Michigan winters make escaping to the south a great February warm up! Our family of four left for Disney from Detroit when it was about 20 degrees out and arrived to a beautiful 67 degree sunshine filled state!
We stayed for a week and amidst the craziness of Disney World were able to spot some great birds! The weather was pretty perfect and even a bit warm for Central Florida this time of year. We went swimming and for a few walks around Disney’s Pop Century Resort. We all added a couple of life birds to our lists.
My kids may have been an oddity at Disney…. While we walked the parks, waited in lines, or sat down for a meal, they had their eyes to the sky checking out the birds in Florida.
One of the first great finds was a Little Blue Heron right on the edge of a small lake at the Pop Century resort. We were able to get a pretty close look before he flew off.
The pool and outdoor dining area were surrounded by Boat-Tailed Grackles waiting for a chance to grab a snack or trying to get the ladies attention. The males were much more visible and much louder than the females. It took me some time to realize they were even the same species. The males were all black with vibrant yellow eyes, and the females were a dark olive brown and tan with long black legs and black eyes.
At Magic Kingdom we came across a Great Egret, a few Cattle Egrets and many White Ibis. Groups of Turkey Vultures circled in the distance and my husband noticed the different under-wing pattern on a few. We added Black Vultures to our list! Turkey Vultures have a distinctive white v under-wing and Black Vultures have an all black under wing with white wing tips. One Black Vulture landed on Space Mountain! Animal Kingdom also had a pretty large group of Black Vultures hanging out around the hippos.
There were sweet tiny birds in many of the trees, but I wasn’t able to identify them. I can’t wait until we have a birding trip to Florida without the Disney crowds and fanfare, but then that will mean my daughter’s love of princesses is fading and I will treasure that as long as I can.
We added the White Ibis, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Black Vulture, Little Blue Heron, Double Crested Cormorant, Gray Catbird, Tricolored Heron, Anhinga, Palm Warbler, and Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher to our life lists. Here are a few more pics of our birding adventure at Disney (and a Hawk in the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom)!
Talk to you soon!