Florida Birding FAQ

Answers to your burning birding questions.

Is there an Audubon Chapter near me in Florida?
You bet there is! Visit our chapter locator to find the closest chapter to you. Each chapter’s web page will tell you more about planned seminars and field trips.

How do I find out what kind of bird I’m seeing?
Birders use books called field guides to identify the birds they’re seeing. You can find one in your local library or bookstore.

Online, visit the Patuxent Bird Identification Info Center for photos and species accounts. If you’re hearing a bird you can’t identify, you can listen to common Florida bird songs with the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Still can’t figure it out? Snap a photo and take it with you to an Audubon meeting near you—our members are a wealth of knowledge about birds and birding. Just be careful—our enthusiasm for birding is contagious! Or post it on our Facebook Page!

Where can I learn more about birdwatching?
For starters, download a copy of Birdwatching Basics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Who are the photographers that took the beautiful photos on your website?
Thanks for noticing! The majority of the photos on this website have been donated by photographers RJ Wiley, David Roach, and Mac Stone. We are very grateful for the generous loan of these images. We’re always looking for great Florida bird photos… if you have some you’d like to share, post them on our Facebook Page!

I just saw someone harming a wild bird. Whom should I call?
For all wildlife violations in Florida, call the state’s toll-free Wildlife Alert Hotline: (888) 404-3922.

Are there Flamingos in Florida (other than the plastic kind)?
At the time of the arrival of Europeans to Florida, there was a small breeding population of Flamingos in extreme southern Florida-- this would have been the northernmost extent of their Caribbean range. Since that time, their range has diminished and flamingos no longer breed in Florida. Occasional sightings of flamingos in the southern reaches of Everglades National Park are thought to be birds that are vagrants from the Yucatan population. This most recently happened in 2015. Flamingos seen elsewhere in the state are likely escaped birds from captive wildfowl collections. If you see a bright pink bird in Florida, it’s more likely to be our native Roseate Spoonbill than a Flamingo. To tell the difference: look for the Spoonbill’s spatula-shaped bill!

I think I just saw a parrot fly by my window! Was I dreaming?

It’s entirely possible that you did indeed see a parrot. While escaped parrots and parakeets from the caged bird trade don’t survive northern winters, here in Florida escaped birds can survive and establish colonies, especially in central and south Florida. Two parakeet species -  Monk Parrakeet and Nanday Parakeet – breed actively in Florida and are now officially naturalized per the American Ornithological Society. All other parrots in Florida are considered exotics, meaning they don’t naturally occur here. While they may be beautiful to see, some compete with our native species for food and nesting locations, and can introduce exotic diseases to our Florida birds. It is illegal in Florida to release exotic animals into the wild.

Who was this John James Audubon guy anyway?
John James Audubon was an accomplished and acclaimed painter of American birds in the early 1800’s. View images of his paintings and learn more about John James Audubon.

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