Some Florida Target Birds

One of the reasons we are traveling to Florida is to see some birds which I’ve never seen; many of the birds we’ll encounter are those that also frequent the Southwest but there are some that are more unique to Florida. Here are a few of my top ones (photos are by an excellent photographer, Mark Vance, who has a gallery on Flickr here.

A large, white, bald-headed wading bird of the southeastern swamps, the Wood Stork is the only stork breeding in the United States. Its late winter breeding season is timed to the Florida dry season when its fish prey become concentrated in shrinking pools.photo by Mark Vance

A large, white, bald-headed wading bird of the southeastern swamps, the Wood Stork is the only stork breeding in the United States. Its late winter breeding season is timed to the Florida dry season when its fish prey become concentrated in shrinking pools.  Photo by Mark Vance

An unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes, the Limpkin reaches the northern limits of its breeding range in Florida. There, it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails, which it extracts from their shells with its long bill. Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative.

An unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes, the Limpkin reaches the northern limits of its breeding range in Florida. There, it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails, which it extracts from their shells with its long bill. Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative. Photo by Mark Vance

A strikingly marked raptor of wetlands in the southeastern United States, the Swallow-tailed Kite captures flying insects or plucks insects and lizards from the tops of trees.

A strikingly marked raptor of wetlands in the southeastern United States, the Swallow-tailed Kite captures flying insects or plucks insects and lizards from the tops of trees. Photo by Mark Vance

A bold and curious bird, the Florida Scrub-Jay can become hand-tame in areas where it comes in contact with people. Unfortunately, it is restricted to the rare oak scrub community of Florida, a habitat under constant threat of development, and is classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

A bold and curious bird, the Florida Scrub-Jay can become hand-tame in areas where it comes in contact with people. Unfortunately, it is restricted to the rare oak scrub community of Florida, a habitat under constant threat of development, and is classified as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Photo by Mark Vance

Caption text is from Cornell University “All About Birds
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