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Habitat and Behavior of Florida Beach Birds

Florida beach birds

There are roughly 200 different bird species in Florida, including wading birds, seabirds and birds of almost every color. Those are the birds that fly above lakes, play in the waves, dive into the water and gather on piers and seawalls. These birds wade along the shore all day long in search of mollusks, insects and tiny fish .This list of Florida beach birds may aid you in identifying some of the most important species if you are organizing a birding tour.

Types of Florida Beach Birds

In this article we will learn about the amazing world of birds found on Florida’s beaches. We will check out where they live, how they act and why they are so important to Florida’s special environment.

Laughing Gulls

If you think about seagulls, you probably think of laughing gulls first. Distinctive sounds of these gulls which resemble laughter gave rise to their common name.

Laughing gull is a very attractive bird with its almost black head, snow white neck, chest and belly and light gray back feathers.


Additionally white arcs that surround these birds’ eyes are unusual. Their legs are reddish black and their bills have a dark red color. Although they can hunt while swimming, they prefer to fly slowly over water and dive to catch prey below the surface.

Ring billed Gulls

The majority of gulls’ plumage is white and gray. You can recognize them by unique black ring around their yellow bill. They nest in sizable colonies just like other gulls and swarm in flotillas as they fly through the air.

It is not uncommon for gulls to steal food from one another’s mouths as they compete for prey. It is migratory for ring billed gulls.

They normally spend their breeding seasons in the northern United States and Canada and their winters along the Gulf of Mexico and in Central and South America.

Non breeding gulls move in flocks and frequently distribute themselves equally. They build their nests in colonies of 20 to 10000 pairs.

Pelicans Birds in Florida

Brown pelican is the national bird of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, Saint Martin, Saint Kitts and Nevis as well as the state bird of Louisiana. They can be seen flying over the majority of Florida’s beaches while scooping fish into their spacious beak pouches.

These birds dive into water in search of nice meal once they realize there are fish below. Brown Pelican faced grave threats in the 1960s.

Their population was wiped down by pesticides like DDT. When DDT was outlawed in Florida in 1972, birds made a stunning recovery.

Brown Pelicans are actually surprisingly calm with humans despite their external appearance of being aggressive.

They even occasionally go up to fishermen and solicit donations from them. Florida beach birds have more beautiful birds like Pelicans.

Great Blue Herons

North America is home to this tall water bird with a dagger like bill. Grey heron and great blue heron are quite similar. Almost anything that is within striking distance of a great blue heron’s long beak will be eaten.

Great Blue Herons Beach Birds in Florida

These birds hunt anything from insects to small mammals but fish makes up the majority of their diet. If you keep your distance from these enormous birds in inhabited places they are often friendly. When you are not looking, big blue herons may even try to take your fishing bait.

Snowy Egret

The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) is a beautiful, white, tropical bird with a similar body shape to the Great White Heron. It is smaller than other herons.

This stunning bird has dazzling white feathers, long, black legs, almost fluorescent yellow feet and faintly yellow characteristics on the face with a black bill.

Due to the high demand for their feathers in the 1800s and 1900s, snowy egrets became almost extinct. The number of snowy egrets have since recovered thanks to migratory bird treaties and other regulations.

Roseate Spoonbills

Wading bird with the appropriately pink colored plumage and spoon shaped beak known as the roseate spoonbill has a wide beak throughout.

Roseate Spoonbills Florida beach birds

When their beak is hidden they are frequently mistaken for flamingos. Florida beach birds are highly migrated. Roseate Spoonbills are now found in Florida and Texas.

You may want to be prepared with your camera if you see one because they are still rather rare. There is no disputing that Roseate Spoonbills are quite peculiar up close.

Sanderling Florida Beach Birds

Small shorebirds called sanderlings to exhibit fascinating brown, white and black feather colorings on their heads and backs. They feature all white undersides, black bill and all black legs.

Sanderlings move widely because they spawn on the tundra of the Arctic and then migrate south. They only appear during colder months. You won’t see them all year.

Sand crabs, insects, sea worms and small mollusks make up the majority of their diet. They dig into the wet sand to catch prey before the next wave comes up the beach and use waves to help them expose their food.

White Ibis

Snow white feathers, scarlet face and long red bill with a black tip serve as telltale signs of the white ibis. Long, dark crimson legs and black tipped wings are further features.

Amazingly blue eyes are another feature of these birds. A frequent bird in Florida is the White Ibis. In shallow water, it wades and uses its beak to plough through the surface.

It consumes small fish, crabs and insects. To defend their nests and mate finding partners. They engage in continual combat.

Black Skimmer Birds in Florida

Black Skimmer

Black tipped brilliant red bills, white underparts and jet black upperparts and wings help to distinguish the Black Skimmer, another member of the Tern family. Because Black Skimmers enjoy lounging on beaches and sandbars.

They have vertical pupils that have been cut into slits so they won’t be impacted by glare of the water and white sand. Skimming water’s surface is how black skimmers obtain their food.

They do not fly over water looking for fish. Instead they skim surface with their lower beak snapping it shut when they touch a fish. They mostly eat fish, especially these ones.

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Bottom Line

Florida beaches are home to a wide variety of bird species including pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers and others. Florida beach birds are an integral part of the ecosystem and play an important role in keeping the coastal environment balanced. Protecting and conserving these species is necessary for health and longevity of Florida’s beaches and wildlife that lives on them.