By Sherri Eisenberg | Published on April 7, 2023
I grew up in the Northeast, where each fall season I would watch birds fly south for the winter in fascinating "V" formations. As a child I wondered, "Where are they going to escape the cold?" The answer, of course, is Florida. Birds fly south for the same reasons that retirees do: sunshine, beaches and the great outdoors. When the mercury drops up north, the birds migrating south put on a warm-weather show, making bird-watching in Florida a sight to behold.
In the winter months, avid bird-watchers tend to head out early in the morning, between dawn and 11 a.m. While the northern part of the state sees the most birds in wintertime, the southern part sees migrant land birds in the spring.
You can find feathered friends in Florida's mangrove swamps, mud flats, hardwood forests or beside rivers or lakes. When you travel to Florida, explore on your own or join a bird-watching tour of these excellent locations for spotting birds.
Located at the western edge of the Florida Keys, about 70 miles west of Key West, this remote park on a cluster of seven islands is only for serious birders, as it's reachable only by boat or seaplane. In addition to coral reefs and the historic 19th-century Fort Jefferson, you can spot masked boobies, black skimmers and brown pelicans.
Pack your binoculars and prepare for the best birding experiences when you cruise out of Florida.