Bird Lovers in Key West

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26 Jun 2017

Bird lovers may be interested to know that in September and October are peak season for fall southbound bird migration, including world record numbers of migrating Peregrine Falcons.

You’ll see plenty of our local birds that include great white heron, reddish egrets, magnificent frigate birds, white-crowned pigeon, gray kingbird, white-eyed vireo, blue-gray gnatcatcher as well as a large diversity of migrating songbirds, shorebirds and hawks, eagles, ospreys, and falcons.

We are uniquely situated as the last rest stop for many southbound migrants who stopover for a few days to rest and refuel. 

During the months of November and December, the majority of the winter birds arrive. American Kestral and Kingfishers are some of the birds that make their presence known with a lot of sweet singing. You may even catch a glimpse of Turkey vultures soaring high along with flacons, Swainson’s Hawks and even Eagles!

Where to View Migratory Birds

Key West is one of the top destinations for bird watching, and we have recorded over 250 bird species in the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges.

The National Key Deer Refuge is more than 9,000 acres of fresh and saltwater wetlands, mangroves and pine Rockland, a yearly stopping destination for thousands of migratory birds as well as home to so many North American bird species.

To view breeding black-whiskered vireos, or migrating birds such as white-crowned pigeons, noddies and many other unique shore birds and songbirds visit the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. The Dry Tortugas often have residents such as Sooty terns, frigate birds, ruby turnstone and more.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is another great location offering 3,000 acres of natural mangrove swamp and rocky coast. Exploring these trails will lead to views of gray kingbirds, mangrove cuckoos, short-tailed hawks and many more.

If you are a bird lover, grab your camera and visit the Florida Keys, this is definitely somewhere where you can enjoy the tropical outdoors and experience Mother Nature at its best. This is a fantastic location for nature lovers in general.

Plan Your Bird Watching Adventure in Key West

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