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Birdwatching in Florida

Birding contacts and birdwatching information


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Local Birdingpal Contacts

Local Birdwatchers

Using the Birdingpal resources you must agree to the following: If you contact a local Birdingpal and make arrangement to go birding, you should note it is common courtesy to make sure you show up for the appointment. If for any reason you are unable to do this, the least you must do is contacting the local Pal right away.
Please note that most Birdingpals are serious birdwatchers. It is a privilege to contact them, and your message should reflect it. A local Pal does not get paid, but should he/she offer to take you out birding, using their own vehicle, it would be courteous to pay for the fuel. A lunch and/or a small gift would also be appropriate, something as simple as a souvenir of your country, or a pin from your local birding club.
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Shortcuts to Local Pals in major cities:
Fort Lauderdale Fort Myers Gainesville Marco Island Miami Orlando Tallahassee
Tampa Professional Guides

Initial Last Name Area Available Language
J Alvarado Amelia Island Weekend English, Spanish, a bit of Portuguese
Live on Amelia Island in the northeast corner of Florida. Am avid bird enthusiast / photographer and enjoy showing others the natural beauty of this area. We are close to Talbot Islands, Cumberland Island, Okefenokee Swamp, etc. and each season brings its own variety of birds here, including many nesting shore and wading birds.
B Saltonstall Cape Coral Anytime English
Cape Coral is home to the largest population of the Florida species of the Burrowing Owl in the world. Sightings 99% guaranteed. Side trips to see the endemic, endangered Florida Scrub Jay also available. Tours available November through May only.
Visit my web site
K Smock Cape Coral (winter only) Anytime English, bit of Spanish
I belong to the Calusa Birding Club.
L Hartzlr Clearwater/Tampa/Lutz Anytime English, French
L Andruske Cocoa Beach Weekend English, Russian
Interface b'n sub/tropical zones, Brevard County (FL) is a birdwatcher's paradise: Pandionidae, variety of raptors, wood storks, all estuarine/maritime wading birds; manatees, dolphins, pelagic whales (northern right). I can be made available during week with appropriate notification/lead time.
S Wise Cocoa Beach/Merritt Island(Winter only) Anytime English
L Burns Crawfordville Anytime English
I live south of Tallahassee Florida. The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is at my doorstep. We have seen bears, bobcats, raccoons, wild pigs etc. But the birds are fabulous. I am an amateur photographer and can spend all day out there. Also, we kayak a lot so we see birds you normally do not see on some trails.
R Peterson Deltona(Winter only) Anytime Spanish, English

 

  K Rasmussen Destin FL, winter in Toronto Anytime English, Danish
  I am a snowbirder, but will be happy to show show you around the Choctawhatchee Bay area. Area:
Choctawhatchee Bay

Area Birds:

Interests:
Nature: birdwatching

 

  K Blackshaw Nantucket, Massachusetts and Englewood, Florida Florida: mid-Dec. until mid April, then July and August. English
  Here is my Nantucket, MA listing

Birding 60 years and author of eight books about birding on Nantucket. Available May and early June, then Sept through mid Dec. If you e-mail me I'll either help you or link you up with someone who will. Nantucket is just over 40 square miles, you are never more than a mile and a half from the beach.
This would work for Englewood, FL.

Birding 60 years and author of eight books about birding on Nantucket, plus edited to editions of A Birders Guide to Georgia. Available mid-December until mid April, then July and August. If you e-mail me I'll either help you or link you up with someone who will. SW Florida is filled with very observable birds that seem much tamer here than up north.
Please remember our heroes returning from Iraq and Afghanistan!

S Flamand Gainesville Anytime English
L Kroll Gainesville Anytime English
Retired State of Florida employee. Have been bird watching for more than 15 years. This area has excellent bird watching in Paynes Prairie, especially in winter. There are many nature parks nearby. The Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts are only 1.5 hours away.
S Nesbitt Gainesville Anytime English
Retired after 35 years as a wildlife biologist working with birds in Florida.
A Kent Gainesville Weekend English, Spanish
Happy to show folks birds in North Central Florida. We live just north of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, one of Florida's top birding sites, especially good in the winter for Sandhill Cranes, waterfowl and sparrows. My wife and I are ornithologists and frequently lead walks and give talks at birding festivals.
R Wexler Grand Island Anytime English
Birding in Ocala National Forest and Emeralda Marsh.



K Dailey Jacksonville, Amelia Island, St. Augustine, Florida Weekends and some weekday evenings English
I'm an experienced local birder and Jacksonville area resident for over 35 years; I know the area and surrounding counties as well as anyone and can usually guide you to 70-100 species in a single day, any time of year.

I'm happy to set a pace that's comfortable for you and endeavor to get you on your target species.

I have a four wheel drive vehicle that provides us access to many wonderful locations like Huguenot Memorial Park, Amelia Island State Park, and the "Eastport Wastelands".

I also have high quality extra binoculars and spotting scope available so you can travel light, and have park passes to state and local parks.
A bit about me: I'm the eBird reviewer for Duval, Nassau, and Volusia Counties in Florida, and am on the Florida Ornithological Society's Field Observations Committee representing the Northeast Florida Region.

In addition, I'm in the process of writing a book on birding in Duval County (Jacksonville, FL) and publish the material on the internet as I go.


Area:
Huguenot Memorial Park, Amelia Island State Park, and the "Eastport Wastelands"

Area Birds:
Painted Bunting, Limpkin, Wilson's Plover, Franklin's Gull
I'm available most weekends and could be available in the evenings during the week after 5PM. I'm also available by email and phone for questions and tips on making your own outing successful.

There is never a fee or gratuity expected, but for those compelled to "give something" - I ask that you just donate back to your favorite conservation organization. I absolutely will not accept anything in return other than your good company.


Interests: birding



C Newton Kissimmee, Florida Varies- just email me. English
Central FL specialties and can do south FL rarities. I enjoy getting lifers for birders. Visiting the attractions or here for a conference get away for a day and add to your list. Area:
Three Lake WMA, Lake Front Park, Orlando WetLands, Lake Apopka

Area Birds:
Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pine Warbler, Limpkin
Interests:
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, butterflies, fishing.
Travel: stroll, walking, hiking, car, biking, long walk, packpack, canoe. mobile
Visit: tourist site, museum, restaurant, vineyard, architecture appreciation, concert, theatre, live music, sports event, competition, rock, wine, beer


Kudos
We were fortunate to have blindly selected C. Newton with whom to bird in the Orlando area.

He is wonderful! His knowledge of the area and specific sites for local rarities makes the experience a rewarding pleasure.

We were able to gain life birds in a short time and geographic area. Chris has a very engaging personality, patience to spare, and puts you at ease immediately.

This was our first Birding Pal experience and we would recommend it to any birder not familiar with the area you are visiting based on this encounter.

Thank you!


Kudos
As part of a family holiday in the Orlando area of Florida 2 days birding was on the cards. I selected C. Newton as my Birding Pal and I was not disappointed.

What Christian don't know about the Orlando area and it's birds is not worth knowing, as highlighted by our 2 days species count of 117. His knowledge of birds, both sight and sound, was spectacular from our early starts, 5.30am to our late finishes 7.30pm his enthusiasm was limitless and infectious.

I would recommend him to other birders coming to the Orlando area.

Regards
B. Bennett


J Welch Kissimmee Anytime English
I live is Osceola county Florida. I am an eagle watch volunteer and do education for Kissimmee Audubon Society. We have the densest concentration of nesting Bald Eagles in Florida. Lake Tohopekaliga is home to the endangered Snail Kite. Nearby Gatorland has an amazing breeding marsh where hundreds of birds nest Jan. through July. The Disney Wilderness Preserve has Florida Scrub-Jays, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and nesting Woodstorks. Painted Buntings, Swallow-tailed Kites, ducks, and others all migrate through our area.
S Hetrick Kissimmee Anytime English
I'm a 29 year old wildlife biologist and love to share my beautiful bird-rich area with others. I live right on Lake Toho which has the highest concentations of nesting endangered Snail Kites in the US. We also have the highest nesting concentrations of Bald Eagles. Whooping Cranes are also nearby. There's a rookery/roost island behind my house where you can see 1000s of great blue herons, great egrets, double-crested cormorants, anhinga, limpkin, turkey and black vulture, osprey, etc. Feel free to contact me!


K Miller Lake Worth, FL Sunday mornings and most weeknights English
I love birding. Probably about 70/30 birder over photographer but I always try my best to get a shot. I have 273 ABA-countable birds in Palm Beach County alone (all with photos/audio recordings). Feel free to check my Flickr by searching for "people" and typing in - Kenny Miller (KRM). Area:
Loxahatchee NWR, Green Cay Wetlands, Spanish River Park, PBCo. Ag Fields

Area Birds:
Florida Specialties (GHSW, SNKI, BUOW, FSJA, etc..)
Interests:
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, walking, hiking, concert, live music, sports event
L Naismith Lakewood Ranch Anytime English
Our general area of Florida as well as the state is known for attracting birders from all areas. I have only just become interested in the last 6 months and spend allot of time on walks and photographing birds.
R Morris Lakeland Anytime English
Lakeland is 1.5 hour drive from either coast. Polk county is one of the largest counties in Florida and has a checklist of over 300 species. Some of the Florida specialities found in Polk county are Limpkin, Snail Kite, Purple Gallinule, Short-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara and Burrowing Owl. Saddle Creek Park is also here in Lakeland, which be a wonderful fall warbler spot with as many as 22 species found in a single day.
P Sahlin Lighthouse Point Weekend English, Swedish
SE Florida has a number of places to hit, some of my favorites are the water reclamation areas in Delray Beach. I will also sometimes wander over to Sanibel Ispand and Merrit Island eventhough those places are a bit far away.
S LaGrotta Marco Island Anytime English
Tigertail Beach on Marco Island is part of the South Florida Birding Trail. The beach is part of the County Park system, with a natural lagoon, and short walk to the Marco river or the Gulf of Mexico. The crescent beach is one of seven in the world. Mangrove forest, mud flats and sea grass supports a number of different species. Considered one of the best birding sites in Southwest Florida. Some of the birds you may find, Wilson's, Piping and Snowy Plovers, Least Terns, Roseate Spoonbills, Red Knots, Osprey, Falcons, Bald Eagles and Pelicans.
W Arpt Melbourne Anytime English
I am seventy nine years old retired aerospace quality assurance specialist. (aerospace). I worked thirty three years for the us air force auditing contractor quality assurance programs and the operational condition of equipment and facilities assigned to them. Worked the the heavy lift titan heavy missile. Traveled to several foriegn countries. Japan, Okinawa, South Africa, The Congo, Surinam and England. Hobies include birding photography (ameture), fishing and flying. Spent two weeks in Alaska in search of good Puffin photos. No luck due to the weather.
P McCrea South Miami Weekend English, some French
I'm a true backyard birder since my suburban backyard, which is on a canal/lake, is a great place to watch migratory birds: warblers, raptors, water birds, etc. We have a local population of white crowned pigeons. Added attractions include huge iguanas, feral macaws, amazon parrots, monk parakeets and mynahs, the odd gator and even a large, but very shy, American croc. Can't guarantee that any will appear on a given day, though.
A Sissman Naples Anytime English
G Voigt North Port Anytime English, a little Italian, German
Southwest Florida-destination for many birds.
C Retey Ocala Anytime English
G O'Keefe Ocala Anytime English, some Spanish
I've been birding since I was eight years old. I just moved into this area, but have found some really good birding sites.

 

  G Quigley Minneola, Orlando Sunday-Monday English
  I live about 45 minutes northwest of Orlando International Airport and about 30-40 minutes from theme parks. Availability is usually Sunday-Monday.

I have been birding in Florida since 2005 and have 431 species on my state list.

Locations for birding I often take people to include Three Lakes & Tosohatchee WMA, Merritt Island NWR, Ocala National Forest, and several local hotspots depending on needs.

I have done 2 Big Years 2008 (Florida 3rd Highest all time) and 2015 Lake County (Record Holder).

Each spring I do guide work for Florida Nature Tours to Dry Tortugas NP.

I only ask for help with gas and tolls for the day. I try to respond within 2-3 days.
Area:
Merritt Island NWR, Tosohatchee WMA, Three lakes WMA, Ocala NF, Viera Wetlands Park

Area Birds:
Florida Scrub-jay, Burrowing Owl, Crested Caracara, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman's Sparrow, herons, egrets, Painted Bunting (winter)

Interests:
Nature: birding, photography, hiking, walking, butterflies, dragonflies, bird feeding, bird and butterfly surveys, bird banding
Travel: Car, Canoe, Train, Plane, boat, cruise ship
Visit: Natural Areas, Restaurants, National Parks, State Parks and Preserves, trails, major birding sites
Attend: Hockey Games, Concerts, Musicals, Movies, GIJoeCon, ComicCon
Participate: Pokemon Go, Computer Games, Local Birding Festivals, Guided Nature Tours, Birding Presentations, Star Trek, GI Joe


B Curry New Smyrna Beach Anytime English
We live near the northern entrance to the Canaveral National Seashore Park. The Mosquito Lagoon is our back yard and the Atlantic Ocean in the front. We frequently go birding in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Park and the Vierra Wetlands to the south. I am also a amateur photographer with experience in digiscoping. I am 45 minutes south of Daytona Beach, and 90 minutes northeast of Orlando.
E Reed Plant City Anytime English
M Davis Plantation Weekend English
Broward County, near the Everglades and the Ocean. My husband and I love birding!
A Banks Rotonda West Anytime English
Excellent birding opportunities in the SW coastal area of Florida. Summer is not the best time but there are interesting resident birds here.
R Carroll St. Cloud Anytime English
Me and my wife really enjoy birding, we are in our early forties and my wife is a photographer as well. We live in Central Florida, Orlando is just 20 minutes from us. We really like to pursue birds of prey. Bald Eagles, Hawks, Osprey, Cara Cara and even owls. But, will stop to view all species of birds and wildlife to.
J Dubi Sarasota Anytime English
G Olsen Stuart Anytime English
Not a serious watcher but very much enjoy it when I go. I live near the Intracoastal Waterway; have kayak access. Year round cardinal families; hummingbirds in season; Black-throated blue warbler arrives every year in my yard on (nearly) the same date! Reclaimed water "Parks" are about one hour away (in Palm Beach County)for wonderful for birding and photography. When I'm traveling in my new to my rv (Florida summers) I would love to meet up with other birders in other areas. This Oct. I will be going to Vermont for several weeks - St. Johnsbury vicinity after visiting family on eastern Long Island.
P Davenport Sun City Center(Winter only) Anytime English
P Muddu Tallahassee Anytime English
B Henderson Tallahassee Anytime English
T Smith Tallahassee Anytime English
St. Marks N.W.R. I am a rank amateur but am very familiar with the area.
S Phillips Tallahassee Anytime English
Birding guide/pal within 25 radius of Tallahassee fl. any day of the week. Can provide birding hotshots, places to dine and sleep. I am also interested in photography and am available for kayaking in rivers or gulf.
R Kruetzman The Villages/Ocala (Winter) Anytime English
G Jackson The Villages/Ocala (Winter) Anytime English
C Beaton Tampa/Sarasota Anytime English

 

  A Brayton Titusville Anytime English
  I have been a birder for almost 50 years and have birded the US, (including Alaska and the Pribolof Islands), Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, South Africa, a little in China and England.

I have been a volunteer for United States Fish and Wildlife Service at Merritt Island NWR for over ten years and a leader of field trips for other organizations for forty years.

I would greatly enjoy taking other birders around no matter where you are from.
Area:
Merritt Island Nat'l Wildlife Refuge, Viera Wetlands, Orlando Wetlands, et al.

Area Birds:
Reddish Egret, Painted Bunting, Purple Gallinule, Roseate Spoonbill, Scrubjay

Interests:
Nature, birdwatching, herpetology, wildflowers, mammals, twitching, photography, hiking, butterflies, sport fishing, cross country skiing, canoe and kayak, classical music.
Visit: Museums, outdoor nature spots, beaches, lakes and oceans.
Attend: Theater

 
R Oren Venice (Winter) Anytime English
We are volunteer bird guides in Lehigh Valley, Pa from May to November and in Venice, Florida from November to April.
A Albright Winter Haven Anytime English, basic Spanish
On the central Florida flyway during fall migration. Many good habitats nearby.


Professional Guides

If you contact a professional Birdingpal guide you must be prepared to pay a fee for guiding services.

First Name Last Name Area Available Language

 
Paddy Cunningham Fort Lauderdale Anytime English
I have been a professional Naturalist for 35 years in South Florida. I am the Coordinator of the Everglades Birding Festival, lead Audubon trips, bird festival speaker/leader and teach many bird i.d. classes. I can find the rare/life birds you seek, but more importantly my strength is teaching you to identify them by gaining advanced birding skills. It helps if you know what target birds you are seeking or what places you would like to visit (Everglades, Corkscrew, Keys, South Dade, etc..)in order to plan a successful day. Let's Go!
E Breaux North Miami Anytime English
I am a professional wildlife photographer and outdoorsman, 40 years now. I take people on private Guided Wildlife and Birding Photo Tours into the Everglades in Florida. Birding here is exceptional, as many species winter in the relative warmth of the South Florida wilds. Owing to both an abundance of wildlife and comfortable conditions, the dry season, December through April, is the best time in the Everglades. This is a full day's trip starting early in the morning. You will be hiking down wilderness trails teaming with wildlife and many birds.
On my Photo Website you will see images of some of the wildlife and birds you may see on the trip.


You will have so many good sightings and a very safe and enjoyable time. You will like my informative but fun, pleasant and upbeat personality. You pay all expenses from Miami and back, car rental, gas, tolls, entrance fees, meals, etc.


If you would like me to guide you into the Everglades for a day you are most welcome. Please contact me and I will let you know availability and send you a complete itinerary of the day's tour.







Birding Friendly Lodging

These hotels love birds and all who love them.
Bayfront Home
Apalachicola, St George Island
The Laurel Oak Inn
Gainesville
Island Inn
Hollywood Beach
Ivey House B&B
Everglades City
Bayview B&B
Cape Coral, Pine Island
West-End Paradise
Sanibel Island
We will extend a discount of 10% off the nightly rates to Birdingpals
Periwinkle Cottages
Sanibel Island
We will extend a discount off the nightly rates to Birdingpals








Birding Pal Info
Service Information
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Florida
Local weather Yahoo
Florida Ornithological Society Club
Audubon Florida Society Club
Audubon Society of the Everglades Club
South Florida Audubon Society Club
Space Coast Audubon Society Club
Florida Keys Audubon Society Club
St. Petersburg Audubon Society Club
Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society Club
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society Club
Duval Audubon Society Club
Choctawhatchee County Audubon Society Club
Citrus County Audubon Society Club
Four Rivers Audubon Society Club
Peace River Audubon Society Club
St. Johns County Audubon Society Club
Eagle Audubon Society Club
Orange Audubon Society Club
Halifax River Audubon Club
Alachua Audubon Society Club
Apalachee Audubon Society Club
Bay County Audubon Society Club
Hernando County Audubon Society Club
Highlands County Audubon Society Club
Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society Club
Audubon of Martin County Club
Pelican Island Audubon Society Club
Ridge Audubon Society Club
Seminole Audubon Society Club
Tampa Audubon Society Club
Clearwater Audubon Society Club
Venice Area Audubon Society Club
Collier County Audubon Society Club
Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society Club
Manatee County Audubon Society Club
West Pasco Audubon Society Club
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society Club
Flagler Audubon Society Club
Marion Audubon Society Club
Hendry-Glades Audubon Society Club
Santa Fe Audubon Society Club
Tropical Audubon Society Club
Sarasota Audubon Society Club
Lake Region Audubon Society Club
St. Lucie Audubon Society Club
Caloosa Bird Club Club
SRQ (Sarasota & Manatee Counties rare bird alerts) RBA
South of Sarasota County rare bird alerts) RBA
J. N. "Ding" Darling Foundation Site
The Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) Site
Space Coast Festival
Florida Breeding Birds Atlas
NABA Atala Chapter Butterflies
Birding Hotspots around the world Sites