Overview

Together, both climate and geography isolate Florida from the rest of the country. Because of its geographically unique position, Florida is a crossroads between the temperate north and the sultry Caribbean south. Indeed, about a dozen bird species of West Indian origin reach the northern limits of their range here. Many of these West Indian species live nowhere else in the United States. Furthermore, due to its southerly position and proximity to the Gulf Stream, the southeast corner of the Sunshine State hosts an incredible assortment of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, raptors and shorebirds -- up to twenty-five warbler species and ten flycatcher species have been recorded in a single winter season! It is also the best time of year to catch up with some Florida specialties which are much more difficult on normal spring itineraries like Short-tailed Hawk. Indeed, the excellence of winter birding in South Florida is one of North America's secrets, as it is the time when avian diversity peaks in the region.

On this tour, we cover the southern third of the state in search of the many specialty birds and winter visitors on offer. We begin by exploring Miami, a city with a decidedly Caribbean flair, in search of several ABA-countable exotics such as Spot-breasted Oriole, White-winged Parakeet and Red-whiskered Bulbul, as well as a wide variety of winter residents such as Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, and a score of warblers. A little further north, a series of well-planned wetlands are home to all of the Florida wetland specialties: Wood Stork, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, Sora, and more. We also explore nearby oak scrub for Florida’s only endemic bird, the Florida Scrub Jay. On the last leg of our journey, we explore bald cypress forests, pinelands and mudflats in southwestern Florida for charismatic waders such as Piping and Snowy Plovers and memorable woodland species such as Brown-headed Nuthatch and Red-headed Woodpecker.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Florida Scrub Jay; Short-tailed Hawk; Snail & White-tailed Kites; Purple Gallinule; Limpkin; Mangrove Cuckoo; White-crowned Pigeon; Burrowing Owl; Ruby-throated Hummingbird; Great Horned & Eastern Screech Owls; Eastern Whip-poor-will; Brown-crested Flycatcher; Swamp, Grasshopper, Savannah, Clay-colored, Bachman's & Lincoln’s Sparrow; Common Ground Dove; Indigo & Painted Buntings; Black-bellied Whistling Duck; American Bittern; Least Bittern; Sora; King Rail; Red-headed & Red-cockaded Woodpeckers; Reddish Egret; Marbled Godwit; Red Knot; Black Skimmer. Warblers: Northern & Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-winged, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Blackpoll, Cape May, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Prairie, Yellow-throated, Prothonotary & Palm Warblers Introduced species: Grey-headed Swamphen, Monk, White-winged & Nanday Parakeets, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common Myna, Spot-breasted Oriole
Top Mammals
West Indian Manatee
Habitats Covered
urban parks, lakes, swamps, grassland, pine forest, sawgrass prairie
Expected Climate
warm and humid conditions with mosquitoes in the Everglades
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper Tour Leader
Tour Pace & Walking
relaxed pace with a few shorter walks
Accommodation
comfortable hotels & lodges, 2 or 3-star
Ease of Birding
generally easy
Other Attractions
American Crocodile, American Alligator, Everglades National Park
Photographic Opportunities
good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

The group saw 24 warblers (me 21) & I was elated!! Not to mention all the other quality birds. Stephen was superb. There were 13 of us & tho a high count of clients by RBT standards, it worked very well-we were lucky too-a fallout. Thanks Stephan thanks RBT.

I just wanted you to know that the trip to Texas with Stefan and Claudia went fantastic. The birding was unbelievable and the logistics to pull that all off in such a large state as Texas were near flawless. Stefan is an amazing birder and his persistence and patience made certain everyone got on the birds; the views were amazing. Claudia was a great help for him and was fantastic at quickly getting the scope on the birds as well. It was all wonderful Rockjumper birding until you drop at its finest! On side notes, the food was great.

Stephan Lorenz is a fantastic guide. His ability to find tough birds is amazing, plus he has a great personality which makes the whole trip very enjoyable.

Our guide was superb. The experience was really beyond my expectations. This was “awesome” in the traditional sense of awesome not the common vernacular.

Stephan was an excellent guide and made sure everyone was able to see the birds and many times obtain photos. He was patient with the requests of the group members and facilitated an enjoyable experience for all. Claudia was a great addition to the team and we really appreciated her help finding birds in the scopes, identifying birds in the van, and working with Stephan to make sure our trip was as seamless as possible.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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