Should I Go To Florida?

I’m debating whether to make a trip to Florida next year. There are still a few life birds for me down there, most notably the endemic Florida Scrub-Jay. Near endemics in the ABA area include Limpkin, Bachman’s Sparrow, Swallow-tailed Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, Sooty Tern, and Snail Kite. Also possible are Brown-headed Nuthatch, Leconte’s Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow, Black-whiskered Vireo, Swainson’s Warbler, Shiny Cowbird, Black Rail, and Yellow Rail. Greater Flamingo is arguable but only if I get down to the Everglades. None of these are easy to find, but most should be doable if I plan for them specifically.

There are a couple of festivals I could attend. The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville in January might be my best shot for species that winter in Florida, but January isn’t a good month for me. Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest in April might pick up a few of these, but it’s further north than I’d like. There’s also a good Central Florida Photo Workshop with Jim Neiger and James Shadle I’m thinking about.

To try for all of these might take a week tacked on to any of these events.


I’m going to Florida for Bugshot 2012 in August. The Archbold Biological Station where I’ll be staying for a few days is a prime spot for Florida Scrub Jay. I think I’m going to spend a couple of extra days in and around Fort Myers which should give me good opportunities for the remainder of the species I still need.

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