Florida birdwatching is excellent and our villa is well situated to visit a large number of the birding ‘hot spots’.

From our sun deck we have so far identified over 80 species of birds ranging from Bald Eagle to Eastern Phoebe. 

Birds seen from our villa are:-

snowy egret merritt island painted bunting male oakland

 

1

 

PIED BILLED GREBE

 

Podilymbus podiceps

 

2

 

DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT

 

Phalocrocorax auritus

 

3

 

ANHINGA

 

Ahhinga anhia

 

4

 

GREAT WHITE EGRET

 

Ardea alba

 

5

 

CATTLE EGRET

 

Bulbulcus ibis

 

6

 

SNOWY EGRET

 

Egretta thula

 

7

 

TRICOLOURED HERON

 

Egretta tricolor

 

8

 

STRIATED HERON

 

Butorides virescens

 

9

 

LITTLE BLUE HERON

 

Egretta caerulea

 

10

 

GREAT BLUE HERON

 

Ardea herodias

 

11

  BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON  

Nycticorax nycticorax

 

12

 

GLOSSY IBIS

 

Plegadis falcinellus

 

13

 

WHITE IBIS

 

Eudocimus albus

 

14

 

WOOD STORK

 

Mycteria americana

 

15

 

BLACK DUCK

 

Anus rubripes

 

16

 

MOTTLED DUCK

 

Anas fulvigula

 

17

 

FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK

 

Dendrocygna bicolor

 
18   SWALLOW TAILED KITE   Elanoides forticatus  

19

 

SHARP SHINNED HAWK

 

Accipiter striatus

 

20

 

COOPERS HAWK

 

Accipiter cooperii

 

21

 

NORTHERN HARRIER

 

Circus cyaneus

 

22

 

OSPREY

 

Pandion haliaetus

 

23

 

RED TAILED HAWK

 

Buteo jamaicennsis

 

24

 

RED SHOULDERED HAWK

 

Buteo lineatus

 

25

 

BALD EAGLE

 

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

 

26

 

BLACK VULTUTE

 

Coragyps atratus

 

27

 

TURKEY VULTURE

 

Cathartes aura

 

28

 

AMERICAN KESTREL

 

Falco sparverius

 

29

 

SANDHILL CRANE

 

Grus canadensis

 

30

 

PURPLE GALLINULE

 

Porphyrio martinica

 

31

 

COMMON MOORHEN

 

Gallinula chloropus

 
32   SOLITARY SANDPIPER   Tringa solitaria  

33

 

KILLDEER

 

Charadrius vociferus

 

34

 

RING BILLED GULL

 

Larus delawarensis

 

35

 

LAUGHING GULL

 

Larus atricilla

 

36

 

CASPIAN TERN

 

Sterna caspia

 

37

 

EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE

 

Streptopelia decaocto

 

38

 

LEAST TERN

 

 Sternula antillarum

 

great horned owl honeymoon islandIMG 6124 American Bittern Circle B Florida 22nd February 2016

38

 

FERAL PIGEON

 

Columba livia

 

39

 

COMMON GROUND DOVE

 

Columbina passerina

 

40

 

MOURNING DOVE

 

Zenaida macroura

 

41

 

COMMON NIGHTHAWK

 

Chordeiles minor

 
42   CHUCK WILL'S WIDOW   Caprimulgus carolinensis  

43

 

CHIMNEY SWIFT

 

Chaetura pelagia

 

44

 

BELTED KINGFISHER

 

Ceryle alcyon

 

45

 

RED BELLIED WOODPECKER

 

Melanerpes carolinus

 

46

 

EASTERN PHOEBE

 

Sayornis phoebe

 

47

 

EASTERN KINGBIRD

 

Tyrannus tyrannus

 

48

 

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE

 

Lans ludovicianus

 

49

 

WHITE EYED VIREO

 

Vireo griseus

 

50

 

BLUE JAY

 

Cyanocitta cristata

 

51

 

AMERICAN CROW

 

Corvus brachyrhynchos

 

52

 

CLIFF SWALLOW

 

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

 

53

 

BANK SWALLOW

 

Riperia riperia

 

54

  NORTHERN ROUGH WINGED SWALLOW  

Steligidopteryx serripennis

 

55

 

TREE SWALLOW

 

Tachycineta bicolor

 

56

 

PURPLE MARTIN

 

Pogne subis

 

57

 

BARN SWALLOW

 

Hirundo rustica

 

58

 

BLUE GRAY GNATCATCHER

 

Polioptila caerulea

 

59

 

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD

 

Mimus gundlachii

 

60

 

AMERICAN ROBIN

 

Turdus migratorius

 

61

 

CAT BIRD

 

Dumetella carolinensis

 

62

 

CEDAR WAXWING

 

Bombycilla cedrorum

 

63

 

EUROPEAN STARLING

 

Sturnus vulgaris

 

64

 

YELLOW WARBLER

 

Dendroica petechia

 

65

 

YELLOW RUMPED WARBLER

 

Dendroica cornata

 

66

 

YELLOW THROATED WARBLER

 

Dendroica dominica

 

67

 

PALM WARBLER

 

Dendroica palmarum

 

68

 

PINE WARBLER

 

Dendroica Pinus

 

69

 

PRAIRIE WARBLER

 

Dendroica discolor

 
70   INDIGO BUNTING   Passerina cyanea  

71

 

VIGINIAN CARDINAL

 

Cardinalis cardinalis

 
72   PAINTED BUNTING   Passerina ciris  
73   EASTERN TOWHEE   Pipilo erythrophthalmus  
74   CHIPPING SPARROW   Spizella passerina  
75   HOUSE FINCH   Haemorhous mexicanus  
    HOUSE FINCH (Yellow variant)   Haemorhous mexicanus  

76

 

RED WINGED BLACKBIRD

 

Ageaius phoeniceus

 

77

 

COMMON GRACKLE

 

Quiscalus quiscula

 

78

 

BOAT TAILED GRACKLE

 

Quiscalus mexicanus

 

79

 

HOUSE SPARROW

 

Passer domesticus

 
80   GREAT HORNED OWL   Bubo virginianus  
81   DOWNY WOODPECKER   Picoides pubescens  
82   BROWN THRASHER   Toxostoma rufum  


blue winged teal merritt is
cedar waxwing
IMG 5897 Palm Warbler Circle B Florida 22nd February 2016IMG 5263 Caspian Tern Merrit Island Florida 8th February 2016IMG 5536 Barred Owl Circle B Florida 22nd February 2016IMG 5687 American Robin Circle B Florida 22nd February 2016


Within easy reach of the Sanctuary are various excellent birding sites. We can recommend Joe Overstreet Road where one can easily see the Florida Whooping Cranes, but this is not all, as Eastern Meadowlarks, Savanna Sparrow, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Eastern Bluebird and Wilson’s Snipe are all common.
Southport Road at the Southern end of Lake Tohopekaliga is good for Caracara, Warblers, and wading birds while at Kissimmee at the northern end of the lake it is possible to see Snail Kite and Limpkin.

Circle B south off the I4 is an excellent site with nesting Great Horned Owls, Barred Owl and American Bitterns. This is a must visit reserve.

 

A reserve not mentioned on many web sites is the Oakland reserve at the Southern end of Lake Apopka , east of Clermont. This is a good place to see Painted Bunting, Chipping Sparrow and Eastern Screech Owl. It is a small reserve about 30 minutes drive from The Sanctuary. Painted Bunting can also be seen in The Bok Tower gardens near Lake Wales.

Anyone visiting Florida especially in the winter must go to Merrit Island. This is outstanding with large flocks of wintering wildfowl including Blue winged teal and Hooded Merganser. It is also the best place to see American Avocet, Roseate Spoonbill, American Coot, Kingfishers and Clapper Rail. The summer is less productive and the exposed area can be devoid of wildlife.

To find the best places to visit, including hot spots for warblers in the Spring and Autumn, we recommend you visit the Great Florida Birding Trail web site.

The Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) is a collection of 500 plus sites throughout Florida selected for their excellent birdwatching or bird education opportunities. This 2000-mile, self-guided highway trail is designed to conserve and enhance Florida's bird habitat by promoting birdwatching activities, conservation education and economic opportunity.

If you would like to know more about birding around Orlando you can always contact us.

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