25 Common North Florida Birds (Photos, Facts, and ID Info)

Living in Northern Florida and saw some big birds but are not sure which ones they were? 

Florida is known for its wildlife, and according to the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee (FOSRC), there are over 500 species of birds there. 

Examples of North Florida birds include the summer tanager, gray kingbird, northern mockingbird, northern cardinal, bald eagle, osprey, American white pelican, royal tern, and many others.

Year-round North Florida birds include blue-gray gnatcatcher, brown-headed nuthatch, northern mockingbird, bald eagle, red-bellied woodpecker, osprey, and many others.

Summer North Florida birds in summer include summer tanager, gray kingbird, hooded warbler, and others.

Winter North Florida birds in winter include the royal tern, northern shoveler, and American white pelican.

In this post, you will find photos, identification info, bird calls and songs, and all the fun information you need.

North Florida Birds

Summer Tanager

summer tanagers
  • Scientific name: Piranga rubra
  • Lifespan: up to 5 years
  • Wingspan: 11-12 in

Summer tanagers are medium-sized American songbirds that have big bodies, large heads, and thick blunt-tipped beaks. Males are bright all-red with heavy beaks and dark legs while females are olive above and yellowish below. 

Summer tanagers are breeding residents of North Florida and can be seen there from spring to fall, around pine and oak woods. The best time to look for them in the state would be from April to September.

Summer tanagers have a song that consists of a series of robin-like musical phrases; their calls are sharp “pik-i-tuk-i-tuk”.

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite having one of the most striking colors in the state, summer tanagers might be hard to spot as they prefer to forage high in the tree canopy. 

They are omnivores that mainly feed on insects, especially bees and wasps, but might also consume some fruit outside of breeding season. 

These beautiful birds will have a clutch of 3-4 pale blue to pale green eggs with brown markings. Females will incubate the eggs while the males feed them. Both partners will take care of the chicks.


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

blue gray gnatcatcher
  • Scientific name: Polioptila caerulea
  • Lifespan: 3-4 years
  • Wingspan: 6 in

Blue-gray gnatcatchers are tiny songbirds native to North America.

They are one of the angriest-looking birds in the state due to the dark, V-shaped “eyebrow markings” males develop during the breeding season that make them look like they are constantly annoyed. 

They are dark gray above and lighter below, the tails are black with white outer tail feathers; around the eyes, there are small white rings. Females are less blue, while juveniles are greenish-gray. 

Blue-gray gnatcatchers are permanent residents of North Florida and can be seen year-round around woods and urban areas of the state.

They have “szpree-zpree spreeeeey-spree spre-sprzrreeeee” songs and high-pitched, nasal calls that sound like “zkreeezkreee-zkreee.”

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

These small Florida songbirds are the most common of the four species of gnatcatchers on the continent.

Blue-gray gnatcatchers are monogamous and stay with their partners for life. Males can be particularly aggressive and will chase larger birds away from feeding areas or their nesting territory. 

They nest in trees and both partners participate in construction. Blue-gray gnatcatchers will use grass, weeds, plant fibers, and strips of bark as the basic material and spider web to bind it all together.


Gray Kingbird

gray kingbird
  • Scientific name: Tyrannus dominicensis
  • Lifespan: 6 years in the wild
  • Wingspan: 14 in

Gray kingbirds are large flycatchers that are also known as white-breasted kingbirds. Both sexes look similar and are gray above, white below, and have black masks on their faces, large black beaks, and forked tails.

Gray kingbirds are breeding residents of Florida and are common from spring to fall in northwestern parts of the state, in coastal areas, towns, and edges of mangrove forests.

Gray kingbirds have a loud rolling trill call that sounds like “pipiri pipiri.” Their song is a harsh chatter that resembles a longer version of their typical call.

Source: Filo gèn’CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just like other kingbirds, gray kingbirds are very aggressive and territorial. They will often chase away a lot larger intruders, including raptors like the red-tailed hawk! 

These songbirds are omnivores that mainly feed on insects and some berries. They will often perch high in trees, look for the prey, and then snatch it in flight (hawking).


Brown-headed Nuthatch

brown-headed nuthatch
  • Scientific name: Sitta pusilla
  • Lifespan: up to 9 years
  • Wingspan: 6-7 in

Brown-headed nuthatches are common songbirds of Florida, usually found in pinewoods. They are gray above, white below, and have brown caps, and white spots on the back of their heads. Their beaks are long and their tails are short.

Brown-headed nuthatches are permanent residents of Northern Florida and can be seen there throughout the year. They breed in the state from March to July and lay 4-5 white eggs with reddish-brown spots.

Brown-headed nuthatches have two-syllable songs that resemble toy rubber ducks being squeezed; their call is a soft “pit pit pit” emitted when flying. 

Brown-headed nuthatches are omnivores that consume insects and pine seeds. To get to insects and spiders underneath tree bark, these nuthatches will use tools, small wood pieces, and use them to pry up other pieces of bark.

These small North Florida birds will frequently visit feeding stations; make sure to add sunflower seeds and suet cakes in case you want to attract them to your backyard.


Northern Mockingbird

northern mockingbird
  • Scientific name: Mimus polyglottos 
  • Lifespan: up to 8 years
  • Wingspan: 12-15 in

Northern mockingbirds are the state birds of Florida. They can be identified by their plumage which is gray above and white below; they also have dark wings with two white wing bars and long tails with white outer tail feathers.

Northern mockingbirds are permanent residents of Northern Florida and are widespread there, especially around urban areas.

Both males and females sing and you will often hear them singing at night. Listen for a long series of musical and grating phrases, each repeated 3 or more times. 

Source: ZooFariCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Northern mockingbirds have four recognized calls: the nest relief call, hew call, chat, and the begging call. 

The Latin name of these birds translates to “many-tongued mimic,” and for a reason – northern mockingbirds can imitate chirps of up to 35 species and learn over 200 different songs in their lifetime. 

They mimic sounds of rusty hinges, car alarms, cackling hens, and dog barks so well that it’s very hard to tell a difference even with an electronic analysis. 

They are the only species out of 16 with the name “mockingbird” that are native to the US. 

Northern mockingbirds are territorial birds that can be extremely good at breeding – scientists once recorded a female that managed to lay 27 eggs in a single season! 

They are omnivores that feed on fruit, seeds, berries, and small insects.


Northern Cardinal

male northern cardinal bird with orange beak
  • Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Wingspan: 10-12 in

Northern cardinals are medium-sized songbirds with a body length of up to 9.1 inches. Males are bright red with crests on their heads and black throats and faces; females are brown with head crests and reddish wings and tails.

Northern cardinals are beautiful birds with orange bills that can be seen year-round in North Florida, around woodlands, brushy fields, parks, backyards, and other urban areas of the state.

Their song is 2-3 seconds long and consists of a loud string of clear down-slurred or two-parted whistles that sound like “cheer cheer,” “birdie birdie,” and “wheet wheet.”

Northern cardinals’ most common call is a loud, metallic chip they use to chase other males entering their territories. 

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

These birds are very territorial and aggressive – northern cardinals will often try to ferociously attack their reflections in the mirrors and windows. 

They are also known as redbirds and they get their red color from the food they eat – if there are not enough carotenoids in their food, they become brownish. Northern cardinals are omnivores that feed on seeds, fruit, and insects.

You can easily attract northern cardinals to your bird feeder, especially if you add some sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, or milo.

In case you notice male cardinals with baldness problems – it’s a sign they’re in the middle of a late summer molt. 

These songbirds are also monogamous and mate for life.


Red-winged Blackbird

red-winged blackbird
  • Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Lifespan: 2 years in the wild
  • Wingspan: 12-16 in

Red-winged blackbirds are one of North America’s most abundant birds. Their scientific name “agelaios” means “gregarious,” while the “phoeniceus” means “crimson” or “red,” which perfectly describes these birds. 

Males are all black with red and yellow patches (epaulets) on the shoulders; females are brown overall with heavy streaks.

Red-winged blackbirds are common around wet areas, farms, and urban areas of North Florida, and can be seen there throughout the year.

Males will often sing rich and scratchy “oak-a-lee” songs while the females have a scolding chatter that sounds like “chit chit cheer teer teer teerr.”  Red-winged blackbirds’ call is a throaty “check” and a high-slurred whistle that sounds like “terrr-eeee.”

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Red-winged blackbirds are very territorial and gregarious; they might form flocks that include over 1 million individuals. 

They are also polygynous birds, where one male can have up to 10 different females making nests in his territory. Females, on the other hand, will frequently mate with other males, and often lay clutches of mixed paternity.

These North Florida birds are omnivores and feed on insects, seeds, and grain. The males’ red feathers come from carotenoids in their diet; if their diet changes, the red plumage turns brown.


Loggerhead Shrike

loggerhead shrike
Source: Steve BerardiCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (cropped)
  • Scientific name: Lanius ludovicianus 
  • Lifespan: 7-8 years
  • Wingspan: 13 in

Loggerhead shrikes are songbirds with raptor habits. They have gray bodies, black tails, wings, facial masks, and legs; their throats are white.

Loggerhead shrikes resemble northern shrikes, but the main differences between the two are the loggerhead’s smaller size, darker gray plumage, and larger black face mask that covers the eye completely. 

Of those two species of shrike in North America, they are the only ones present in the state.

Loggerhead shrikes are permanent residents of Northern Florida and can be seen throughout the year around farms, fields, and urban areas.

Loggerhead shrikes have songs that consist of a variety of harsh and musical notes, rasps, and trills. Generally speaking, males are more vocal than females. 

Loggerhead shrikes have been nicknamed “butcherbirds” due to their carnivorous tendencies. They are known for hunting down and impaling their prey on thorns or barbed wire. 

Instead of talons, these birds have a single tomial tooth that helps them kill and tear prey. 

Loggerhead shrikes have a remarkable vision and can spot an insect that is over 50 yards away. They mostly feed on large insects, rodents, and small birds, sometimes killing prey larger than themselves.


Common Yellowthroat

common yellowthroat
  • Scientific name: Geothlypis trichas
  • Lifespan: up to 11 years
  • Wingspan: 5.9–7.5 in

Common yellowthroats are small songbirds that have rounded heads and medium-long, slightly rounded tails. They are brown overall with black masks, and yellow throats and undertails; females have no masks.

Common yellowthroats are North Florida’s permanent residents and can be commonly found around marshes and brushes near water. The best time to see them there is during winter and spring.

They are more common on the southern peninsula than in the northern panhandle region and some populations might even migrate during fall.

The song of common yellowthroats is a loud “twichety twichety twichety twich,” while their call is a soft “jip.” 

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

They are also known as yellow bandits and will spend much of their time darting low in dense thickets and fields, catching small insects and spiders.

Common yellowthroats love to nest around low areas of vegetation. They will build a cup-shaped nest and lay 3–5 eggs with both parents feeding the chicks.

They are one of our many examples of songbirds of Minnesota.


Hooded Warbler

female hooded warbler
  • Scientific name: Setophaga citrina
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Wingspan: 6.9 in

Hooded warblers are small songbirds that were named after the distinctive back hoods on their head.

Males have bright yellow faces and undersides, black hoods and throats, and olive upperparts. Females have much more subdued hoods.

Hooded warblers are breeding residents of Northern Florida and the Panhandle and can be seen there from spring to fall. They are most common around woods, from mid-March to October.

The song of hooded warblers consists of a series of musical notes that resemble “wheeta wheeta whee-tee-oh.” They will also emit loud “chip” or “chink” calls.

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Hooded warblers are insectivores that forage in low vegetation. They feed on caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, beetles, flies, and small spiders. They might catch their prey by “hawking,” snatching them mid-flight.

Brown-headed cowbirds, parasitic small black birds, might occasionally lay eggs in the warblers’ nests for them to raise their young. This behavior is known as brood parasitism.


Mourning Dove

mourning dove
  • Scientific name: Zenaida macroura
  • Lifespan: 2 years in the wild
  • Wingspan: 12 in

Mourning doves are one of the most widespread birds of North America. They were named after the sad cooing sounds they make while singing. They have broad wings, rounded heads, and brown-gray plumage overall with black spots on the wings. Their tails are long and pointed, the legs are red.

Mourning doves are permanent residents of Northern Florida and can be seen around open areas, forest edges, farms, parks, and urban areas. They are also the only dove species native to Florida.

Mourning doves have several vocalizations: distinctive “coo-woo-woo” calls when attracting females, soft greeting “ork” calls, and short “roo-oo” alarm calls. 

Source: Jonathon JongsmaCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They are monogamous birds where both parents incubate the eggs and raise the young. They are excellent at breeding and can raise up to 12 young per year. 

Mourning doves are omnivores with seeds making 99% of their diet; they might also consume some insects or snails.

Read More: 25 examples of birds native to Florida


Belted Kingfisher

belted kingfisher
  • Scientific name: Megaceryle alcyon
  • Lifespan: 6-14 years
  • Wingspan: 20 in

Belted kingfishers are big water kingfishers with large heads and very long beaks. They have blue heads with crests, blue upperparts, white necks and upperparts; females also have orange-reddish bands on their chests.

They also have two fused toes which can also help distinguish these blue-winged birds from others.

Belted kingfishers are permanent residents of Northern Florida. They breed there from April to July and can be seen around lakes, ponds, marshes, and shorelines. Some populations will migrate to southern parts of the state to winter there.

The alarm calls of belted kingfishers are harsh mechanical rattles and occasionally screams.

Source: Jonathon JongsmaCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When the breeding season comes, they become very territorial – males will often charge at and chase intruders away. 

Belted kingfishers are carnivores that dive to catch fish and crayfish with their heavy beaks; they also feed on mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians, and lizards. 

They can’t digest bones, so just like owls, they regurgitate the undigested pieces as pellets.

Besides Florida, they are just one of many birds seen in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Texas, Western Washington, Upstate New York, and Southern California.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird

ruby-throated hummingbird
  • Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Wingspan: 4.5″

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are one of the smallest and most common hummingbirds of Florida.

They have green backs and slightly lighter underparts; males have bright orange-red throats while females have whitish throats.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds can be seen in the northern parts of Florida throughout the year, around woods, fields, and urban areas. During winter, they might also migrate to the southern coastal parts of the state.  

Despite having a body length of 2.8-3.5 in, ruby-throated hummingbirds have very long and narrow beaks that are perfect for sipping nectar from deep inside flowers. 

Ruby-throated hummingbirds move very quickly, around 25 mph, and will beat their wing over 50 times per second.

They are mostly solitary, except during the breeding season which lasts very short.

To attract these incredible birds with red necks to your backyard, you can set up hummingbird feeders or plant tubular flowers. They are quite bold and might even feed at hanging plants and feeders on your porch or next to your windows!


Red-bellied Woodpecker

red-bellied woodpecker
  • Scientific name: Melanerpes carolinus
  • Lifespan: up to 12 years in the wild
  • Wingspan: 15-18 in

Red-bellied woodpeckers are medium-sized woodpeckers of the eastern US. They have striped black and white backs, grayish underparts, red napes, and red on the center of their bellies; males are red from the top of their heads to the beaks while the females are only red on their napes.

Red-bellied woodpeckers are North Florida birds that can be seen around the woods and urban areas of the state year-round. 

They are rather noisy and use several vocalizations. 

Red-bellied woodpeckers’ most common call is a high-pitched “kwill” or “churr.” They will often make drumming sounds by tapping with their beaks on hollow trees or roofs to attract females.

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Males will start digging their nests in dead tree trunks and softly tap on the tree to attract females; if interested, they will join them, and the pair will finish the nest together. Females will then lay 3-5 eggs that both parents incubate.

Red-bellied woodpeckers are omnivores that mainly consume insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Attract them to your backyard by adding sunflower seeds and different nuts to your bird feeder; add suet during winter as they are fond of it.


Red-shouldered Hawk

red-shouldered hawk
  • Scientific name: Buteo lineatus
  • Lifespan: 15-19 years
  • Wingspan: 35-50 in

Red-shouldered hawks are one of the most vocal North American hawks. They inhabit woods, farms, and urban areas, often near water.

They are one of the most common hawks in the state and can be identified by narrow white bands on their black tails, reddish shoulders, grayish backs, and fine reddish banding on light-colored chests.

Red-shouldered hawks are permanent residents of Northern Florida and breed in late winter through spring, from January to May.

They usually have a clutch of two to four eggs that the female incubates while the male feeds her.

Red-shouldered hawks have a loud, piercing “kee-yeeear” call and can be often heard before being spotted. When the breeding season comes, they become extremely vocal.

Source: G. McGrane, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Red-shouldered hawks will perch on tree branches and utility wires and scan the area. As they spot their prey, they will swoop down and snatch it from the ground or water surface. 

These fairly large raptors are carnivores and feed on small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and crayfish. 

Red-shouldered hawks are monogamous and territorial birds. 


Osprey

osprey
  • Scientific name: Pandion haliaetus
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Wingspan: 50–71 in

Ospreys are diurnal birds of prey sometimes mistaken for bald eagles. They are dark brown above, white below, have dark lines through their eyes, and M-shaped wings when soaring.

Ospreys are permanent residents of Florida and can be seen throughout the state year-round. They are widespread there and can be found around the coast, lakes, rivers, and swamps.

Ospreys have several vocalizations: a slow whistled “kyew-kyew” guard call and a short clear whistle “cheereek” alarm call. 

Source: Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Ospreys are piscivorous and fish makes up 99% of their diet, hence the nickname “fish hawk.” 

They will hover above the water, locate their prey and then swoop down for the capture with their talons extended. Their toes are covered with short spines which help grasp slippery fish better.

During their 20-year-long lifetime, these migratory birds can travel over 160,000 miles. 

Ospreys nest near water, on top of dead trees, and use branches, sticks, twigs, moss, and fish bones as material. The female will have a clutch of 3 eggs that both partners incubate.


Black Vulture

black vulture
  • Scientific name: Coragyps atratus
  • Lifespan: 10 years in the wild 
  • Wingspan: 52-66 in

Black vultures are aggressive large raptors with black plumage, naked black heads, chalky white feet and legs, and white wing patches that can be seen during flight. Both sexes look similar. 

They are often mistaken for turkey vultures; the main difference is the bigger size and wider wings and tails in turkey vultures. In addition, black vultures flap their wings more frequently when flying.

Black vultures can be seen in Northern Florida throughout the year. They are common around open areas and woods.

Although quiet most of the time, black vultures will make hissing sounds when feeding and fighting. 

They are very social birds and might form large communal roosts at night that can often include turkey vultures. 

Black vultures are monogamous and pairs are believed to mate for life – both the male and female will take turns incubating their eggs. 

They are also carnivores that feed on carrion but may also hunt and eat small reptiles, birds, and mammals. 

To escape from danger, black vultures might regurgitate partially digested food, to distract the attacker and become lighter before flying away.

They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and you can’t kill them without a permit.


Bald Eagle

bald eagle
  • Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Wingspan: 70.8-90.5 in

Bald eagles are the national birds of the United States. They have brown bodies, white heads and tails, and yellow legs and beaks. 

Before attaining these characteristics around the age of five, bald eagles are mostly dark brown with varying amounts of white mottling. 

Bald eagles are North Florida’s permanent residents and can be seen in the state throughout the year. They are most common around coastal areas and inland areas near water.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida has one of the densest concentrations of bald eagles in the US, with over 1,500 pairs there.

The call of bald eagles consists of a series of high-pitched whistling or piping notes. 

Source: National Park Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

They build the largest nests of any North American bird – the largest recorded one in Florida was 10 feet wide and 20 feet deep. 

These magnificent raptors are hard to miss as they soar through the air with their 7.5-foot-wide wingspan. 

Bald eagles are carnivores and opportunistic feeders that primarily consume fish they snatch from the water with their sharp talons.


Barred Owl

barred owl
  • Scientific name: Strix varia
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Wingspan: 38-49 in

Barred owls are large North American owls known under many names, such as northern barred owls, striped owls, or more informally, hoot owls.

They are mottled brown with dark eyes and yellow bills, and without ear tufts like some other owl species.

Barred owls are permanent residents of the woods and swamps of Northern Florida and can be seen there throughout the year.

They are also known for their calls that can be heard almost half a mile away; barred owls have accented hoots that sound like “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all.” 

Barred owls have a sedentary nature, they do not like to migrate much.

They are monogamous and in Florida, they usually breed from late January to March. 

Barred owls are carnivores that mostly hunt at night and feed on some insects, small mammals, and even crayfish and crabs.


Royal Tern

royal terns
  • Scientific name: Thalasseus maximus
  • Lifespan: up to 30 years
  • Wingspan: 40-50 in

Royal terns are the second-largest terns in the world, after Caspian terns. These sleek seabirds are very light gray above, white below, and have black caps, black legs, and orange beaks.

Royal terns are common around the shorelines of Northern Florida and can be seen there during the non-breeding season. Some populations might stay there year-round.

Royal terns have very short clear shrill calls that sound like “kree” or “tsirr“.

They are medium-distance migrants and carnivores – royal terns feed on small fish, shrimp, and crustaceans. 

A flock of royal terns is known as a “highness”.


Black Skimmer

black skimmer
  • Scientific name: Rynchops-niger
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years
  • Wingspan: 44 in

Black skimmers are large seabirds that are black above and white below. They have white necks and foreheads, red legs, and distinct red beaks with black tips.

Black skimmers are permanent residents alongside the shorelines, bays, lakes, ponds, and canals of North Florida. They breed in the state from May to September.

Black skimmers have barking “kak-kak” calls. 

These birds have unique long beaks where the lower mandible is longer than the upper – this makes it easier for skimmers to skim along the water surface and catch fish.

Black skimmers are social birds that nest in colonies with up to several hundred pairs. Both parents will incubate their 3-5 eggs. 

Black skimmers are carnivores that feed on small fish, insects, crustaceans, and mollusks.

They are protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


American White Pelican

american pelican
  • Scientific name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  • Lifespan: 16-30 years
  • Wingspan: 108-120 in

American white pelicans are the biggest birds in Florida

They can span up to 9.85 ft across the wings and weigh as much as 30 pounds. White pelicans can be identified by their all-white plumage black flight feathers, and orange legs and beaks.

American white pelicans can be seen around coastal areas and inland lakes of Northern Florida during winter. The best time to see them there would be from September to March.

During summer, American white pelicans will migrate to western Canada and the northwestern US to breed.

Their diet mostly consists of fish, but also some crayfish and salamanders.

American white pelicans build their nests on the ground using dirt, sticks, or other debris and have a clutch of 1-6 eggs that both parents incubate for a whole month.

American white pelicans have the largest beaks of all birds in Florida; they can measure up to 15.2 inches in length in males. 

If you want to see more examples of these long-beaked Florida birds, check this article


Tricolored Heron

tricolored heron
  • Scientific name: Egretta tricolor
  • Lifespan: up to 17 years in the wild
  • Wingspan: 36-38 in

Tricolored herons are large birds with long legs, necks, and beaks. They have grayish-blue upperparts, bright white undersides, and yellow legs.

Tricolored herons are permanent residents of Northern Florida and can be found year-round along its shorelines, lakes, ponds, and marshes. They breed in the state from February to August.

Tricolored herons can be also identified by their alarm calls that sound like a repeated “aahrr“. 

These North Florida birds are carnivores that mainly feed on fish, amphibians, insects, and crustaceans. They will stalk in shallow or deeper waters or dart around erratically and chase after the prey. 

Tricolored herons are social birds that nest in colonies together with other heron species. They will use sticks to build their nests in trees and shrubs and lay 3-7 eggs.


Northern Shoveler

northern shovelers
  • Scientific name: Spatula clypeata
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Wingspan: 30 in

Northern shovelers are common ducks of Florida. They are widespread and very hard to miss due to their unique beaks. These ducks have shovel-like beaks, green heads, white breasts, rufous sides, and brownish backs. Females are mottled brown and have yellowish beaks.

Northern shovelers are non-breeding residents of North Florida and can be seen there around lakes, ponds, and marshes from fall to spring. They breed in western North America and the Great Lakes region of the US.

Northern shovelers are a rather silent species: males have clunking calls while the females will make quacks similar to mallards.

Source: BubulcusCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Northern shovelers forage by sifting through the water with their huge beaks. They have small comb-like structures called lamellae along the edges that help filter out tiny crustaceans, seeds, and aquatic invertebrates from the water.

These ducks are monogamous and drakes (males) will protect their territory and females against other males.  


American White Ibis

american white ibis
  • Scientific name: Eudocimus albus
  • Lifespan: 16 years in
  • Wingspan: 38 in

American white ibises are conspicuous all-white birds with black wing tips, long curved beaks, and reddish legs. There is a patch of pink skin on their faces; they also hold their long necks straight when flying.

American white ibises can be seen around marches and grassy areas in northern parts of Florida throughout the year. They breed in large colonies from February and October; the peak is during spring and summer. 

Some colonies there can include over 30,000 birds.

American white ibises make several sounds, including the honking “urnk-urnk” call they use in flight or when agitated, and the muted “huu-huu” call when foraging. 

They are carnivores and feed on crabs, crayfish, fish, snakes, frogs, and insects. 

White ibises are protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act – it is illegal to hunt them.


Summary

This concludes our list of North Florida birds.

Examples include several types of songbirds, ducks, owls, hawks, hummingbirds, vultures, pelicans, and many others.

Next time, should you see these birds in person, you should be able to recognize any of them with ease! 

And if you enjoyed our article, here are our other popular reads on birds: Green birds found in Florida and the only pink birds found in Florida

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