aba events

ABA Birding Rally -- South Florida

Photos by Mark Hedden

Birding in South Florida in the spring is a bit like playing a slot machine rigged in your favor. You don’t know exactly how it’s going to work out, but odds are something good will happen.

Between the Everglades, the surrounding agricultural areas, the Florida Bay ecosystem, the upper Keys, and various parks and neighborhoods in Miami, it is hard to not see great birds.

The most reliable birds in South Florida are the resident species, such as Wood Stork, White-crowned Pigeon, Roseate Spoonbill, Purple Gallinule, Swallow-tailed Kites and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. But there are a number of resident species that give you a sense of jackpot when you find them – American Flamingo, Snail Kite, Mangrove Cuckoo, Cable Sable Seaside Sparrow, Short-tailed Hawk, Shiny Cowbird and Smooth-billed Ani among them.

Miami’s urban areas are the home to large populations of escaped exotic birds, many of which are ABA countable, including Spot-breasted Oriole, Common Myna, Nanday Parakeet, Green Parakeet, and Red-whiskered Bulbul.

Late April is also the northbound migration. Many neotropical migrants come up from the Caribbean or fly across the Gulf of Mexico and South Florida is crucial stopover habitat for them. Dozens of species of songbirds pass through the area – warblers, thrush, buntings and grosbeaks, as well as a handful of raptors.

And then there are the Caribbean strays. Almost every spring something shows up. La Sagra’s Flycatcher, Western Spindalis, Key West Quail-dove, Cuban Vireo, Loggerhead Kingbird or, well, pretty much anything.

We will spend time birding in the Everglades

No matter what, birding in South Florida is always an adventure.

When: April 26-30, 2018

Where: We will base ourselves in Homestead, central to Everglades National Park, Miami, and the Upper Keys.

How much: $1195 per person, double occupancy. Single Supplement $250.

Keys & Dry Tortugas Extension

When: April 30 to May 2, 2018

How Much: $900 per person double occupancy $150 single supplement

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