Birding

Beach at the Dry Tortugas National Park: Campsites are steps away. Terrific snorkeling is right off this beach along the walls of the fort.

Camping at the Dry Tortugas National Park: So worth the trouble

In honor of the 100th birthday of US national parks, here’s a park that deserves to be on your must-see list. We loved camping at Dry Tortugas National Park off the Florida Keys. It takes some time, money and effort, but, wow, does it pay off.

Honeymoon Island: A natural beach with comforts

Honeymoon Island: A natural beach with comforts

Honeymoon Island is an unusual combo: It’s accessible, with first-rate concessions, and yet it’s a big, natural beach where you can get away from people and see wildlife. And you have to love how it got its name.

Anhinga

Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge: Window to the Everglades

BOYNTON BEACH — About 260 species of birds and waterfowl find their way here throughout the year, and you can find them by hiking, biking or paddling the canoe trail.

A gator seemed to protect the entrance to the mud flats that attracted roseate spoonbills, stilts and storks, among other birds. This is along the river in Myakka Lake State Park.

Myakka River State Park: Expansive, abundant, Sarasota home to wildlife & nature

Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.

Burrowing owls at Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City.

Florida birding trail: New website helps you find places to explore & see wildlife

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail is a guide to 500+ places. It’s a great tool for discovery. I used it to find a colony of burrowing owls in an unlikely spot — a city park in the middle of overbuilt Broward County.

White pelican flyover at Peaceful Waters Sanctuary in Wellington

Wellington’s Peaceful Waters: Top birding spot, close to two good nature hikes

Peaceful Waters Sanctuary is an outstanding birding site and a particularly good destination for nature-starved folks from Broward and Palm Beach counties. It’s also close to two good places for 3-mile-long walks in natural settings.

Port Charlotte sea kayaking: White pelicans & mangrove mazes

Port Charlotte sea kayaking: White pelicans & mangrove mazes

The Gulf coast along Charlotte Harbor has miles of wild shoreline, making it a wonderland of wildlife and natural beauty and ideal for sea kayaking.

The peregrine falcon is one of the species that migrates south via the Florida Keys in the fall. In fact, the Keys see more peregrine falcons than anywhere else in the continent, according to Florida Keys Hawkwatch.

Keys Birding Festival isn’t much this year, but nobody told the birds

Sadly, the Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival is a shell of what it once was. But that doesn’t stop the birds from migrating through the Keys.

Photographers love the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. (Photo by Snowmanradio via Wikipedia.)

St. Augustine Alligator Farm: Superb bird rookery at historic attraction

This original Florida roadside attraction still thrills, especially in the spring and early summer when its rookery fills with hundreds of nesting birds. The gators and crocs are well-presented with lots of information as well as entertainment.

Flamingoes have returned to a remote site in Palm Beach County for nine years. (Photo by South Florida Water Management District.)

Flamingoes in Florida: Back for good? Birders can see them in spring

A flock of flamingoes, a bird rarely spotted in Florida, has returned to western Palm Beach County for nine years, and scientists think the flamingo may be back in Florida for good. Flamingoes migrate to the site in spring, when the Audubon Society manages trips to see them.