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Everglades National Park - BirdForum Opus

United States, Florida


As the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, Everglades National Park is one of the best winter birding locations in the United States, and contains some rare and endangered species. It has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, significant to all people of the world.
Knowledgeable visitors avoid the late spring and summer months here due to heat, humidity, and the infamous mosquitoes that provide food to many of the birds in exchange for the blood of tourists.
A note about water levels: rains increase in summer but it takes some time for the water that has fallen in central Florida to reach this area, so the park will often still be very dry at the end of June. Likewise, it may not really yet look dry in December.


Notable Species


Birds you can see here include:

Acadian Flycatcher, American Avocet, American Bittern, American Black Duck, American Coot, American Crow, American Golden Plover, American Goldfinch, American Kestrel, American Oystercatcher, American Pipit, American Redstart, American Robin, American White Pelican, American Wigeon, American Woodcock, Anhinga, Antillean Nighthawk, Audubon's Shearwater, Bachman's Sparrow, Bahama Mockingbird, Bahama Swallow, Baird's Sandpiper, Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, Bananaquit, Bank Swallow, Barn Owl, Barn Swallow, Barred Owl, Bar-tailed Godwit, Bay-breasted Warbler, Bell's Vireo, Belted Kingfisher, Black Rail, Black Scoter, Black Skimmer, Black Tern, Black Vulture, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-bellied Plover, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Black-billed Cuckoo, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-faced Grassquit, Black-headed Grosbeak, Black-necked Stilt, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, Blue Grosbeak, Blue Jay, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-winged Teal, Blue-winged Warbler, Boat-tailed Grackle, Bobolink, Bonaparte’s Gull, Brant, Brewer's Blackbird, Bridled Tern, Broad-winged Hawk, Bronzed Cowbird, Brown Booby, Brown Noddy, Brown Pelican, Brown Thrasher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Brown-headed Cowbird, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Budgerigar (escapes), Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Bufflehead, Bullock's Oriole, Burrowing Owl, Canada Goose, Canada Warbler, Canvasback , Cape May Warbler, Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, Carolina Wren, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Cave Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, Cerulean Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Chimney Swift, Chipping Sparrow, Chuck-will's-widow, Cinnamon Teal, Clapper Rail, Clay-colored Sparrow, Cliff Swallow, Common Eider, Common Goldeneye, Common Grackle, Common Ground-Dove, Common Loon, Common Gallinule, Common Myna (escapes), Common Nighthawk, Common Tern, Common Yellowthroat, Connecticut Warbler, Cooper's Hawk, Crested Caracara, Curlew Sandpiper, Dark-eyed Junco, Dickcissel, Double-crested Cormorant, Downy Woodpecker, Dunlin, Eared Grebe, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Screech Owl, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Wood Pewee, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Wigeon, European Starling, Field Sparrow, Fish Crow, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Forster's Tern, Franklin's Gull, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Gadwall, Glossy Ibis, Golden Eagle, Golden-winged Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Gray Kingbird, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Great Black-backed Gull, Great Blue Heron, Great Cormorant, Great Crested Flycatcher, Great Egret, Great Horned Owl, American Flamingo, Greater Scaup, Great Shearwater, Greater Yellowlegs, Green Heron, Green-winged Teal, Groove-billed Ani, Gull-billed Tern, Hairy Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush, Herring Gull, Common Hill Myna (escapes), Hooded Merganser, Hooded Warbler, Horned Grebe, Horned Lark, House Sparrow, House Wren, Hudsonian Godwit, Indigo Bunting, Ivory-billed Woodpecker (extirpated), Kentucky Warbler, Key West Quail-Dove, Killdeer, King Rail, Lapland Longspur, Lark Bunting, Lark Sparrow, Laughing Gull, Lazuli Bunting, Leach's Storm Petrel, Least Bittern, Least Flycatcher, Least Sandpiper, Least Tern, Le Conte's Sparrow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lesser Nighthawk, Lesser Scaup, Lesser Yellowlegs, Limpkin, Lincoln's Sparrow, Little Blue Heron, Loggerhead Shrike, Long-billed Curlew, Long-billed Dowitcher, Long-tailed Duck, Louisiana Waterthrush, Magnificent Frigatebird, Magnolia Warbler, Mallard, Mangrove Cuckoo, Marbled Godwit, Marsh Wren, Masked Duck, Merlin, Mississippi Kite, Monk Parakeet (escapes), Mottled Duck, Mountain Bluebird, Mourning Dove, Mourning Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Nelson's Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Northern Gannet, Northern Harrier, Northern Parula, Northern Pintail, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Northern Shoveler, Northern Waterthrush, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Mockingbird, Orange-crowned Warbler, Orchard Oriole, Osprey, Ovenbird, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Parasitic Jaeger, Pectoral Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Philadelphia Vireo, Pied-billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Pine Siskin, Pine Warbler, Piping Plover, Pomarine Jaeger, Prairie Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Purple Martin, Red Knot, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-cockaded Woodpecker (extirpated), Reddish Egret, Red-eyed Vireo, Redhead, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-necked Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-throated Loon, Red-winged Blackbird, Ring-billed Gull, Ring-necked Duck, Rock Dove, Roseate Spoonbill, Roseate Tern, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Rough-legged Hawk, Royal Tern, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Ruddy Duck, Ruddy Turnstone, Ruff, Rufous Hummingbird, Rusty Blackbird, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Sanderling, Sandhill Crane, Sandwich Tern, Savannah Sparrow, Say's Phoebe, Scarlet Ibis (probably escapes), Scarlet Tanager, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Seaside Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Shiny Cowbird, Short-billed Dowitcher, Short-eared Owl, Short-tailed Hawk, Smooth-billed Ani, Snail Kite, Snow Goose, Snowy Egret, Snowy Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Song Sparrow, Sooty Shearwater, Sooty Tern, Sora, Spot-breasted Oriole, Spotted Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Summer Tanager, Surf Scoter, Swainson's Hawk, Swainson's Thrush, Swainson's Warbler, Swallow-tailed Kite, Swamp Sparrow, Tennessee Warbler, Thick-billed Vireo, Tree Swallow, Tricolored Heron, Tropical Kingbird, Tufted Titmouse, Turkey Vulture, Upland Sandpiper, Veery, Vermilion Flycatcher, Vesper Sparrow, Virginia Rail, Western Kingbird, Western Sandpiper, Western Spindalis, Western Tanager, Whimbrel, Eastern Whip-poor-will, White Ibis, White-cheeked Pintail, White-crowned Pigeon, White-crowned Sparrow, White-eyed Vireo, White-faced Ibis, White-rumped Sandpiper, White-tailed Kite, White-throated Sparrow, White-winged Dove, White-winged Scoter, Wild Turkey, Willet, Willow Flycatcher, Wilson's Phalarope, Wilson's Plover, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Wilson's Warbler, Wood Duck, Wood Stork, Wood Thrush, Worm-eating Warbler, Yellow Rail, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (escapes), Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler, Zenaida Dove
This checklist was extracted from the U.S. National Park web site check list (March, 2009), which also includes seasonal information for each species.

Other Wildlife


Eastern spadefoot toad, Greenhouse frog, Southern toad, Oak toad, Florida cricket frog, Green treefrog, Squirrel treefrog, Cuban treefrog, Little grass frog, Florida chorus frog, Eastern narrow-mouth toad, Pig frog, Southern leopard frog, Two-toed amphiuma, Greater siren, Everglades dwarf siren, Peninsula Newt


Opossum, Short-tailed shrew, Least shrew, Nine-banded armadillo, Marsh rabbit, Eastern cottontail, Gray squirrel, Fox squirrel, Southern flying squirrel, Rice rat, Cotton mouse, Cotton rat, Roundtail muskrat, Roof rat, House mouse, Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin, Pilot whale, Grey fox, Red fox, Black bear, Raccoon, Everglades mink, Striped Skunk, River Otter, Florida Panther, Bobcat, West Indian manatee, White-tailed Deer


American crocodile, American alligator, Caiman, Indopacific gecko, Tropical house gecko, Florida reef gecko, Tokay gecko, Green anole, Brown anole, Knight anole, Common iguana, Southeastern five-lined skink, Ground skink, Eastern glass lizard², Island glass lizard, Boa constrictor², Burmese python, Brahminy blind snake, Florida green water snake, Brown water snake, Florida water snake, Mangrove salt marsh snake, South florida swamp snake, Florida brown snake, Eastern garter snake, Peninsula ribbon snake, Striped crayfish snake, Eastern hognose snake², Southern ringneck snake, Eastern mud snake, Eastern racer, Eastern coachwhip², Rough green snake, Eastern indigo, Corn snake, Everglades rat snake, Yellow rat snake, Florida kingsnake, Scarlet kingsnake, Florida scarlet snake, Eastern coral snake, Florida cottonmouth, Dusky pygmy rattlesnake, Eastern diamondback, Florida snapping turtle, Striped mud turtle, Florida mud turtle, Stinkpot, Florida box turtle, Diamondback terrapin, Peninsula cooter, Floirda redbelly turtle, Florida chicken turtle, Gopher tortoise, Atlantic leatherback, Green turtle, Atlantic hawksbill, Loggerhead, Atlantic ridley, Florida softshell

Site Information

History and Use

From the earliest written accounts, the Everglades have been lauded as the stage from which yearly spectacles of avian life could be viewed. Amidst the life-giving waters of the River of Grass, immense flocks of countless birds quenched their thirst, satisfied their hunger, rested during lengthy migrations, and raised their young.
During the turn of the 20th century, the number of birds plummeted under pressure from both the plume trade and the alteration of the south Florida landscape. In fact, protecting this dwindling population was a major catalyst for the establishment of the national park.
Though the effort to restore the historic bird populations has been slow, Everglades National Park remains a popular destination for bird enthusiasts from around the world. Over 360 species have been recorded in the park and the list continues to grow. The Everglades remain one of the best destinations for easily observing great concentrations of many diverse species.
With the dedication of Everglades National Park in 1947, a new precedent was set in the growing conservation movement. For the first time in American history, a large tract of wilderness was permanently protected not for its scenic value, but for the benefit of the unique diversity of life it sustained. The mosaic of habitats found within the Greater Everglades Ecosystem supports an assemblage of plant and animal species not found elsewhere on the planet. While nine distinct habitats have been identified, the landscape remains dynamic. Ecosystems remain in a constant state of flux, subject to the elements of south Florida.

Areas of Interest

  • Anhinga Trail: Wading birds, cormorants, Purple Gallinules, and nesting Anhingas may be found along the path anytime of the day during the winter (dry) season.
  • Eco Pond: Wading birds, American Coots, Osprey, White-crowned Pigeons, warblers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Anhingas, rails, Painted Buntings and other transients are best viewed here in the morning. Although this is part of the Park’s waste water system, the water is clean and odor-free, and the raised observation platforms provide for excellent viewing and photgraphy.
  • Flamingo Visitor Center: When exposed, the sand bar behind the Visitors’ Center has shorebirds and larids, and the occasional American Flamingo! Osprey nest around the marina and in the parking lot trees in the winter. Five active nests can be seen within sight of each other at times. Check the marina for waders, pelican, gulls, and terns. Bald Eagles also roost in the mangroves. Just past the boat lift, look on the shore for basking American Crocodile.
  • Frog Pond Wildlife Management Area: Some local birders refer to this as Lucky Hammock because of the positive birding experiences they have had there.
  • Gulf Coast Visitor Center and vicinity: Wading birds, cormorants, Osprey, Bald Eagles, pelicans, and shorebirds can be observed from the visitor center or by boat in the 10,000 Islands. Peregrine Falcons, Swallow-tailed Kites, Wood Storks, skimmers, and a variety of warblers make a seasonal appearance.
  • Mahogany Hammock and vicinity: Cape Sable Seaside Sparrows may be heard and seen early in the morning from the main park road during the spring. Bald Eagles and warblers are also active in the morning, while Barred Owls come out in the evening.
  • Mrazek Pond: Most of the year only a few ducks and wading birds, but for a few days during some winters, large numbers of wading birds, including Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks, move in to feast.
  • Nine Mile Pond: Snail Kites, wading birds, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Limpkins, and White-crowned Pigeons make this spikerush community their home. The best times to find these birds is in the morning via canoe.
  • Paurotis Pond: Roseate Spoonbills and wading birds make appearances year-round, while in the early spring a Wood Stork rookery dominates the mangroves of this small pond. A spotting scope will be useful here.
  • Shark Valley Tram Road and vicinity: Wood Storks, wading birds, Snail Kites, and Anhingas may be found throughout the day along the tram road. This area is accessible only by walking, bike or tram. The best birding is on the west side of the loop road within 2 miles of the entrance.
  • Snake Bight Trail: Warblers and Mangrove Cuckoos frequent the trail in the morning hours while wading birds, shorebirds, and flamingos sometimes feed near the boardwalk at high tide.

Royal Palm Area

Access and Facilities

  • Ernest Coe Visitor Center

Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park. Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.

  • Shark Valley Visitor Center

Shark Valley Visitor Center is located on Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail / SW 8th St.) 25 miles west of the Florida Turnpike, exit 25A (from the north) and exit 25 (from the south). From the Naples area, take U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) approximately 70 miles east to Shark Valley.

  • Flamingo Visitor Center

Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park. Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.

Contact Details

  • By Mail: Everglades National Park, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034-6733
  • By Phone/Fax (Visitor Information): 305-242-7700 / 305-242-7711
  • Web site: http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

External Links