A Travellerspoint blog

Day 1: Florida!

Collier County (Naples area), Florida

sunny 79 °F

Today I birded areas south of Naples, Florida with my family in search of life birds! I love spring break — we will be here until Tuesday and then will fly home to Chicago.

I started off the morning in my backyard of the house we are renting where I found a male BALTIMORE ORIOLE and a WHITE IBIS, nice birds to start off the day.
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Then, we drove south to Marco Island where I would search for my life bird BURROWING OWLS. Sure enough, within a block of our first birding stop, my mom pointed out two gnome-like birds sitting in a vacant lot and indeed they were the owls!
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Overall I saw nine Burrowing Owls on Marco Island, it was amazing!
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These owls’ borrows were protected by ropes that conservation officials had set up to protect this state-endangered species. They were just in the middle of vacant lots in random suburban areas — very cool to see!
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MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD was neat:
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Our next stop was a BALD EAGLE nest with two adults and two young, a very cool sight to see!
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PRAIRIE WARBLER was also nice here:
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On the way out, I spotted this LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE:
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Then, we had a beach day at Tigertail Beach on the island, and I immediately spotted this SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER:
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And a LEAST SANDPIPER:
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SEMIPALMATED PLOVER:
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SNOWY EGRET:
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TRICOLORED HERON:
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MOTTLED DUCKS flying over:
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BROWN PELICAN:
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ROYAL TERN:
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Then, another Snowy Egret came by on the beach and a kindly fisherman gave my sister a chance to feed it!
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There was a gigantic flock of ROYAL TERNS on the private section of beach that wasn’t overrun by beachgoers:
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BROWN PELICANS were also mixed in:
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As well as LAUGHING GULLS:
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It was a BEAUTIFUL day for the beach!
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OSPREY on its nest on the way out:
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Then, our last birding stop of the day was Collier - Seminole State Park in search of my life bird White-crowned Pigeon. Along the boardwalk, I found this ugly BLACK VULTURE:
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RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER:
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Heard-only was a pair of BARRED OWLS, my second owl species today!

And one of the best birds of the day, this SWALLOW-TAILED KITE, circled overhead a few times along for these photographs — only the second time I have ever seen this species!
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A wonderful day! Bird-of-the-day to my life bird Burrowing Owls and runner-up to the Swallow-tailed Kite!

STAY TUNED — tomorrow morning my parents and I are heading to Corkscrew Swamp which is arguably one of the best birding spots in the entire southeastern US, and I expect to find many birds and a variety of non-avian wildlife as well!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 968 Species (1 life bird today: Burrowing Owl)

Posted by skwclar 15:03 Archived in USA

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Comments

Frigate bird and Swallow tailed Kite, birds I hope to experience one day, although your travel-log is pretty good for getting to see them.
I will go to Florida along the Gulf and see if I run into them some day in early March.
Thanks for sharing, I have been down there many times and now know that its possible to see those guys in that area at that time. I aint that serious of a birder that that must happen, but !

by steve fluett

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