Image: Belted Kingfisher
January ushers in more temperate days in southwest Florida, along with the excitement of the holiday season and the return of our snowbird friends – of the feathered variety. Every year starting in November, our skies become full of feathered friends, some who travel thousands of miles to spend winter with us. It’s the idyllic season to take one of our Fort Myers Beach charters, and when you do, don’t be surprised to see a flurry of flapping and wadding going on around Estero Bay.
Some of our seasonal friends include:
The Blackpoll Warbler As with other warblers, this bird migrates but tends to arrive a little later than other warblers. These birds winter further south than other warblers in the jungles of South America and happen to make a stopover in our neck of the woods when on their yearly trek south.
The Tennessee Warbler These warblers visit with us on their way to Mexico and Venezuela for the wintertime. All warblers are highly active birds and difficult to get close to for observation as they swoop down to catch an insect and then flit away.
Louisiana Waterthrush This little beauty comes to visit with as early as August, traveling primarily at night. They make their homes near brooks, streams and within coastal mangroves, which makes our subtropical habitat the ideal spot for them to overwinter.
Wood Storks – This bald headed wading bird come to southwest Florida for the dry season, when its food source (fish) are more easily found as the water pools shrink.
Belted Kingfisher – These fuzzy crested, blue grey birds follow the shoreline and riverways south to find a suitable resting spot for the winter. You’ll hear these birds as they have a distinct rattling call they emit as they fly above the waterways seeking fish to eat.
Bring a pair of binoculars for the best chance of catching sight of these seasonal feathered friends!