Whether you are a bird-watching expert or simply an amateur enthusiast, there are plenty of birds you can see in Southwest Florida. With the diverse ecosystems in Florida, there are over 500 species of native birds that call the state home.
There are thousands of acres of wilderness in Southwest Florida that are home to a stunning variety of migratory birds. When you visit Babcock Ranch, get your binoculars and cameras ready, because you will see many interesting native birds of Florida nesting throughout our ecosystems.
Common Birds at Babcock Ranch
- Red-cockaded woodpecker this woodpecker is commonly spotted and can be identified by its black head with a white belly and barred black and white back. It has a small red streak above the cheek of the male that is hardly visible but gives it the “red” in its name.
- Bachman’s Sparrow this sparrow’s population is most abundant in Florida and is known for its loud songs which begin with a loud whistle and are followed by an extended trill.
- Burrowing Owl is one of the smallest owls in Florida and is active during the day unlike other owls in Florida. It nests in burrows that it digs on the ground on open prairies, like pastures and fields.
- Limpkin is a long-legged species of water birds that have dark-brown feathers with streaks of white on its head and neck, which can grow to be 28 inches long.
- Southwest American kestrel is the smallest falcon in the U.S. and can be identified by it’s brown back with black flecks and a white belly.
- Peregrine Falcon doesn’t breed in Florida but can be found here during the fall during seasonal migrations. They are the fastest birds in the world, reaching speeds over 200 mph. They can be identified by the distinctive falcon silhouette – long pointed wings and a long thing tail – and by dark features on its head and nape, which resemble a hood or helmet.
- Sandhill Cranes are long-legged, long neck, gray, heron-like birds with a patch of bald red skin on top of their head. They can reach a height of 4 feet and are known for their unique flight by flying with their neck stretched out completely.
- Wild Turkeys are large birds with long legs, wide, rounded tails, and a small head on a long slim neck. They can be spotted in the pine Flatwoods and the fingers of the prairies of Babcock Ranch.
How to Identify Birds
A good tip for looking for birds is to identify them by actively using these four steps – size & shape, color, pattern, behavior, and habitat. Knowing birds that are common to the area is important to able to identify birds, and then once you learn to quickly recognize important characteristics, you can easily narrow your search to the right species or group. A reputable guidebook is an important tool for successful birdwatching, as well.
Take A Guided Eco Tour Through Babcock Ranch
If you want to see birds in Southwest Florida, as well as an abundance of other wildlife, a guided eco-tour through Babcock Ranch is perfect for you! You will take a bus tour through the preserved ecosystems in Southwest Florida, led by an expert guide that will narrate the experience for you. All our guides are experts on wildlife in the area, so they will be able to point out different birds and wildlife you will see on the way!
Guided tours are offered 7 days a week from 9 AM to 3 PM. Reservations are highly recommended late fall through mid-April. Click here to book today!