Wildlife Photography in Florida
The opportunities for wildlife and nature photography in North America are as boundless as the country itself. However not many photographers are aware that Southern Florida and, in particular the Everglades, has to be one of the most outstanding places in the world, if not the best, for photographing birds. Hopefully I shall demonstrate this in this lecture.
White Pelicans Preening
In two weeks it is certainly possible to have in excess of a hundred bird species within camera range and you should be able to photograph them well- and I do mean really well! These will include an assortment of Herons and Egrets, White and Glossy Ibises, Anhinga, Purple Gallinule, American Bittern along with endangered species such as Wood Stork and Limpkin. Among the raptors we should get Burrowing Owl, Barred Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Black and Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Bald Eagle and, if you are really lucky, Snail Kite.
On the Gulf coast a variety of approachable waders (referred to as Shorebirds in America) include Short and Long-billed Dowitchers, Whimbrel, American Oystercatcher, Black-bellied Plover, Killdeer, Willett and Marbled Godwit along with Royal, Caspian, Forster’s and Sandwich Terns, Black Skimmers, assorted Gulls and both Brown and White Pelicans. If you are lucky a big bonus would be Long-billed Curlew hiding amongst the godwits, it’s a really superb bird to find.
It is not all birds of course; mammals will include Grey Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Swamp Rat, Marsh Rabbit, Opossum, Racoon, Armadillo and White-tailed and Key Deer. The latter is one of the rarest deer in the world currently numbering around 350 and found only in the Florida Keys. How about a Manatee? These are really weird mammals that spend their entire lives in water mainly under it!
You are guaranteed to come face to face with one of the most feared animals in the Everglades namely the American Alligator and possibly the endangered American Crocodile. Venomous snakes such as Water Moccasins and Rattlesnakes will add additional excitement should you decide to take a ‘wet walk’ into the swamps.
If the thought of alligators nipping at your heels does not appeal then perhaps a more leisurely day photographing bromeliads, butterflies and dragonflies would be more to your liking. They are all out there just waiting for you to turn up with your camera.