Boca Grande, a beautiful barrier island located off the coast of Florida, is home to a diverse range of bird species. These birds make the island their preferred location for nesting, feeding, and roosting throughout the year.
With lush vegetation, plenty of water sources, and a favorable climate the island offers an ideal ecosystem that supports an abundant bird life.
From majestic raptors soaring high above to brilliant-colored songbirds fluttering amidst the foliage in search of food, Boca Grande presents nature enthusiasts with a delightful bird-watching experience.
With numerous bird-watching tours, nature trails, and sanctuaries, a visit to Boca Grande is a must for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
1. Bald eagle
The majestic Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America and recognized as the national symbol of the United States.
With its distinctive white head, brown body and striking yellow beak, this sea eagle has two known subspecies that form a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle.
It inhabits much of Canada, Alaska all states in the US contiguous area and Northern Mexico near large bodies of water where they feed mainly on fish.
These birds have an impressive wingspan ranging from 1.8 to 2 meters depending on their size making them one of nature’s most magnificent creatures.Scientific classification:
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2. Red-bellied woodpecker
The Red-bellied woodpecker is a beautiful bird with an orange-red crown and nape. It breeds mainly in the eastern United States, ranging from Florida to Canada.
This medium-sized woodpecker of the family Picidae has black wings, white stripes on its back and tail feathers that are barred with black.
Its underside is mostly pale yellow or white but it also features some red coloration around its neck area.
Despite this subtle red hue, it should not be mistaken for the entirely red head and neck belonging to the Red-headed woodpecker of the same genus Melanerpes carolinus.
The Red bellied Woodpeckers diet consists primarily of insects such as ants, beetles and grasshoppers along with nuts fruits berries and tree sap which they will feed upon during different times throughout their life cycle.Scientific classification:
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3. American white pelican
The American White Pelican is a majestic bird from the Pelecaniformes order, known for its impressive size and ability to soar gracefully in the sky.
It breeds during summer months in North America and migrates southwards towards Central and South America during winter.
The species was first described by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin back in 1789 as part of his updated version of Carl Linnaeus’ work.
This large aquatic bird has an all-white plumage with black primary flight feathers on its wings, while its beak features a characteristic yellowish colouration at the base near the face.
Its diet mainly consists of fish which it typically catches after dipping into water using its long bill; yet sometimes they can be seen stealing food items from other birds such as cormorants or gulls.Scientific classification:
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The Osprey is a majestic bird of prey with an incredibly wide habitat range. It has distinctive brown upperparts and greyish head and underparts, making it easily identifiable in the skies above many regions across the world.
With a wingspan of up to 180cm (71in) and body length reaching 60cm (24in), this large raptor specializes in hunting for fish, soaring high over rivers as well as coasts searching for its next meal.
Despite living near water sources, they can also be found inhabiting mountainsides or even woodlands, proving their incredible adaptability. An impressive species that truly deserves admiration.Scientific classification:
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The Sanderling is a small wading bird that can be found in the Arctic region. Its name comes from Old English, meaning "sand-ploughman". It has grey feathers and light legs which give it its distinct white coloration.
During summer breeding months, they are known to travel great distances - some wintering as far south as South America or Southern Africa. They typically feed on crustaceans such as shrimp and mollusks along coastal shores.
The Sanderling is an important species to watch out for because of their long migratory patterns and sensitivity to environmental change; if there's trouble with this species then other birds may also be affected.Scientific classification:
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6. Magnificent frigatebird
The Magnificent Frigatebird is the largest species of frigatebird, measuring between 89 and 114 cm in length and having a wingspan of 7-8 ft.
It can be found over tropical waters off America from northern Mexico to Peru on the Pacific coast, as well as Florida down south.
Its diet consists mainly of fish they take from other seabirds or snatch directly from the ocean surface while flying low above it.
They also feed on crustaceans and squid when available too.
This impressive bird has an unmistakable silhouette with its long pointed wings, forked tail feathers and male's red gular pouch which inflates during courtship displays.Scientific classification:
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7. Reddish egret
The Reddish Egret is a medium-sized heron that breeds in Central America, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Texas and Mexico.
It prefers mud flats as its habitat of choice due to its unique foraging behaviour which differs from other herons.
In the past it was hunted widely for its feathers used to make fashionable hats but thankfully this practice has now been stopped.
They have white or grey plumage with pink legs and bill giving them their name.
These birds feed mainly on fish which they catch by making quick darting movements in shallow water or running rapidly through shallows stirring up prey so they can snatch them easily with their bills.
Their long wings enable them to fly quickly when hunting and also during migration season when many travel southwards towards warmer climates.Scientific classification:
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8. Little blue heron
The Little Blue Heron is a small, darkly-colored heron with two-toned bill. Juveniles are completely white, similar to the Snowy Egret. In breeding season, adults develop unique coloration on their head and legs.
The bird has an expansive habitat range that covers much of the Americas from North America all the way down to South America.
They feed mostly in shallow water areas like tidal flats or marshes and eat small aquatic animals such as fish, frogs and crustaceans.
This species can also be found along coastal regions where they gather at night for roosting purposes during winter months when food sources become more scarce due to migration patterns of its prey animals.
These birds have adapted well over time allowing them to persist in most habitats throughout their wide range even despite environmental changes caused by human activities such as pollution or development projects near wetlands ecosystems which are essential for this species' survival.Scientific classification:
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9. American flamingo
The American flamingo is a large species of bird found in the Neotropics. It has bright pink feathers and long legs, making it easily distinguishable from other species of flamingos.
The diet consists mostly of shrimp and small fish but they are also known to eat algae, aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans and seeds.
They live around coastal lagoons or salt ponds in colonies with thousands of birds nesting together on mud flats.
Flamingos build nests out of sticks that sit atop their feet as they wade through shallow waters looking for food during low tide periods when these areas become more accessible for feeding purposes.
These birds have an interesting courtship ritual involving neck stretching which looks like a dance to attract mates before breeding season begins in May-June each year leading to chicks hatching during July-August time periodScientific classification:
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10. Great blue heron
The Great Blue Heron is a majestic wading bird found in many parts of North America, Central America, the Caribbean and even as far away as the Galapagos Islands.
It has an impressive wingspan which can reach up to six feet wide. Its feathers are mainly bluish-gray with brownish streaks on both its neck and chest while its head displays white plumes.
The adult herons can also be identified by their yellow bill and legs.
They live near bodies of water such as lakes, marshes or rivers where they feed on fish using a spear like motion with their sharp bills.
An all-white population exists only in south Florida and the Florida Keys making it quite unique.Scientific classification:
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11. Black skimmer
The Black Skimmer is a seabird which belongs to the skimmer genus Rynchops and Laridae family.
It breeds in North and South America, while Northern populations migrate south for winter towards warmer climates such as the Caribbean or Pacific coasts.
The Southern American races have adapted to annual floods by making shorter migrations during this time.
These birds are easily identified with their unique long red bill that has an upper mandible longer than its lower mandible.
They feed mainly on small fish caught at night when they skim across shallow water using their beak like a knife cutting through waves of water.
Their dark grey back contrasts against white belly feathers creating beautiful patterns in flight, aiding them in catching prey easier due to its camoflauge effect above and below waters surface.Scientific classification:
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12. Grey plover
The Grey Plover is a large plover bird which breeds in the Arctic regions. It then migrates over long distances, and can be found on coastlines around the world when not breeding.
The species was first described by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 under its binomial name "Tringa squatarola".
In addition to being known as grey plovers or black-bellied plovers, they are also sometimes referred to as “black-breasted lapwings” due to their distinctive plumage that features white underneath with dark greys above.
These birds inhabit beaches, mudflats and saltmarshes where they feed mainly on small invertebrates such as worms and insects.Scientific classification:
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13. Black-bellied whistling duck
The Black-bellied whistling duck is a unique species of bird that can be found in the southern United States, Mexico, Central and South America. This small waterfowl has distinct black plumage on its belly which gives it its name.
Its call is also distinctive as it makes high pitched whistles to communicate with other members of its flock.
It prefers wetland habitats such as marshes, ponds and lakes where they feed on seeds and aquatic plants like wild rice or pondweed.
During breeding season these birds form monogamous pairs nesting in trees near bodies of water.
They are migratory birds but some may remain year round depending upon local climate conditions making them relatively common sights in certain areas during winter months when most other ducks have migrated further south for warmer weather.Scientific classification:
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14. Roseate spoonbill
The Roseate Spoonbill is a beautiful and majestic bird found in both North and South America.
It belongs to the ibis family, Threskiornithidae, and its vibrant pink colour comes from canthaxanthin pigment derived from their diet of crustaceans like shrimp.
Sadly plume hunting has almost driven this species close to extinction during the 18th and 19th centuries but fortunately it's making a comeback due to conservation efforts made by dedicated wildlife organisations.
Its large spoon-like bill helps them filter out food sources such as small fish or frogs from shallow water areas while they wade through mudflats with their long legs looking for something tasty.
With its unique appearance, graceful wingspan amd impressive flight capabilities, the Roseate Spoonbill is an incredibly photogenic animal that will captivate any viewers attention who happen to be lucky enough witness it in all its glory.Scientific classification:
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15. Wood stork
The Wood Stork is a large wading bird found in subtropical and tropical habitats throughout the Americas, including the Caribbean. It stands out from other storks due to its distinctive white head and neck feathers.
The wood stork has an impressive wingspan of up to 6 feet wide, making it one of the largest birds in North America.
Although usually seen near water sources such as swamps or wetlands looking for food like fish, crabs, frogs and even small reptiles they can sometimes be spotted far away from their natural habitat during migration season.
This species is also one of few that breeds annually in North America with nests typically built on platforms made by humans or animals near water bodies or ponds.Scientific classification:
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16. Snowy egret
The Snowy Egret is a small white heron native to North America. Its scientific name, Egretta thula, comes from Provençal French for the little egret and an incorrect reference to the Black-necked Swan by Chilean naturalist Juan Ignacio Molina in 1782.
This beautiful bird has black legs with yellow feet, and a long plume of feathers on its head that often appears as if it's wearing a crown.
It feeds primarily on insects and aquatic life like fish or frogs making it well adapted for both wetland habitats such as marshes or swamps plus coastal areas close to shorelines.
With their graceful movements they are truly delightful creatures to observe while out exploring nature.Scientific classification:
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17. Brown noddy
The Brown Noddy is a species of seabird in the Laridae family. It's the largest of its kind, and can be distinguished from others by its dark brown plumage, which stands out compared to other noddies with black feathers.
Found around tropical oceans worldwide, it inhabits areas such as Hawaii and Australia all the way to Tuamotu Archipelago in Polynesia.
During breeding season they form large colonies on remote islands where their nests are constructed using twigs and leaves situated atop trees or shrubs – typically located near water sources like lagoons or estuaries so they have access to food items like small fish and squid that make up their diet.
As highly social birds they often engage in synchronised flying displays over nesting sites before returning back home at nightfall.Scientific classification:
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18. White-crowned pigeon
The White-crowned Pigeon is a species of bird belonging to the Columbidae family, widely found in the Caribbean. In the first half of the 18th century it was described as such.
This pigeon has been immortalized by artist John James Audubon through his watercolor painting featured in Birds of America published during early 19th century.
These birds primarily feed on fruits and seeds and have white crowns that make them easily recognizable even from afar.
The beauty of these birds makes them popular amongst birdwatchers all over the world who flock to observe their behavior while they eat or nest.Scientific classification:
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19. Gray kingbird
The Gray Kingbird is a species of tyrant flycatcher found in tall trees and shrubs, including the edges of savannas and marshes. It has gray feathers on its back with white underparts and blackish wings.
Its head is dark gray-brown or olive, while its tail is tipped with white. The Gray Kingbird builds flimsy cup nests from twigs in tree branches for their eggs to incubate safely until they hatch into chicks.
They feed mainly on insects such as moths, grasshoppers, beetles, crickets and caterpillars that can be caught midair when it swoops down from above like other kingbirds do.
This bird's call consists of loud chirps which are often heard during mating season - making them an easily identifiable species within areas where they live.Scientific classification:
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20. Yellow-crowned night heron
The Yellow-crowned night heron is a beautiful and unique species of bird native to the Americas. It has distinctive yellow crowns on its head, making it easy to identify among other herons.
These birds are also larger than most other types of herons, reaching up to 70 cm in length and 850 g in weight.
They usually feed on small fish or crustaceans while wading through shallow waters with their long legs.
The yellow-crowned night heron can be found near marshes or lakes during breeding season when they will build nests made from twigs high above the ground for protection against predators like raccoons and foxes.
This majestic bird is an important part of wetland ecosystems as it helps keep populations of smaller aquatic animals balanced by preying upon them.Scientific classification:
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21. Ring-billed gull
The Ring-billed Gull is a medium sized seabird that can be seen throughout North America. Its head, neck and underparts are white while its back and wings are silver gray in color.
It has a relatively short yellow bill with a dark ring around it, as well as yellow legs.
The genus name for this species of gull comes from the Latin word ‘Larus’ which referred to large sea birds or gulls; while the specific delawarensis refers to the Delaware River where these birds were first discovered.
These beautiful creatures thrive near coasts, lakeshores and other bodies of water but also have been known to inhabit urban areas such as parks close by those watersides due to their adaptability towards human habitats.Scientific classification:
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22. Laughing gull
The Laughing Gull is a medium-sized bird with gray wings, black head and white underparts. It has bright red legs and bill which make it easily distinguishable from other gulls.
The name comes from its unique laughing call which can be heard in coastal areas throughout the Americas where they breed. They are opportunistic omnivores that feed on fish, carrion, insects or even garbage when available.
During breeding season these birds form large colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America as well as parts of northern South America and Caribbean islands.
There are two subspecies; L megalopturus found in Canada to Central America while L atricilla inhabits rest of their range..
These species have become more common inland due to human settlement near coasts creating ideal habitat for them but also making them scavengers around urban areas.Scientific classification:
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23. Brown pelican
The majestic brown pelican is a dive-feeding bird that belongs to the pelican family. It is one of the three pelican species found in the Americas and is known to dive into water to catch its prey.
From the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey to the mouth of the Amazon River, and along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to northern Chile, including the Galapagos Islands, this bird can be found.
Its scientific name is Pelecanus occidentalis, and it has a colored brown plumage, which is its distinct characteristic.
The brown pelican belongs to the largest bird species that exist today, with a wingspan that can stretch up to seven feet long.
This bird helps maintain a balance in the ecosystem by eating smaller fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic prey.Scientific classification:
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24. Short-tailed hawk
The Short-tailed hawk is a bird species belonging to the Accipitridae family found in North and South America, and is often called a "buteo" or "buzzard".
Although referred to as a hawk, it is not a true hawk and is classified under the Buteo genus. Its close relative, the White-throated hawk, was previously considered part of the same species.
Known for its agility and sharp talons, the Short-tailed hawk is a skilled predator that feeds on small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
Its distinctive feature is its short tail, which aids in maneuverability while hunting in dense forests or open fields.
Due to habitat loss and other threats, the species has been designated as "near threatened" on the IUCN Red List.Scientific classification:
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