Florida Birds: Most Common Birds in Florida (with Pictures)

Florida has a unique location coordinate that makes it a popular birding destination in the United States. The state has a tropical climate and a variety of bird-friendly habitats.

Compared to other US states, Florida offers a broader range of species, making it an essential destination on any birder’s itinerary. It’s tough to compile a list of the finest birds to view in Florida since the sheer diversity may be overwhelming.

Due to its amusement parks, pro sports teams, and other attractions, Florida attracts over 125 million tourists each year. For birders, the Sunshine State’s more than 500 documented bird species make it one of the most incredible birding destinations in North America.

By narrowing down a must-see bird list with these top Florida birds, birders may plan a visit to Florida without missing any of the state’s specialized species. These are the common Florida birds to keep an eye out for.

Most Common Birds in Florida
Most Common Birds in Florida

ImageName
Ibis WhiteIbis White
Florida Scrub JayFlorida Scrub Jay
wood storkWood Stork
boat tailed tail grackleBoat-tailed Tail Grackle
painted buntingPainted Bunting
purple gallinulePurple Gallinule
snail kiteSnail Kite
roseate spoonbillRoseate Spoonbill
magnificent frigatebirdMagnificent Frigatebird
limpkinLimpkin
gray kingbirdGray Kingbird
eastern towheeEastern Towhee
fulvous whistling duckFulvous Whistling-Duck
northern mockingbirdNorthern Mockingbird
rufous hummingbirdRufous Hummingbird
mangrove cuckooMangrove Cuckoo
long billed curlewLong-billed Curlew
common mynaCommon Myna
brown noddyBrown Noddy
smooth billed aniSmooth-billed Ani
black whiskered vireoBlack-whiskered Vireo
spot breasted orioleSpot-breasted Oriole
anhingaAnhinga
laughing gullLaughing Gull
reddish egretReddish Egret
burrowing owlBurrowing Owl
short tailed hawkShort-tailed Hawk
red cockaded woodpeckerRed-cockaded Woodpecker
white crowned pigeonWhite-crowned Pigeon

1. Ibis White

Ibis White

Birders who go into Florida’s shallow marshes will be rewarded with a plethora of exciting birds. The white ibis is one of them. The white plumage contrasts sharply with the crimson legs and facial patch on this beautiful wading bird. Aside from its distinctive coloring, the white ibis may be identified by its football-shaped body and bent beak, adapted for effective probing after aquatic invertebrates in marshlands.

White ibis birds may be found in Florida at any time of year if you seek them in their natural habitats.

2. Florida Scrub-Jay 

Florida Scrub-Jay 

The Florida scrub-jay, as its name suggests, is only found in Florida. This is a blue and grey bird with a precarious ecological situation. Outside of reserves and animal refuges, it’s a relatively uncommon sight.

Due to habitat degradation, the number of Florida scrub jays is rapidly declining.

The birds prefer young oak scrub that relies on frequent burning to expand. Finding a scrub-jay in Florida might be difficult. When the jay isn’t feeding on the ground, You may spot it sitting on lofty trees with its distinctive long tail.

3. Wood Stork 

Wood Stork

The giant wood stork found in Florida is one of the finest sites in the United States to observe. Although it is a permanent inhabitant of the state, you should look for it in the southern marshes, where it spends its time probing for fish and crustaceans.

Aside from its distinctive bald head, this wading bird may be identified by its large, heavy beak. The wood stork is higher than many other marsh birds. This bird can be seen roosting and breeding on trees above water when it is not eating in the water.

4. Boat-Tailed Tail Grackle

Boat-Tailed Tail Grackle

The boat-tailed grackle is another exceptional bird in Florida, with a dense population. It dwells in raucous flocks and has a shiny blue-black look. Females’ plumage is brown and black. Boat-tailed grackles are long-tailed songbirds with distinctive V-shaped tails.

They are frequently spotted in urban areas scavenging rubbish with their pointed bills. These birds prefer marshy environments but can be found in a variety of locations throughout Florida. Birds tend to move confidently with their tails cocked up.

5. Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

The painted bunting is another bright bird to keep an eye out for in Florida, even though it’s more common in Texas and other parts of Mexico.

In Florida, the best time to see a painted bunting is during the winter months in the state’s southern regions. Central Florida is home to migrating birds.

The painted bunting’s main diet is seeds, and You might draw this bird to feeders. Males have a distinctive color mix of red, blue, green, and yellow hues, while females have a faint lime-green look.

6. Purple Gallinule 

Purple Gallinule

The purple gallinule is a must-see for birders who like looking for brightly colored species. It’s a year-round inhabitant of Florida’s freshwater marshes, but it is distributed in an irregular pattern throughout the state. Although you may have to look for it, You can find it in the most appropriate environments because it blends remarkably well with thick vegetation.

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The bright purple plumage of the gallinule is wonderfully complemented by a bold red beak and iridescent green-blue spots. The bird’s long golden legs, which are used to delicately walk on floating plants, can also be used to identify it.

7. Snail Kite

Snail Kite
Credits – Wikipedia

Snail kites are elegant raptors native to Central and South America. The bird’s range extends to Florida, but it’s a very uncommon sighting there. It may be identified by its sharply curved beak, which is used to pry snails from their shells. The snail kite’s dark grey plumage and relatively high flying activity make it easier to spot.

Look for this rare raptor in Florida’s suitable wetlands. This species like to roost in groups with other aquatic birds and is frequently seen doing so.

8. Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

A visit to Florida’s coast would be incomplete without witnessing the colorful roseate spoonbill. This quirky and colorful bird stands out in shallow fresh or saltwater because of its wacky and bright look. Roseate spoonbills have beautiful pink-and-white plumage and are wading birds. They have a spoon-shaped beak that allows them to capture crustaceans and fish easily.

In Florida, you can see groups of roseate spoonbills with ibises and egrets all year. Its distinctive horizontal position when foraging makes it easier to spot from afar.

9. Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent frigatebirds have a pterodactyl-like form and may be seen soaring quickly along Florida’s coast. These birds are excellent fliers that would frequently try to steal fish from other birds while in flight.

Male magnificent frigatebirds may be distinguished by a patch of red skin on their necks, in addition to their distinctive all-dark appearance and forked tail. During the mating season, the red pouch expands, making identification much more accessible. The white breast patch on females distinguishes them from males.

10. Limpkin

Limpkin

The limpkin resembles a gigantic rail and is a permanent inhabitant of Florida. This is a tropical wetland bird that is generally exclusively spotted in this state when it comes to its US distribution. It has speckled brown plumage and a large beak, which it uses to consume snails and other aquatic invertebrates. As a result, finding many snail shells in freshwater wetlands might be a good sign that limpkins are around.

If visual identification is difficult due to thick foliage or low light, listen for the limpkin’s eerie calls.

11. Gray Kingbird

Gray Kingbird

After spending the winter in the Caribbean, grey kingbirds come to Florida’s coasts. Even though it has a small range, this is a breeding species that is relatively common in the state. The best areas to seek for the bird are pine woods and mangrove marshes. Gray kingbirds like to nest in the southernmost areas of Florida. Because of their discreet grey plumage, they are loud birds that may be heard more readily than seen.

The grey kingbird’s black mask is an essential feature that might aid in identification.

12. Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

The eastern towhee is a big sparrow found in Florida with a striking black and rusty brown mix. Its habitat encompasses the whole eastern United States; however, it’s worth traveling to Florida to see the species since it has golden eyes. It dwells in thick foliage, so finding an eastern towhee may be tricky.

If you’re hunting for it in the proper scrub environment, you’ll be able to hear its cries but have difficulties visualizing it. The eastern towhees feed on the ground, and it may be a good idea to carefully look through the leaf litter.

13. Fulvous Whistling-Duck

Fulvous Whistling-Duck

With its year-round presence in Florida, the fulvous whistling duck may be regarded as an essential feature for the state’s avifauna. This duck has long legs and loves warm freshwater marshes. The cinnamon-colored underparts of adult birds contrast with the dark bluish legs and beak.

Fulvous whistling-ducks prefer to sleep in trees, and they may often be seen in rice fields. This species is frequently found in flocks with more common ducks, such as black-bellied ducks. Their vivid pink bill distinguishes them from the former.

14. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird is the official state bird of Florida, so it’s a lovely sight to see. Throughout the year, You may find it all across the state. Northern mockingbirds are praised for their unusual demeanor and distinctive singing style. When visiting feeders, they can be highly aggressive with other birds.

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Adult birds have thin grey bodies that appear to be uninteresting. Birders are drawn to the northern Mockingbird because of its distinctive singing abilities. It will replicate a variety of bird melodies and adhere to a strict singing schedule.

15. Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous hummingbirds are most commonly seen in western North America, although they may also be found in Florida. This unique hummingbird may be seen in various parts of the state, particularly at specialized feeders.

The Rufus hummingbird is brightly colored in a rusty-orange hue and may be seen in the state throughout the winter, so that’s the ideal time to observe it. This species’ strong territorial nature has earned it particular notoriety. Larger bird species are frequently chased out from their area.

16. Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo

If you’re looking for tropical birds on Florida’s southern beaches, don’t overlook this species. When it comes to its distribution in the United States, the mangrove cuckoo can only be found in mangrove swamps. This bird, like other cuckoos, has a covert character and can be difficult to notice. The species resembles yellow-billed cuckoos in appearance.

Listen for the unique ringing calls of a mangrove cuckoo to help you identify it. Travel to different regions of Florida to increase your chances of spotting this bird. Exploring coastal hardwood hammocks is highly suggested.

17. Long-Billed Curlew

Long-Billed Curlew

The long-billed curlew has been seen in Florida during the winter; however, it is more common in western US areas. It is the biggest shorebird in North America. The bird has a long, thin beak with a bit of curvature, which is true to its name. It’s the ideal instrument for scavenging coastal areas in quest of food.

Even if you simply see the silhouette of a long-billed curlew, you can tell it apart. The bird’s elegant profile stands out in its natural environment, yet the cinnamon-washed plumage provides good camouflage power.

18. Common Myna 

Common Myna

The common myna, although being an Asian bird, has developed very significant colonies in Florida. In urbanized settings, You might find loud flocks of common myna. With a combination of black and brown plumage, this is a rather large bird. The yellow beak and legs are distinguishing characteristics.

Given this bird’s aggressive temperament, it’s not unexpected that it’s been quickly introduced in many regions of the world outside of its natural habitat.

19. Brown Noddy

Brown Noddy

The brown noddy is a dark-bodied tern found off the coast of Florida. It isn’t easy to detect from the mainland, but you can improve your chances with the aid of a good spotting scope. The brown noddy, unlike other terns, does not dive for fish but prefers to catch them on the top of the water.

The white hat stands out against the dark brown body of the bird, making it easier to identify. Brown noddies can seek shelter farther inland in the event of catastrophic weather events such as hurricanes.

20. Smooth-billed Ani

Smooth-billed Ani

21. Black-Whiskered Vireo

Black-Whiskered Vireo
Credits – Wikipedia

The black-whiskered vireo, another bird in Caribbean woods, may be found in Florida’s mangroves. This tropical bird’s range is very much limited to it. Finding a Black-whiskered vireo may be challenging for birders, and it’s not just because of the environment it prefers. There’s also the fact that the breeding range of birds in Florida is shrinking.

The ideal time to see this vireo is during the summer. Look for the bird’s unique head patterns as you walk through the state’s coastline mangrove wetlands.

22. Spot-Breasted Oriole

Spot-Breasted Oriole
Credits – Wikipedia

This oriole is native to Central America, but colonies have emerged in Florida following a successful introduction. Even though it has a brilliant yellow-orange look, finding a Spot-breasted oriole might be difficult.

The urban regions of Miami can provide some decent nesting grounds for this bird, so if you look hard enough, you could find it there. Aside from the black markings on its breast, the oriole may be distinguished from other orioles in Florida by its bright orange head.

23. Anhinga

Anhinga

The anhinga is a year-round resident of Florida and may be found in many of the state’s marshes and swamps. The bird prefers regions near waters to dry or maintain a warm body temperature by being poised in the sun. To recognize anhinga birds, look for their snakelike heads in the water. Males have long tails and black bodies. Their wings have silver spots on them.

The anhinga is a sly water bird that prefers to swim in shallow areas. The bird may soar reasonably high in the sky under intense late-afternoon heat.

24. Laughing Gull

Laughing Gull

This attractive gull is found in huge numbers along Florida’s coastlines. It has distinctive cries with a strident quality. The black hood and red beak of the laughing gull help you identify it. It’s also worth searching for white eye crescents. Another distinguishing feature is the bird’s mantle, which is significantly darker than that of other gulls.

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Only breeding individuals have these distinct characteristics, whereas nonbreeding laughing gulls seem pretty similar to other gulls. The laughing gull may be spotted all year round on Florida’s beaches.

25. Reddish Egret 

Reddish EgretThe reddish egret is a fascinating heron species to watch for since it is a coastal wader that spends a lot of time on Florida’s beaches. In adults, there are two sorts of morphs. Aside from the dark morph with the distinctive reddish head and breast feathers, specific populations in Florida might be completely white. Other features, like the shaggy-looking neck, help to distinguish the light morph.

Reddish egrets are foragers who hunt in shallow saltwater. Observing this heron’s unique hunting style is truly a sight.

26. Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

This unusual owl loves burrows for roosting and nesting and may be seen all year in Florida. Burrowing owls may be seen in significant numbers in Florida. They may be seen throughout the day, which makes them easier to identify than their nocturnal counterparts. Burrowing owls like to hunt later in the day and can be seen pursuing insects, small rodents, and reptiles.

The bird has a classic owl look with bright yellow eyes and sandy speckled plumage, making visual identification very simple.

27. Short-Tailed Hawk

Short-Tailed Hawk
Credits – Wikipedia

The short-tailed hawk is primarily found in Florida, where it may be seen soaring on thermals high in the sky. These tiny hawks have dark and light morph kinds, and their distinctive banded tails and broad wings help them stand out. Because the bird seldom sits perched, observing this short-tailed hawk will need a robust set of binoculars. When soaring, the raptor preys on smaller birds and is occasionally observed alongside flocks of vultures.

In Florida, the winter season is the best time to see a short-tailed hawk.

28. Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

You might be able to spot a red-cockaded woodpecker if you travel to Florida’s northern and central areas. This bird has a wide range in the southeastern United States. Sadly, due to significant habitat loss due to logging, it’s becoming increasingly scarce. It’s reasonable to suppose that until you visit a federal preserve, you won’t be able to find it.

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is a tiny bird with a striped back in black and white. The woodpecker’s name originates from a red stripe on the male’s cheek that is difficult to notice.

29. White-Crowned Pigeon

White-Crowned Pigeon

The white-crowned pigeon is usually found in the Caribbean; however, occasionally spot it in southern Florida. This is the only site in the United States where you may observe this species. Because this pigeon-like to dine on fruit, it’s worth looking for it on fig, cocoa plum, and other trees.

White-crowned pigeons have intricately patterned necks and a unique white patch on their heads. This is a pretty large dark grey pigeon that is difficult to approach due to its timid disposition. Scanning the sky is frequently a better way to improve your chances of sighting a bird.

If you are interested then check this article on Florida Birds of Prey.

Final Words

One of the best aspects about birds is that they can be found just about anywhere. Many people are unaware that they see and hear a variety of birds every day while going about their daily activities, such as looking out their office windows, going for a morning run, or watching their child play soccer.

This list includes many of the other birds that you’re likely to encounter regularly throughout the year, from coast to coast. The species found in this area may be found in urban, suburban, and rural settings, with the majority of them frequenting backyards and bird feeders. This introduction should be useful whether you’re new to birding or simply want to know what that little bird in the woods is.

FAQ

What is the state bird of Florida?

Three members of the 1927 legislature session selected the mockingbird as the state bird. Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida all have it as their state bird.

What are the big birds in Florida called?

The white whooping crane and the brown Sandhill crane are two common crane species in Florida. Like an ostrich, they feature a brilliant red forehead, sharp beak, and fluffy, projecting rumps.

What is Florida’s rarest bird?

Prepare to bid farewell to Florida’s most rare bird, the grasshopper sparrow. According to federal officials, the species will go extinct from the wild in 2018.

Last Updated on July 4, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.