What are Shorebirds?
Shorebirds in Florida
There are many species of shorebirds that can be found in Florida, including herons, plovers, and egrets. Some of the more common species found in Florida include the great blue heron, willet, American white ibis, snowy egret, and least sandpiper. Shorebirds are typically found along shorelines and wetlands, where they feed on insects, worms, and small crustaceans. These birds are known for their long, thin legs and beaks, which they use to spear and catch prey or probe the mud and sand for food. During our guided kayaking tours in Canaveral National Seashore, we’ve found that it’s easiest to spot shorebirds while they are active along the shoreline or while roosting in the trees.
Where to see Shorebirds?
Birding in Canaveral National Seashore
Canaveral National Seashore is a National Park on the east coast of Florida with entrances in New Smyrna Beach and Titusville.
This National Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including many species of shorebirds. Some of these shorebird species include the American oystercatcher, sandpiper, great egret, great blue heron, and willet. These birds rely on the seashore’s diverse habitats, including sandy beaches, dunes, salt marshes, wetlands, and maritime hammocks. Shorebirds and thousands of other species use these areas for food, shelter, escape cover, and breeding. We usually see these birds during kayak tours along the banks of maritime forests and mangrove islands.
The Park is also an important stopover point for migratory shorebirds, which use the area to rest and refuel during their long journeys.
We found this tricolored heron as it was taking off from an old log near the banks of a mangrove island during one of our guided kayaking tours.
This great egret was photographed by a Viking EcoTours guide while it was catching eels and fish in the water during one of the sunsets and afternoon guided kayaking tours.
These willet were spotted on the beach in Canaveral National Seashore. A Viking EcoTours guide photographed these shorebirds after one of the sunrise kayaking tours.
Kayaking Tours & Birding in Canaveral National Seashore
To support these birds and other wildlife, the park has implemented a number of conservation measures, including habitat restoration and protection, research, and education programs. The seashore also supports a variety of other wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, and manatees.
The park is a popular destination for birdwatching, as well as for recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, and hiking.
Shorebirds we frequently see
Other Groups of Birds
There can be hundreds of songbird species in Canaveral National Seashore but Florida scrub jays and northern cardinals are some of the favorite songbirds of Viking EcoTours guides.
The seabirds guides usually see are anhingas, double-crested cormorants, white pelicans, and brown pelicans.
Viking EcoTours guides see many raptor species on kayaking tours in Canaveral National Seashore but the most common species seen is the Osprey. Guides also see bald eagles, red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, and kestrels around the kayak launch and on the water.