chaos of baby herons, egrets, and anhingas.

Photography Advice

Intermediate telephoto lenses will give you great shots of nests right off the boardwalk. I also bring my long lens to isolate birds across the pond.

Consider the Photography Pass that lets photographers enter the rookery early in the morning.

When to GoFebruary through June
Species Photographed (15)Anhinga, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Cattle Egret, Common Grackle, Double-Crested Cormorant, European Starling, Gray Catbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Great Egret, Green Heron, Limpkin, Snowy Egret, Swallow-tailed Kite, Tricolored Heron, Wood Stork
Websitehttp://www.gatorland.com/index.shtml
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1533887
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 22 posts from Gatorland Rookery

Greenwood Cemetery Eagle Nest

Greenwood Cemetery Eagle Nest
Description

Nestled in the middle of downtown Orlando is Greenwood Cemetery, which hosts a photogenic Bald Eagle nest. Drive into the cemetery and circle around, looking for the tall pine tree containing the nest. You might also see a coyote or photograph a Wood Duck.

Photography Advice

Bring the longest lens you have.

When to GoSpringtime
Species Photographed (1)Bald Eagle
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Greenwood Cemetery Eagle Nest

Holloway Park

Holloway Park
Description

Holloway Park is an “urban nature park” in Lakeland, FL.  It is used for running competitions and it is also a nature preserve.  I find that it’s best visited during the winter months when the winter birds are here.  One of my friends watches an eagle’s nest on the property.

Photography Advice

This is one of my “take an intermediate telephoto and plan to walk” places.  You never know what you may find.  It’s not one of my go-to places for landscape photography, and I don’t take my Beast unless I’m going to photograph a bird that I’ve previously located.

When to GoWintertime
Species Photographed (2)Bald Eagle, Loggerhead Shrike
Websitehttps://www.hollowaypark.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1837932
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 2 posts from Holloway Park

Huguenot Memorial Park

Huguenot Memorial Park
Description

Huguenot Memorial Park is a stopover location for Red Knots on their migratory path from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic tundra.  Part of it is designated a Critical Wildlife Area for gulls and terns during the nesting season.

Photography Advice

An intermediate telephoto lens is good with a long lens if you have one.

When to GoWintertime and springtime
Species Photographed (2)Black Skimmer, Snowy Owl
Websitehttp://www.coj.net/departments/parks,-recreation-and-community-services/recreation-and-community-programming/huguenot-memorial-park.aspx
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L127286
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Huguenot Memorial Park

Joe Overstreet Road

Joe Overstreet Road
Description

Joe Overstreet Road is a dirt road in Kenansville, Florida. It is known for the opportunities to photograph Bald Eagles, Crested Caracara, Eastern Meadowlarks (on every fencepost!), and, for the very lucky, Whooping Cranes.

 

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens you have.

When to GoWintertime and springtime
Species Photographed (12)Bald Eagle, Eastern Meadowlark, Forster's Tern, Great Crested Flycatcher, Killdeer, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Mockingbird, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Tree Swallow, Whooping Crane, Wild Turkey
Websitehttp://floridabirdingtrail.com/trail/trail-sections/east-section/joe-overstreet-landing/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L269357
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 3 posts from Joe Overstreet Road

Lake Apopka

Lake Apopka
Description

Lake Apopka hosts a myriad of bird and other wildlife. The wildlife drive is awesome!  You ride around the trails in the air-conditioned comfort of your car and photograph whatever happens to be outside your window.

Photography Advice

Take your longest lens for the birds and wildlife. Don’t forget a wide angle for scenic shots of the lake shore!

Consider checking eBird for rare bird sightings before you go.

Finish your day with sunset at Magnolia Park (the adjacent boat ramp is always open).

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (107)American Bittern, American Coot, American Goldfinch, American Redstart, American Robin, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, Anhinga, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bald Eagle, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Black-Necked Stilt, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Bobolink, Brown Thrasher, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Cave Swallow, Common Gallinule, Common Grackle, Common Yellowthroat, Cooper's Hawk, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Towhee, European Starling, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Gadwall, Glossy Ibis, Grasshopper Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Gray Kingbird, Gray-headed Swamphen, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Groove-billed Ani, Hooded Merganser, Horned Grebe, House Wren, Indigo Bunting, Killdeer, Least Bittern, Little Blue Heron, Loggerhead Shrike, Marsh Wren, Merlin, Mississippi Kite, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Northern Harrier, Northern Parula, Northern Rough-Winged Swallow, Northern Shoveler, Northern Waterthrush, Orchard Oriole, Osprey, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Pied-Billed Grebe, Prairie Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Purple Martin, Red-Breasted Merganser, Red-Eyed Vireo, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Winged Blackbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ring-Necked Duck, Roseate Spoonbill, Ruddy Duck, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Snowy Egret, Sora, Swallow-tailed Kite, Swamp Sparrow, Tricolored Heron, Turkey Vulture, Vermilion Flycatcher, Vesper Sparrow, Western Kingbird, White Ibis, White-Eyed Vireo, White-Faced Ibis, White-Winged Dove, Wood Duck, Wood Stork, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Websitehttps://www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/lake-apopka/wildlife-drive/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L298649
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 71 posts from Lake Apopka

Lake County Backroads

Lake County Backroads
Description

You never know what you may find when you wander on the backroads.

Photography Advice

Take any lens and go exploring!

When to Go
Species Photographed (9)American Kestrel, Burrowing Owl, Cattle Egret, Common Ground-Dove, Common Nighthawk, Eastern Towhee, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Bobwhite, Red-bellied Woodpecker
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 19 posts from Lake County Backroads

Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands

Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands
Description

The Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands, on the south side of Lake Hancock, is a restricted-access SWFWMD property that requires a permit for entry. It’s always fun to get to go there!

You can find a wide variety of species, which is a little unusual for inland Central Florida.

Photography Advice

For a few years, local birders ran occasional field trips into this restricted-access property.  

If you get to go, take your longest lens. The birds are usually far away.

When to GoWintertime and springtime
Species Photographed (43)American Avocet, American Bittern, American Pipit, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, Belted Kingfisher, Black Skimmer, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Black-Necked Stilt, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Headed Vireo, Blue-Winged Teal, Caspian Tern, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, Franklin's Gull, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Glossy Ibis, Green Heron, Hermit Thrush, Hooded Merganser, Laughing Gull, Limpkin, Mallard, Marsh Wren, Nelson's Sparrow, Northern Harrier, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Northern Waterthrush, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Red-Winged Blackbird, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Snail Kite, Spotted Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Tufted Titmouse, White-Faced Ibis, Wild Turkey, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Websitehttp://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/waterman/lakehancock/outfall.php
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L2408551
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 6 posts from Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands

Lake Jesup

Lake Jesup
Description

The Lake Jesup Conversation Area and Marl Bed Flats Tract are a fun place to bird watch.  They are also a spectacular landscape photography spot in early October when the fields are covered in yellow sunflowers (weather permitting – non-rainy seasons)

Photography Advice

Take a wide-angle lens for sunflower photography.  Watch for snakes and take your waders if you have them.

When to Goearly October for sunflowers
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttps://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/locations/301551-Lake-Jesup-Park.stml
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L473991
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Lake Jesup

Lake Louisa State Park

Lake Louisa State Park
Description

Lake Louisa State Park was good for small birds and butterflies on my first visit there.  I’m looking forward to going back!

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens you want to carry on a hike

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttps://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/lake-louisa-state-park
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L463470
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Lake Louisa State Park

Lake Mirror

Lake Mirror
Description

Lake Mirror, located in downtown Lakeland, Florida, is home to ducks. Walkers and joggers frequently feed the birds, making them very tame for photography.  My favorite time to visit is the spring (March through June), when the birds are nesting and raising their young.

Photography Advice

I use both my long lens and my intermediate telephoto.

When to GoSpringtime
Species Photographed (10)American Coot, Black Skimmer, Black-Necked Swan, Common Gallinule, Mandarin Duck, Ring-Billed Gull, Ruddy Duck, Shelduck, White Ibis, Wood Duck
Websitehttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34373-d4923931-Reviews-Lake_Mirror-Lakeland_Florida.html
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L2235897
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 3 posts from Lake Mirror

Lake Morton

Lake Morton
Description

Lake Morton, located in downtown Lakeland, Florida, is home to about 60 Mute Swans and a myriad of other ducks and geese. Walkers and joggers frequently feed the birds, making them very tame for photography. Even the Wood Ducks are pretty tame. My favorite time to visit is the spring (March through June), when the birds are nesting and raising their young.

Photography Advice

I use both my long lens and my intermediate telephoto.

When to GoMarch through June
Species Photographed (29)American Coot, American White Pelican, Anhinga, Black Swan, Black-Necked Swan, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Bufflehead, Common Gallinule, Double-Crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Indigo Bunting, Lesser Scaup, Limpkin, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Muscovy Duck, Mute Swan, Palm Warbler, Pekin Duck, Redhead, Ring-Billed Gull, Ring-Necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Scarlet Tanager, Shelduck, White Duck, White Ibis, Wood Duck, Wood Stork
Websitehttps://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-morton-lakeland
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1314027
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 44 posts from Lake Morton

Lake Parker Park

Lake Parker Park
Description

Lake Parker Park is a neighborhood park with a good number of friendly birds. Purple Gallinules, Limpkins, and Snail Kites are the most notable species.

Photography Advice

An intermediate telephoto is all you need to get great bird images at Lake Parker Park.

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (6)American Coot, Anhinga, Limpkin, Northern Parula, Pied-Billed Grebe, Purple Gallinule
Websitehttps://www.lakelandgov.net/departments/parks-recreation/lake-parker-park/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L877727
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Lake Parker Park

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge
Description

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is a fun place to explore and go birding.  I haven’t been there much but I’d like to explore it further.

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens that you don’t mind carrying for a multi-mile hike.

When to GoWintertime and springtime
Species Photographed (10)Black Vulture, Eastern Phoebe, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Pied-Billed Grebe, Savannah Sparrow, Snow Goose, Swallow-tailed Kite, White Ibis, Wilson's Snipe
Websitehttps://www.fws.gov/refuge/lake_woodruff/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L199461
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 2 posts from Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Leu Gardens

Leu Gardens
Description

Leu Gardens is located in downtown Orlando. It is a bit of a migration hotspot, and it is birded regularly throughout the year.

Photography Advice

Bring your long lens for birding, and don’t forget the macro lens for flowers – they have a big rose garden!

 

When to GoSpringtime
Species Photographed (3)Common Gallinule, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Websitehttps://www.leugardens.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L686079
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Leu Gardens

Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area

Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area
Description

The Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area is a protected area of Fort Myers Beach where Least Terns, Black Skimmers, Wilson’s Plovers, and even a few Snowy Plovers nest.

The Little Estero lagoon is also a well-known bird photography hotspot.

Photography Advice

Take a long lens so you can photograph the nesting birds without getting too close.

When to GoJune
Species Photographed (2)Least Tern, Snowy Plover
Websitehttp://floridabirdingtrail.com/trail/trail-sections/south-section/little-estero-island-cwa/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1142803
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area

Loggerhead Park

Loggerhead Park
Description

Loggerhead Park, or the “turtle museum” as it is known in my family, is a sea turtle rehabilitation center. Turtles are housed in large tanks with see-through windows while they are treated for release back into the wild. It’s a fun photo op, especially when combined with one of the center’s turtle walks during sea turtle nesting season. Consider signing up for a turtle walk during nesting season (June and July)

Photography Advice

Take an intermediate telephoto.

An infrared camera would be fun on the turtle walk, when flash and all other light sources are prohibited.

When to GoYear Round; June-July for turtle walks
Species Photographed (2)Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Websitehttps://marinelife.org/
eBirdNone
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 4 posts from Loggerhead Park

Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo
Description

Family-friendly Lowry Park Zoo is a fun place to photograph all sorts of wildlife. Take your intermediate telephoto and go see what you can find!

Photography Advice

Bring an intermediate telephoto lens and have fun!

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttp://www.lowryparkzoo.com/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L3086509
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 3 posts from Lowry Park Zoo

Lukas Butterfly Encounter

Lukas Butterfly Encounter
Description

Lukas Nursery is a great Orlando-area nursery, and the Butterfly Encounter is a free-flight butterfly conservatory.

Photography Advice

Macro lenses are good for photographing flowers. A fast intermediate telephoto is my favorite for photographing the fast-moving butterflies. A flash often helps.

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (0)None
Websitehttp://www.lukasnursery.com/butterfly.php
eBirdNone
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Lukas Butterfly Encounter

Maine Trip - July 2013

Maine Trip - July 2013
Description

In July 2013, Rich and I went to Maine to see Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island.  We also enjoyed scenic and night photography in Acadia National Park.  It was a great trip!!

Photography Advice

Go!!

When to GoJune-July
Species Photographed (10)Atlantic Puffin, Common Eider, Common Murre, Great Black-Backed Gull, Great Shearwater, Least Tern, Northern Gannet, Northern Rough-Winged Swallow, Piping Plover, Razorbill
Websitehttps://acadiamagic.com
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 9 posts from Maine Trip - July 2013

Marineland Beach

Marineland Beach
Description

Marineland Beach has some great rock formations that add foreground interest to Atlantic Ocean sunrise images. No two mornings are the same!

Photography Advice

A wide-angle lens is best for landscape sunrise shots.

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (1)Snowy Egret
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 7 posts from Marineland Beach

Marshall Hampton Reserve

Marshall Hampton Reserve
Description

The Marshall Hampton Reserve is just down the road from the Circle B Bar Reserve.  It’s a nice place for a long hike, although it’s not as birdy as Circle B.

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens that you don’t mind carrying for a multi-mile hike.

When to GoWintertime and springtime
Species Photographed (3)American Coot, Anhinga, White-Eyed Vireo
Websitehttp://www.polknature.com/explore/marshall-hampton-reserve
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1283161
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 1 posts from Marshall Hampton Reserve

Matanzas Tern Colony

Matanzas Tern Colony
Description

This used to be the biggest Least Tern nesting colony in Florida.

Photography Advice

Go early, stay low, and enjoy :)

If the birds are agitated or try to poop on you, you are too close.  It’s dangerous for the babies to be left alone for too long because the parents are trying to chase off photographers.  Please respect the birds.

When to GoEarly June
Species Photographed (3)Least Tern, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Wilson's Plover
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 20 posts from Matanzas Tern Colony

Mead Gardens

Mead Gardens
Description

Mead Gardens, nestled in downtown Winter Park, is a well-known migrant trap in Central Florida. Visit during April migration and you never know what you’ll see.

Photography Advice

The longer your lens, the better chance of capturing those little migrant birds!

When to GoApril
Species Photographed (4)Common Yellowthroat, Northern Waterthrush, Prairie Warbler, Red-bellied Woodpecker
Websitehttp://www.meadgarden.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L127353
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 5 posts from Mead Gardens

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Description

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is well-known for wildlife photography. Black Point Wildlife Drive allows you to stay in the air-conditioning and see lots of birds. Canaveral National Seashore is beautiful. My favorite time of year to go is during the winter, when the refuge is covered in migrant ducks, pelicans, and other birds.  It’s easy to find Roseate Spoonbills in breeding plumage in January and February.

Photography Advice

Take your longest lens.

Windy days tend to be less birdy.

Be aware that hunting is allowed on parts of the refuge.

When to GoWinter and spring
Species Photographed (37)American Avocet, American Coot, American Goldfinch, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, Black Tern, Black-Necked Stilt, Blue-Winged Teal, Clapper Rail, Common Loon, Dunlin, Eastern Meadowlark, Florida Scrub-Jay, Great Egret, Greater Yellowlegs, Green Heron, Hooded Merganser, Horned Grebe, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Little Blue Heron, Loggerhead Shrike, Long-tailed Duck, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Red-Breasted Merganser, Reddish Egret, Ring-Billed Gull, Roseate Spoonbill, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Snow Bunting, Sora, Tricolored Heron, Turkey Vulture, White Ibis, White-Eyed Vireo, Willet
Websitehttp://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L127381
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 17 posts from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Moccasin Island Tract

Moccasin Island Tract
Description

Moccasin Island is part of the River Lakes conservation area.

Photography Advice

There isn’t much wildlife easily photographed from your vehicle.  I go when there is a rare bird in the area.

When to GoWinter and spring
Species Photographed (3)Ash-throated Flycatcher, Eastern Meadowlark, Loggerhead Shrike
Websitehttp://spacecoast-florida.com/moccasin-island/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L857180
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Moccasin Island Tract

Oakland Nature Preserve

Oakland Nature Preserve
Description

Oakland Nature Preserve is a small neighborhood preserve on the outskirts of Clermont, Florida. I visited it regularly when I was first starting in nature photography. It features native Florida forested wetland habitat, including a boardwalk out to Lake Apopka.

Photography Advice

I’d suggest a long lens or intermediate telephoto.

When to GoWinter and springtime
Species Photographed (22)American Kestrel, Black-and-white Warbler, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Headed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, Chipping Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Hermit Thrush, Osprey, Painted Bunting, Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ring-Billed Gull, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, White-Crowned Sparrow, White-Eyed Vireo, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Websitehttp://www.oaklandnaturepreserve.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L348334
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 17 posts from Oakland Nature Preserve

Orlando Wetlands Park

Orlando Wetlands Park
Description

Orlando Wetlands Park is a nature preserve located in Christmas, Florida (between Orlando and Cocoa Beach). It’s a fun place to hike and photograph all the typical Florida marsh species.

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens that you’re willing to carry on a hike. You’ll likely walk several miles. Also carry a wide-angle lens for sunrise.

When to GoWinter and springtime
Species Photographed (38)American Bittern, American Coot, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Barn Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Black Vulture, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Caspian Tern, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Green Heron, Least Bittern, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Marsh Wren, Painted Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Pileated Woodpecker, Purple Gallinule, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Winged Blackbird, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Snail Kite, Snapping Turtle, Snowy Egret, Sora, Tricolored Heron, Vermilion Flycatcher, White-Eyed Vireo
Websitehttp://www.orlandowetlands.org/
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L452007
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 25 posts from Orlando Wetlands Park

Other Places

Other Places
Description

Other places that I don’t visit frequently, or places that I won’t identify in order to protect the wildlife that I’ve photographed.

Photography Advice

Research your local hot spots.  Get out and explore. You never know what you’ll find!

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (25)Bald Eagle, Bonaparte's Gull, Bufflehead, Burrowing Owl, Eastern Bluebird, Florida Scrub-Jay, Great Black-Backed Gull, Great Horned Owl, Herring Gull, Hooded Merganser, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Muscovy Duck, Mute Swan, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Ring-Billed Gull, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Ruddy Turnstone, Sandhill Crane, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Snail Kite, Snow Bunting, Snowy Egret, Swallow-tailed Kite, Whooping Crane, Wood Duck
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 24 posts from Other Places

PEAR Park

PEAR Park
Description

Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park is a great place to look for wintering sparrows.  I like wandering through the Scrub Trail area, looking for bluebirds and kestrels and other little birds.

Photography Advice

Take your longest lens – the birds are more skittish here than at more populated locations.

When to GoWinter and springtime
Species Photographed (14)American Crow, American Kestrel, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Clay-colored Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, Grasshopper Sparrow, House Finch, Pine Warbler, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Swamp Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, White-Crowned Sparrow
Websitehttps://www.lakecountyfl.gov/offices/parks_and_trails/pear_park.aspx
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L371829
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapTrail Map
My PostsView my 3 posts from PEAR Park

Polk Rookery

Polk Rookery
Description

My friend Herman sometimes takes my dad and me to the Polk Rookery. It’s a great place to photograph wading birds at their nests. My favorites are the Roseate Spoonbill nests, and Brown Pelicans nest here as well. I’ve been asked to not disclose the location in order to protect the nesting habitat. You need a boat to get there, anyway.

Photography Advice

Early mornings and late afternoons are the best time to observe the nesting birds.

When to GoSpringtime
Species Photographed (13)Anhinga, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Brown Pelican, Cattle Egret, Double-Crested Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Least Bittern, Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Wood Stork
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 6 posts from Polk Rookery

Sandhill Crane Nest

Sandhill Crane Nest
Description

Sandhill Crane nest in Orlando, FL.  Exact location not disclosed.

Photography Advice

None

When to GoMarch
Species Photographed (2)Sandhill Crane, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 13 posts from Sandhill Crane Nest

Sandhill Crane Nest #2

Sandhill Crane Nest #2
Description

Sandhill Crane nest in Orlando, FL.  Exact location not disclosed.

Photography Advice

None

When to GoMarch
Species Photographed (1)Sandhill Crane
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 8 posts from Sandhill Crane Nest #2

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island
Description

Sanibel Island is a fun place to vacation and bird-watch.  During spring migration, check out the lighthouse area that is a hotspot for visiting warblers and songbirds.  The beaches play host to terns and gulls during the summer breeding season.  Wading birds can be found year-round in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  End your day with a gorgeous sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

Photography Advice

Take as many lenses as you can carry!

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (7)Least Tern, Painted Bunting, Prothonotary Warbler, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Yellow Warbler
WebsiteNone
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L481080
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Sanibel Island

Seminole Towne Center Pond

Seminole Towne Center Pond
Description

Given that it is located inside a major shopping area, the Seminole Town Center Pond is an unlikely site for bird photography.  But an unusual Common Goldeneye often visits during the winter, joining the Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks.  If you’re in the area, check it out!

Photography Advice

Take a long lens.  The birds are skittish and will go to the opposite side of the pond when they see you.

When to GoNovember through January
Species Photographed (4)Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Lesser Scaup, Pied-Billed Grebe
WebsiteNone
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L4129154
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 4 posts from Seminole Towne Center Pond

Silver Springs

Silver Springs
Description

Silver Springs State Park, formerly known as Silver River State Park, is a Florida State Park located on the Silver River in Marion County. The park contains Silver Springs, Florida’s first tourist attraction. The Silver Springs attraction dates to the 1870s.

 

Photography Advice

Book a cruise down the river and you might see the famous wild monkeys.

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (2)Red-Shouldered Hawk, Wood Duck
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 2 posts from Silver Springs

Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve
Description

The Tibet-Butler Preserve has a series of hiking trails that let you view wading birds and songbirds

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens you want to carry on a hike

When to GoWinter and spring
Species Photographed (2)Downy Woodpecker, Northern Parula
Websitehttps://floridahikes.com/tibetbutler
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L840481
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Venice Rookery

Venice Rookery
Description

The Venice Rookery is a small island where Great Blue Herons and other wading birds nest.  It’s an internationally recognized location for bird photography.

Photography Advice

You’ll be photographing across a small canal off onto a small island.  An intermediate telephoto is perfect for flight shots, and you might like having the long lens for close-up portraits.

When to GoNovember through February
Species Photographed (3)Double-Crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret
Websitehttps://www.veniceaudubon.org/rookery
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L607892
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Venice Rookery

Viera Wetlands

Viera Wetlands
Description

Viera Wetlands, officially known as the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera, is a water treatment facility that attracts lots of birds. Berm roads criss-cross the wetlands, and on most days you can drive your car on the roads. Cars make great blinds for photographing skittish birds! Crested Caracara can regularly be seen at Viera, along with Roseate Spoonbills and many other wading birds. Nesting Great Blue Herons give great photo ops in December-January. Black-bellied Whistling Ducklings can often be found in summer (July and August).

Photography Advice

Since you’ll be in your car, load up on lenses. You never know what you may find!

Call ahead to find out if the berm roads are open for driving – (321) 255-4488.

 

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (72)American Avocet, American Bittern, American Coot, American Kestrel, American White Pelican, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Barn Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Black Tern, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Black-Necked Stilt, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Cooper's Hawk, Crested Caracara, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, European Starling, Florida Scrub-Jay, Forster's Tern, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Green-Winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Horned Grebe, Killdeer, King Rail, Least Bittern, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Scaup, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Loggerhead Shrike, Mottled Duck, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pectoral Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pine Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Winged Blackbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Redhead, Ring-Billed Gull, Ring-Necked Duck, Roseate Spoonbill, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Smooth-billed Ani, Snowy Egret, Sora, Spotted Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Swamp Sparrow, Tricolored Heron, Turkey Vulture, Wilson's Phalarope, Wilson's Snipe, Wood Stork
Websitehttp://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/EnvironmentalResources/Wetlands
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L376186
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 49 posts from Viera Wetlands

Wekiva Springs State Park

Wekiva Springs State Park
Description

Wekiva Springs State Park is a good spot for finding warblers during spring migration.  I want to go back to find a Bachman’s Sparrow!

Photography Advice

Take the longest lens you want to carry on a hike

When to GoYear Round
Species Photographed (3)Eastern Towhee, Gray Catbird, Tufted Titmouse
Websitehttps://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/wekiwa-springs-state-park
eBirdhttps://ebird.org/hotspot/L1459994
Google MapClick here to view Google Map
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 1 posts from Wekiva Springs State Park

Winter Park Osprey Nest

Winter Park Osprey Nest
Description

An Osprey nest on top of a facilities pole provides great photo opportunities for those who stand on the top story of a parking garage across the street!

Photography Advice

None

When to GoMarch through May
Species Photographed (1)Osprey
WebsiteNone
eBirdNone
Google MapNone
Trail MapNone
My PostsView my 9 posts from Winter Park Osprey Nest