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Birdwatching in Florida

Birding contacts and birdwatching information


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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
  Welcome! I live on Amelia Island in Northeast Florida. I have enjoyed birding and photography for over 10 years in this area (NE Florida, SE Georgia) and am a Florida Master Naturalist.

In addition to Amelia Island, great places to visit nearby are Huguenot Park, Talbot Island, Cumberland Island, Okefenokee Swamp, Anastasia Island/St. Augustine and Crooked River SP.

I am bilingual in Spanish and have a 4wd vehicle that helps especially if one has limited mobility.

Look forward to meeting you!
Area:
Amelia Island, Huguenot Park, Talbot Island, Cumberland Island, Okefenokee Swamp, Anastasia Island/St. Augustine and Crooked River SP

Area Birds:
Tons of shore birds and wading birds. Seasonally can find Roseate Spoonbill, red-cockaded woodpecker, red knot, American Oystercatcher, black skimmer, piping plover, bald eagle, painted bunting

Interests:
Nature: birding, photography, hiking, nature, beach, boating


 
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.
K Smock Cape Coral (winter only) Anytime English, bit of Spanish
I belong to the Calusa Birding Club.
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

 

  J Foard Englewood and Lakeland Jan., Feb., and March in Lakeland, then also Englewood. English, very basic tourist Spanish
  A birder for just two years with 450+ life birds and growing fast. Love to talk and birds. Simi-retired physician assistant with no plan to ever retire completely. My wife is my best friend and Ziggy (Jack Russel terrier) is my second best friend.

My great regret in life is that I didn't become a birder unit I was 68. Oh the wasted years!. From living out west near Sun Valley for twenty years to sailing from South Africa to the US and then circumnavigating the Caribbean with my wife for three years. All those island nations and all those birds! But I can claim only a few. I'm beginning to carry my binoculars with me everywhere I go to make up for lost time.

Happy to take you out with me when you are in the area. I spend part of my week in Lakeland and part in Englewood.
Area:
Our Lakeland home is on Lake James, a small lake just off I-4 about 35 miles east of Tampa and 40 miles west of Orlando.

Our Englewood home is on the Central Gulf Coast about 25 miles south of Sarasota.

We will spend most of Jan., Feb., and March in Lakeland. During the rest of the year we could be at either location.

Area Birds:
My little lake has many of the egrets and herons and other fowl.

Interests:
Nature: birdwatching, sprint triathlons, swimming, walking, hiking, biking, long quiet walks. Travel: sailing the Caribbean, anywhere with birds peace and quiet. Birding in Guatemala and Panama last spring. Costa Rica soon and Alaska, Seattle bay islands and Glacier National Park next summer.


 

  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 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.
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.
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.

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
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.
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

 

  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.


Professional Guides

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

Name company Area Available Language

 

  Rebecca Smith & Gallus Quigley Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours Minneola (near Orlando) Sunday-Monday English
  We will lead tours anywhere in the state with arrangements in advance but focus mainly on Central Florida.

Rebecca Smith

Avid Birder for last 12 years with 333 species in Florida. Since 2000 during her first internship studying Dotted Skippers and Diamondback Terrapins in Cape May County, NJ, her passion for biodiversity spread from entomology and herpetology to birding. A Certified Master Naturalist, a bird bander with the Wekiva Basin Banding Station until 2017, she participates as a volunteer in Jay Watch, NABA butterfly counts and Christmas Bird Counts. She served 2 years as an Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society board member and coordinating that chapter’s field trips. She brings a diverse knowledge of all of Florida's fauna, is an amazing photographer, and loves insects, especially beetles. Rebecca brings a passion for all things nature and her love of birds, butterflies, and insects is contagious to all those who go out with her. With her long resume of jobs in biology studying everything from Clapper Rail to Red-cockaded Woodpecker and you won't find anyone more knowledgeable or passionate about what she does.

Florida Bird List-333
Florida Butterfly List-101
Bird Life List- 848



G. Quigley

Began birding at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in PA watching raptors in 8th grade which began his love of hawks. That soon changed after receiving a Golden's Field Guide that he paged through till he came across the wood-warblers and saw the Prothonotary Warbler which launched him into the world of birding. Since then he has been the hawk counter at Bake Oven Knob in PA, during his time here he was published in American Hawkwatcher for a paper on Migrating Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks and in conjunction with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, and Mountclair in NJ.

Arriving in Florida in May 2005 to work for Dr. Reed Noss of UCF doing Radio Telemetry and banding of the critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. This eventually lead to his current job with Lake County Office of Parks & Trails where he performs quarterly bird & butterfly surveys on five conservation properties. Over his time with with Lake County he was on Birding Adventures with James Currie and was Keynote Speaker for 2015 Wings & Wildflowers Festival.

In his spare time he is the eBird reviewer for Lake and Sumter Counties, co-compiler for Zellwood-Mt. Dora CBC, eBird Hotspot Reviewer for Florida, and was Lake County Coordinator for Florida BBA 2011-2016.

With this background Gallus brings the details, with quality eBird checklists made at every stop and a knowledge of the when and where to find birds. His background also means he has a vast knowledge of local ecosystems and thank to Rebecca is becoming a butterfly enthusiast and better photographer.

Florida Bird List-433
Florida Butterfly List-86
Big Year-Florida 359 in 2008 (3rd Highest Total), Lake County 243 in 2015 (Record)
Bird Life List-1331


If interested in Dry Tortugas Trips we do guide work through Florida Nature Tours which offers best guides, boat, and price of anyone leading trips there.



Area:
Central Florida is home "the mouse" but also is amazing for birding and is nicely situated to reach birding spots on both coasts in less than 90 minutes. It holds the largest concentrations of the endemic Florida Scrub-jay as well as several of the top birding locations in the state, if not the entire U.S. including Merritt Island NWR, Lake Apopka North Shore, and Fort DeSoto Park.

Ocala National Forest, Merritt Island NWR, Three Lakes WMA, Mead Botanical Gardens, Lake Apopka North Shore, Orlando Wetlands Park, Tosohatchee WMA, Ferndale Preserve, Fort DeSoto Park

Area Birds:
Florida Scrub-jay, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman's Sparrow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Reddish Egret, Snail Kite, Limpkin, Purple Gallinule, Swallow-tailed Kite (March-August), Short-tailed Hawk, Wood Stork, Painted Bunting (October-April), Crested Caracara



Interests:
Nature: birding, twitching, photography, hiking, butterflies, dragonflies, insects, native plants, entomology, herpetology, biology, eco-system management
Travel: train, bus, car, biking, long walk, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, plane, cruise ship
Visit: tourist site, museum, restaurant (vegan), vineyard, winery, outdoors, nature preserves, parks, beach, lake, ocean, architecture, shop, brewery, taproom, zoo
Attend: concert, ballet, dance show, theater, live music, sports event, convention, Pokemon Go Community Day, Renascence Faire, movie, theme park
Participate: wine, beer, liquor, social games, computer games, vegan cooking, pigeon rescue


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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