Birding USA, Part 1: 10 Eastern US Hotspots for Photographing Birds - Trust Me Shops

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Birding USA, Part 1: 10 Eastern US Hotspots for Photographing Birds

Birding USA, Part 1: 10 Eastern US Hotspots for Photographing Birds

B&H explora - All posts
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This article is the first in a three-part survey of the best locations for birdwatching and bird photography in the United States. Subsequent articles will cover Central and Western regions. Before visiting any of the destinations listed below, be sure you have a reliable field guide to help with identifying what you encounter.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Leading off the list is a World Heritage Site and one of the great natural treasures of the United States: the Everglades. Its 1.5 million acres makes it the third largest national park in the country and the greatest expanse of wilderness east of the Mississippi River. Home to eight distinct ecosystems, it warrants an article unto itself, but here are a few places to begin.

Most first-time visitors to the park start with the Anhinga Trail (0.8 mile). An accessible, paved path and boardwalk, its surroundings serve as prime habitat for aquatic birds, including the striking Purple Gallinule and the trail’s namesake Anhinga, which can be spotted diving into the water in search of prey or drying its wings in the canopy above. Watch out for the delinquent vultures in the parking lot, notorious for destroying the rubber trim on cars. Speaking of precautions, be mindful of the many, many alligators who call the Everglades home.

An equally accessible but slightly less crowded path can be found on the Mahogany Hammock Trail (0.5 mile), a meandering boardwalk providing views of freshwater marl prairie and hardwood hammock. In the morning you may encounter warblers or a rare Cable Sable Seaside Sparrow. Bald Eagles have been known to make an appearance in the sky above while Barred Owls may be heard in the evening.

Paurotis Pond is the premiere nesting spot in the park and year-round home to one of the most unusual birds in the United States: the Roseate Spoonbill. Be aware that in the winter and spring this area is closed beyond its parking lot to the public as it becomes a rookery for the threatened Wood Stork and other wading birds.

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