Florida Keys & Dry Tortugas

Guided tours of the Florida Keys, Everglades, and Miami are available year round contact us for rate details.

Sooty Tern

Spring Migration South Florida and Dry Tortugas Birding and Photography Tour

April 19-26, 2024Cost – $2462 Per Person Double Occupancy

$600.00 Single Supplement

Join us this April for a birding tour exploring the Dry Tortugas and Everglades National Parks, the keys, and we’ll even be doing some urban birding in the Miami area as well as moving a little further north for a chance to see some of our resident birds, like the Florida Scrub-Jay and Bachman’s Sparrow. The Florida keys and the Dry Tortugas can be excellent migratory destinations for birds coming back from the Caribbean and Central America. When the conditions are ideal, there can even be a chance of seeing fallout in these areas. Here is a breakdown of our tour itinerary.

4/19- Arrive at the Fort Lauderdale airport no later than 1pm. We’ll begin our adventure by taking a short trip to Long Key Natural Area to observe Limpkin, Mottled Duck, and Purple Gallinule. Then we’ll visit the Vista View park for Burrowing Owl, Muscovy Duck, and Gray-headed Swamphen before driving south to Florida City.

4/20- Begin early and look for the Common Myna that makes its home in South Florida. We’ll bird down the keys beginning with a stop at the Dangy Johnson State Botanical Park and Carysfort Circle in order to find Black-whiskered Vireo, Mangrove Cuckoo (very difficult this time of year, but we can try for it), and Painted Bunting. Break for lunch at Ballyhoo’s (an award winning seafood restaurant with a secret vegan menu as well). Continue south through the keys and stop at the government building in Marathon to see if the Roseate and Least Terns that nest on the rooftop have returned yet. Then check for any Gull-billed Tern sightings or any vagrants that have been reported in the lower keys. Lastly, we’ll check Blue Hole National Wildlife Refuge for the iconic Key Deer, a subspecies of the White-tailed Deer that only grows to about 2 1/2 feet in height. Check into our hotel on the lower keys for the night.

4/21-  Dry Tortugas Day! We’ll have to get up early and board the Yankee Freedom for our day trip to the island where we’re going to see plenty of migratory species on their way to the mainland for the spring breeding season. We’ll see several species of warbler, hummingbirds, and falcons, not to mention Masked and Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Noddy, Sooty, Royal, and Sandwich Tern. There’s also possibility for Black Noddy, Bridled Tern, and Antillean Nighthawk. 

4/22- Begin the day at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park for the Great White Heron, Short-tailed Hawk, and even possibility for something rare such as the Fork-tailed Flycatcher. Then lunch at the Hogfish Grill before going back to our hotel. We’ll make our way up the keys and return to Florida City/Homestead for the night.

4/23- Begin birding very early in the morning before sunrise. We’ll take the road down to the Flamingo entrance of the Everglades. There are usually several Barn Owls perched in the trees on the sides of the road before sunrise. This section of the Everglades is home to manatees, American Crocodile, and Wood Storks. Shiny Cowbirds have recently begun nesting in the area and there is possibility for Marbled Godwit as well. On our drive back to Homestead/Florida City, we’ll stop at Lucky Hammock WMA. This area is infamous for rare bird sightings and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have been seen here in the past. This is also a great stop for White-tailed or Swallow-tailed Kites. Dinner at Mario’s Cuban Cafe in Homestead and check into our new hotel in South Miami.

4/24- A trip to Cutler Wetlands first thing in the morning to try our luck in hearing or seeing a King Rail. We’ll do a loop around Miami metro area and Kendall to pick up some species we won’t be able to see anywhere else including Red-whiskered Bulbul, Scaly-breasted Munia, Muscovy Duck, Egyptian Goose, Spot-breasted Oriole, Cave Swallow, Loggerhead Shrike, and Mitred, Scarlet-fronted, Crimson-fronted, Yellow-chevroned, and Red-masked Parakeets. Lunch at the Titanic Brewery. Then drive north to West Palm Beach for lodging.

4/25- Begin the day birding at the Jonathan Dickinson State Park for some exciting resident southeastern bird species. We’ll see the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Florida Scrub-Jay, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Common Nighthawk, Northern Flicker, and Eastern Meadowlark. Then we’ll break for lunch and make a trip out to the Sem-chi Rice Mill for Crested Caracara, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Stilt Sandpiper, and Fulvous-Whistling Duck. Back to our lodging in West Palm Beach.

4/26- Morning birding trip out to Loxahatchee NWR for Nanday Parakeets, Solitary Sandpiper, Least Bittern, and Florida subspecies of the Sandhill Crane. Flights home in the afternoon no earlier than 1pm.

The tour fee will be $2462 per person with a $600 singles supplement fee (and you’d get 5% off this price). Hotels, ferry tickets, and car rentals tend to book up quickly for April, so the sooner we can confirm everything the better.