Birding in Florida

Last week I had fun visiting Honeymoon Beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on the Atlantic side of Florida. I got to see lots and lots of different birds, both ones that I have seen before and lots of new ones. Below are the pictures of some of the birds I was able to capture with my camera. Sorry if some of them are blurry or out of focus, my camera could not zoom in as far as I needed to get a good picture, so some of the photos are taken through my binoculars.

IMG_8500Northern Mockingbird

IMG_8604American Kestrel

IMG_8602Osprey and nest. We saw lots of these guys and their nests during a hike at Honeymoon Beach.

IMG_8612Ring-billed gull

IMG_8625Laughing gull. In the winter, the laughing gull’s head is gray/white but in the summer, it’s black. These guys would do anything for food!

IMG_8677My favorite! The American Oystercatcher.

IMG_8685Distinguished by their drab gray color, the Willet is a very common Florida shore bird.

IMG_8706Sanderlings

IMG_8728This group of shore birds includes (from right to left) the laughing gull, the herring gull, and the royal tern.

IMG_8737A new shore bird for me was the Ruddy Turnstone.

IMG_8744Brown pelican

IMG_8755Great Egret. Saw lots of these guys along the side of the road!

IMG_8758Great Blue Heron

IMG_8820Boat-Tailed Grackle

IMG_8844Love the scenery in this photo along with the Roseate Spoonbills.

IMG_8872Painted Bunting

IMG_8875Gray Catbird

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IMG_8942American Coot. Probably saw more of this bird than any of the other birds combined!

IMG_8894From right to left: Glossy Ibis, Tri-colored Heron, and the Roseate Spoonbill.

IMG_8902Right to left: Tri-Colored Heron and the Snowy Egret.

IMG_8909The tall bird is a Wood Stork and the small white birds are one of my favorites, the White Ibis.

IMG_8931Reddish Egret. I loved spotting all the different types of herons and egrets.

IMG_8937Greater Scaup

IMG_8938You can tell the Northern Shoveler apart from most ducks by it’s long, flat bill.

IMG_8952Green Heron

IMG_8954Anhinga with a Pie-Billed Grebe in the background.

IMG_8958Pie-Billed Grebe

IMG_8966Double-Crested Cormorant. The crests on a Double-Crested Cormorant are only clearly visible during the mating season. One way to tell an anhinga and a cormorant apart is by their beaks. A cormorant’s beak is hooked at the end, and an anhinga’s beak is straight and spear-like.

IMG_8967Blue-Winged Teal

IMG_8971Common Moorhen. The Common Moorhen is similar in appearance to the American Coot except it has a more colorful body and a distinguishing red/orange beak and face.

IMG_8977White Pelicans

IMG_8994The Florida Scrub Jay joined us for a picnic lunch.

IMG_9011My favorite (just kidding!!!), the Black Vulture. He is pretty cool though!

Below are a few birds I was unable to identify. Do you have any guesses?

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Hope you had as much fun looking at my pictures as I had taking them!

by Alexa