Florida wildlife tours are a fantastic way to spot all kinds of wildlife, especially endangered or threatened birds. Here are a few birds to look out for during Florida wildlife tours!

Burrowing Owls

As you pass through the open palmetto prairie, keep your eyes peeled for one of Southwest Florida’s most loved birds, the burrowing owl! This pint-sized predator may be hard to spot at first. They usually camouflage well against their prairie surroundings. Keep looking though! Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are usually awake during the day (diurnal).

The owls were originally only in Central Florida but because of human development, they were pushed further south, and the state claimed it as a threatened species. Luckily, the Babcock Ranch Preserve is a perfect place for these adorable birds to call home with no threat of development to damage their habitat!

Red-cockaded woodpecker

The red-cockaded woodpecker is considered an endangered species, so we are very lucky to have them at the Babcock Ranch Preserve. They were once common throughout the southeast but due to logging of the longleaf pine ecosystem, their habitat has dwindled.

The red-cockaded woodpecker is the only woodpecker that bores out holes in living pine trees to live! Most woodpeckers opt for dead trees where the wood is soft. It takes the red-cockaded woodpecker 1 to 6 years to dig out its new home.

Osceola Turkeys

This isn’t your average turkey. The Osceola wild turkeys can only be found on the Florida peninsula! They are smaller and darker than the Eastern subspecies and generally have a shorter beard too. There are about 100,000 Osceola turkeys in Florida and the palmetto prairie of Babcock Ranch is a great place to spot them!


Babcock Ranch is home to both the Southwest American Kestrel and the Peregrine Falcon! The Southwest American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in the U.S. but its average life expectancy in the wild is only 15 months. Peregrine Falcons on the other hand are much larger and the oldest recorded one was over 19 years old!

Go Bird Watching On Babcock Ranch Eco Tours

Florida wildlife tours provide you the opportunity to learn much more about these birds and other native Florida bids too like the Sandhill Crane and Roseate Spoonbill. On our 90-minute Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour, our expert guides will help you spot the different types of birds and explain what makes them special! Ready to book a tour? Reserve your spot here!