Top 10 Most Fabulous Birds Of Florida

Florida Birds

Florida Birds: Because of its unique geographic location and suitable tropical climate, the state of Florida is home to some of the most awesome birds ever discovered. Here, we list the top ten most spectacular Florida birds.

Fabulous Florida Birds

1. Florida Scrub-Yay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Corvidae Aphelocoma Aphelocoma coerulescens

Florida Scrub Yay
Coming from the genus Aphelocoma[1] which means “smooth-hair“, the Florida Scrub-jay Aphelocoma coerulescens is the rarest of the five species of the genus.

  • It is distinguished from other member of Aphelocoma and other jays due to the absence of its head crest.
  • Males and females are physically alike with an overall plumage color of blue and grey, and only differ in terms of size. Male Florida Scrub-jays are just slightly bigger than their female counterparts.

2. Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Accipitriformes Accipitridae Rostrhramus Rostrhamus sociabilis

Florida Snail Kite
The Snail Kite bird[2] Rostrhamus sociabilis can be considered as one of the most morphologically distinct raptors in the world. This is because of its presence of a highly modified and strong bill that enables it to feed on snails, Apple snails Pomacea in particular.

  • In terms of physical appearance, this bird is sometimes confused with the Slender Bill Kite due to their overall black plumage. However, one good difference between the two is the presence of white patches in the plumage of the former.
  • The Snail Kite bird is also seen mostly foraging in forested environments.

3. Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Gruiformes Aramidae Aramus Aramus guarauna

Florida Limpkin
Limpkin[3] is an unusual bird that thrives in the wet marshes of Florida. In these habitats, it can be seen feeding on Apple snails Pomacea with its long bill.

  • In terms of physical appearance, this bird is characterized by having a heron-like stature with an overall plumage color of brown with white spots.
  • The breeding behavior of this bird is still unknown since little literature has been written about it.

4. White Crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Columbiformes Columbidae Patagioenas Patagioenas leucocephala

Florida white crowned pigeon
The next bird in this Florida birds list, the White Crowned pigeon[4] is endemic only to the southernmost part of Florida and Keys in the United States.

  • This bird, despite being that of a shy type, can be found in wet swamps and marshes. Sometimes it can also be seen in the high treetops and even electricity wires.
  • Scientists strongly believe that this bird is one of the fastest in terms of speed of flight. Although no actual quantitative data have been shown, it is thought that this Florida bird is faster than the speed of motorboats.

5. Short-Tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Falconiformes Accipitridae Buteo Buteo brachyurus

Florida Short Tailed Hawk
Widely distributed in Florida, the Short-tailed hawk[5] is known to inhabit the evergreen forests and foothill forests of the area. This bird is mostly observed flying as it hunts for its prey, which are normally smaller birds.

  • One of the most distinguishing characteristic of this bird[6] is its presence of light and dark plumage that changes in a sympatric manner. And unlike what its name suggests, this bird has a rather long tail that is about the size of its body.
  • This Florida bird is considered as one of the least studied birds in the U. S.

6. Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Tyrannidae Tyrannus Tyrannus dominicensis

Florida Gray Kingbird
During the first days of April, Gray Kingbirds arrive to Florida from the cold lands of Carribean.

  • Aside from Florida, these birds can also be found in places like Georgia and Mississipi.
  • The Gray Kingbird is characterized by having a 9-inch body length and a slightly forked tail feather. Its upper body is slightly pale gray (hence the name) and a dark mask in the eyes. Its underside is color yellow when it is young and becomes pure white upon reaching adulthood.

7. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Cardinalidae Cardinalis Cardinalis cardinalis

Florida Northern Cardinal (Female)
The Northern Cardinal[7] is a medium sized songbird that exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males have a red overall plumage with black face mask whereas females have light brown to greenish brown plumage and some red highlights. Females also lack the black face mask.

  • Northern Cardinals normally inhabit edges of woods and even backyard of houses. This activity enables them to have free food given by the people themselves.

8. Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Gruiformes Rallidae Porphyrio Porphyrio martinicus

Florida Purple Gallinule
Just about the size of a chicken, the Purple Gallinule[8] is a brightly colored bird adorned with blue-green feathers, red bill tipped with a bright yellow color, and long yellow legs. Check out this bird of Florida was also featured in the most colorful birds list too.

  • Aside from Florida, where it is greatly distributed, this bird can also be found in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia. Basically, it likes to live in wet places like marshes and swamps that have plenty of vegetation.
  • Despite being unable to fly, the purple gallinule is excellent in wading in water and has the ability to distribute evenly its weight and walk on lily pads.

9. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Accipitriformes Accipitridae Haliaeetus Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Florida Bald Eagle
The Bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus[9] is known to be the only species of eagle that is endemic to North America.

  • Even from a distance, this bird is highly distinguishable due to its white head and tail, and brown body. The bald eagle has yellow bill and feet.
  • This bird is known for its ability to soar with its wings laid flat during flight, instead of just flapping its wings.
  • The Bald eagle primarily feeds on smaller birds and fish (sometimes large ones), rodents, and carrion.

10. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Charadriiformes Charadriidae Charadrius Charadrius vociferus

Florida Killdeer
The Killdeer got its name from the kill-deer call they produce. During the 1800s, killdeers often annoyed townspeople, hence getting name like “Chattering Plover” or “Noisy Plover“.

  • The killdeer is a good swimmer. And although known to be a shorebird, the Killdeer[10] is a common sight in open places like backyard gardens, parking lots, and athletic fields.
  • This bird is characterized by having brown color on its upper feathers and white ones in its undersides.

Do you know the names of other bird species that can be found in Florida?

Cite this article as: "Top 10 Most Fabulous Birds Of Florida," in Bio Explorer, September 13, 2017, https://www.bioexplorer.net/florida-birds.html/.

References

  • All file are from Wikimedia under the creative commons license.
  • [1]“Florida scrub-jay videos, photos and facts – Aphelocoma coerulescens | Arkive”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [2]“Snail Kite – Introduction | Neotropical Birds Online”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [3]“Limpkin, Identification, All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [4]“10 Highlight Birds in Florida » Bird Watcher's Digest”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [5]“Short-tailed Hawk – Introduction | Neotropical Birds Online”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [6]“Short-tailed Hawk – | Birds of North America Online”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [7]“ADW: Cardinalis cardinalis: INFORMATION”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [8]“Purple Gallinule – Porphyrula martinica – NatureWorks”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [9]“Bald Eagle | Basic Facts About Bald Eagles | Defenders of Wildlife”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
  • [10]“Killdeer, Life History, All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology”. Accessed September 12, 2017. Link.
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