Bird Watching

Everglades Birds

Image - stignygaard

With hundreds of different species of birds in the Florida Everglades, bird watching is an exciting and enjoyable activity to do while you’re in the area. Whether you are visiting Everglades National Park or the Big Cypress National Preserve, you can find plenty of wildlife and birds to see on your journey. Bird watching tours are popular, but figuring out where the birds will be and what times of day are best to see them can prove to be challenging, to say the least.

The loop road in Big Cypress is a popular spot for bird watching, and includes 26 miles of road that is mostly unpaved. This road is best for late afternoon bird watching when the wading birds are getting settled for the evening and other animals are out in abundance. Make sure that you allow at least a couple of hours to check out this area, and drive slowly to avoid startling the wildlife or missing out on any spectacular sights. Here, you will find plenty of heron, egrets, ibis, and birds of prey and songbirds to be seen. If you want to see other animals, watch out for river otter, turtles, alligators, and other mammals that will be more active in the late afternoon and evening.

If you travel in the spring or summer months, you might not find much activity during mid-day, as it is usually too hot for the animals to be out and about. If you are traveling during the cooler months of December to March, there will be more to see at all times of the day rather than just during the evening or late afternoon hours.


Image - Tuan Iyne

Inside of Everglades National Park, you will find the Flamingo Visitor Center, where specialty waders and shorebirds provide you with hours of bird watching pleasure. Look for pelicans, terns, waders, and gulls in this area. You can also check out Eco Pond to see a great variety of interesting birds mixed in among the egrets and herons that are known to frequent the area. Snake Bite Trail is only a short walk from the visitor center, and you will find warblers and songbirds here in the early morning hours. As the day progresses and the park gets busier, these birds will move on.

As you’re touring the Florida Everglades, you can take the road that runs through Everglades National Park for bird watching. There are more than 60 miles that separate the Flamingo Visitor Center from the Coe Visitor Center, and it can take hours to enjoy the birds on this path. There are many safe pull-offs for when raptors appear, and the drive is certainly worth the kite and hawks that you might see along the way.

We took this in 2007

We took this in 2007

There are many species of birds to find in the Florida Everglades, both inside of the National Park and beyond its borders. Fortunately, with the right guide and information, you can go out and enjoy a bird watching tour of the Everglades region just about anywhere that you’d like.