Sea birds of Florida

14 Sea birds of Florida

Florida is a hot spot for sea birds and sea turtle nesting, which means that many people who come to the state will see these beautiful creatures.  Sea birds of Florida are a large part of the state’s ecosystem, and it’s important to pay attention to their needs and take care of them. There are many of them, and it is important you know them.

Some of the sea birds of Florida are Laughing Gulls, Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egret, Flamingos, Plovers, White Ibis, Willets, and Roseate Spoonbills, to mention a few. The sea birds of Florida are a part of the marine ecosystem.

They play an important role in the food chain by consuming algae, which helps maintain healthy ecosystems. Sea birds are also important for tourism because people like to see them in nature and enjoy watching them fly around or swim below us as we sit on our chairs at a beach bar or restaurant.

Understanding Florida shore birds

The Florida shore birds’ habitat is the marshy areas of the state. They are often seen near water, including ponds, lakes, and rivers. They are social birds that live in large flocks during the wintertime and are very territorial during the breeding season.

The shore birds have a wide range of colors and patterns. Some have white markings on their wings and legs, while others have black feathers with bright yellow beaks or red bills. You can find these beautiful creatures all across Florida.

Also, shorebirds are a diverse group that includes sandpipers, plovers, godwits, turnstones, and avocets. They’re also incredibly diverse in size and shape, with some weighing as much as 8 pounds and others just half an ounce.

The largest of these birds is the Great Egret (Egretta alba), which can reach nearly 6 feet tall and weigh up to 3 pounds. The smallest is the Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor), which only weighs around .8 ounces.

Sea birds of Florida

14 Types of Florida shorebirds

There are several types of Florida shorebirds, including pelicans, gulls, and terns. Let us check the lists below:

1. Laughing Gulls

The Laughing Gull is a shorebird that is found in various parts of Florida, including the Southeastern coast. They are small birds with black wings and tails, and they have a white rump patch.

Also, they are small shorebirds with a large beaks. They have a white head, black wingtips and tail, and bright yellow feet. Their bill has a black tip that they use to probe into sand and mud for food. They do not dive as often as other gulls, but they do have strong swimming abilities.

In addition, they are most often seen in the winter months when they are feeding on fish such as herring and smelts. They are very active and playful birds, which is why they love to play around in the water. Also, they will dive for fish and swim out to sea, but they also like to fly over the water and try to catch insects in flight.

2. Herring Gulls

Herring Gulls are a type of shorebird that you can find on both coasts of Florida. They are medium-sized birds with black feathers and white wingtips. These birds have grey or blue heads and necks and orange or yellow bills.

They produce a loud squawk when they’re startled, which makes them easy to identify as one of the many types of shorebirds in our state.

They are small, colorful birds of the gull family, and they nest on the ground and in rocky areas. The Herring Gull is a common sight around Florida’s beaches, where it feeds on fish and crustaceans, as well as insects and other small animals.

Also, they are found throughout the world, but most of them live in the northern hemisphere. They have white feathers on their heads and backs, with black markings on their wings and tails. They also have long bills that can be up to 38 centimeters (15 inches) long.

In addition, the bird breeds around New England in springtime and then migrates south for wintering grounds in South America or Australia. The young birds are fed by both parents while they are still in the nest; they will stay there until they fledge at about eight weeks old.

3. Ring-billed Gulls

Ring-billed Gulls are a type of shorebird. They are very common in coastal areas, especially in Florida. Ring-billed Gulls have a black head and beak, dark grey body and wings, white underparts and belly with black streaks, black legs and feet, and yellow eyes.

They are a common sight in Florida and can be found on beaches, lakes, and other bodies of water. They are medium-sized gulls with black and white plumage, which gives them their name. They have long wings that help them catch food from above the water.

Also, ring-billed Gulls feed primarily on fish but will also eat other small animals if they can get to them. They have been known to steal food from other birds as well.

They breed in colonies near the coast during the summer months (June through August). Their nests are made of twigs or other materials such as seaweed and sand. The female lays three to five eggs at a time. Both parents take care of their young after hatching; however, only one parent will incubate the eggs while the other parent hunts for food for the family.

In addition, can be seen year-round wherever they choose to nest, including inland areas such as forests, wetlands, cities, suburbs, farms, and even parking lots. They are quite social birds who love interacting with each other as well as humans.

4. Pelicans

Pelicans are the most common Florida shorebirds. They are very social and make frequent foraging trips in shallow water. These migratory birds can be found in both salt and fresh water throughout the state. Their wings are long and narrow.

They have a long, black bill with a hooked tip. Their eyesight is poor, but they have an excellent sense of smell and hearing. The pelican’s head is grey or white on top and black underneath, with a white stripe running down the neck.

Its belly is white or cream-colored, with dark spots on its breast. The female pelican may have white wing bars or spots on her underparts. The male has a bright red bill and legs, which it uses to attract females during mating season (March-May).

5. Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Herons are one of the most common types of shorebirds in Florida.   They are large birds with long bills, short necks, and curved bills. They have blue-grey upper parts and white underparts. Their black legs and feet are visible when they walk on land.

They have dark grey patches on the top of their heads which are called malar stripes, that run from the back to the front of their heads.

Also, the Great Blue Herons mostly eat fish but will also eat other small animals like crayfish, crabs, insects, and frogs. They can often be seen walking along shallow water near shore, looking for food to feed their young after the breeding season ends.

6. Snowy Egret

Egrets are a group of wading birds known for their long, broad, and often plump bodies. They are found in the Americas and Asia.

The Snowy Egret is a large white bird with long legs, black primaries, and a long red bill. It has a dark head and neck and long black tail feathers. It breeds in wetlands along the Gulf Coast of North America from Texas to Florida, but it also winters on the Pacific coast of Mexico.

The Snowy Egret is one of only two species of egret that migrate to the United States during wintertime; the other species are called Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis). Also, the Snowy Egret’s breeding range extends from northern Texas across Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas into southern Canada.

In addition, these birds can reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour when running across open water or land surfaces such as mudflats or grasslands.

7. Short and Large-Billed Dowitchers

The Short-billed Dowitcher is a medium-sized shorebird that has a black head and neck, white underparts, and a white rump. The male has a black throat and breast, while the female has yellowish underparts.

The Large-billed Dowitcher is similar in appearance to the Short-billed Dowitcher but has longer wings and legs than its smaller cousin. It also has a longer bill than the Short-billed Dowitcher.

Both of these shorebirds are common along the beaches of Florida, where they build their nests in the sand or gravel on islands or peninsulas. They forage for food on land and in shallow waters by walking on the ground or wading through shallow water after prey like worms or small fish.

8. Roseate Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbills are a type of shorebird that lives on the beaches of Florida. They have a red bill and red legs, but their heads and necks are orange. They eat bugs, seeds, and other small animals.

They usually live in groups of three or four birds. These groups are called “flocks,” which are made up of pairs or trios (3–4 birds). The males will make loud chirping sounds to tell each other about where they can find food.

9. Sanderling

Sanderlings are small shorebirds that can be found on sandy beaches and dunes throughout the Western Hemisphere. They are small birds with brown backs and white underparts, long wings, and short legs.

They have a long dark bill with a black tip, and they have white spots on their wings. They have mostly black plumage, but they also have gray feathers on their heads and necks, as well as some gray feathers on their bellies.

Also, sanderlings can be seen in groups of up to 50 individuals, where they feed together on sandpipers, snails, and other small invertebrates.

10. Willets

Willets is a type of shorebird that can be found in Florida. They are known for their bright yellow legs and for their long beaks, which they use to feed on small fish and other creatures.

They are found throughout Florida, but you’re more likely to see them in the north than in the south. You’ll find them on beaches and shores, as well as along lakeshores and rivers.

11. White Ibis

The white ibis is a small bird in the kingfisher family that lives throughout Florida and parts of the Caribbean. It has dark, rounded wings, a long black beak, and pale-yellow legs and feet. Its belly is white with black spots. The male is bigger and has a longer, more hooked bill than the female.

Also, the white ibis eats insects and other small animals like worms, snails, frogs, lizards, mice, and small birds. They prefer to hunt near open water where they can use their feet to flush out prey from under stones or leaves.

12. Black Skimmer

Florida’s black skimmer is a small wading bird with a long neck and a long bill. It has a dark head and back, with white underparts.

They feed on small insects and larvae found under rocks, in the sand, or on the edges of lakes and marshes. They also take small fish in shallow water near shore.

Also, the black skimmer breeds in Florida and the Bahamas. The male builds a nest made of grasses on the ground and then lays two eggs which are incubated by both parents. The young fledge after about three weeks.

13. Plovers

Plovers are shorebirds that are common in Florida. They are typically small birds with short legs and wings, but they can be quite colorful. They have long, thin bills and long legs with webbed feet to help them swim. They have black beaks, gray bodies, and white underparts.

So, Plovers feed on small invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, worms, and small fish. They often find their food by flying low over the water’s surface or diving at the water’s surface for prey.

Also, they are most active during the day, but they may also hunt at night when it is cooler. In the wintertime, you may see plovers in pairs or small colonies where there is a wetland area near the shoreline or where there is an open marshland area nearby.

14. Flamingos

Flamingos are a type of shorebird that is native to the Americas, with flamingo being the most common species in Florida. They have white bodies and black legs, which help them blend in with their environment.

Also, they are very social birds and often flock together in groups. Their diet consists of small crustaceans, shrimp, algae, and other small creatures they find on the sea floor.

Sea birds of Florida

What are the white birds on Florida beach?

The white birds on Florida beaches are common, but they are not native to the area. They are most likely invasive species that were introduced to the area by humans. The birds may also be escaped pets that were dumped on the beaches.

Here are some of the white birds that you can find on Florida beach:


White herons are one of the most common types of birds to see in Florida. They are large, white birds that live in and around bodies of water, such as ponds and lakes.

They have long legs, necks, and bills that allow them to stand up out of the water and look at their surroundings while they are on land. Their necks are long because they need to be able to reach down into the water to catch fish or frogs.


The white egrets that can be seen in Florida are members of the heron family. The largest of these birds is the great blue heron, which averages around 13 feet long and weighs up to 8 pounds. The smallest is the little blue heron, which measures only 6 inches in length.

Does Florida have sandpipers?

Yes, Florida does have sandpipers. Sandpipers are small shorebirds that have short legs, long wings, and long bills. They eat crustaceans and small fish. They are most active during the day and fly short distances in search of food.

Sea birds of Florida

What birds are on Clearwater beach?

Clearwater Beach is a great place to see birds. There are many different species of birds that you can see on Clearwater Beach, and they all have their own unique traits.

One of the most common birds that you will see on Clearwater beach is the white pelican. The white pelican is a large bird with a long neck, long legs, and a large bill. White pelicans usually travel in large flocks, so if you live near Clearwater beach, then chances are there will be at least one flock of them nearby.

Another common bird that can be seen on Clearwater beach is the kingfisher. Kingfishers are small birds with long tails who eat fish and frogs by diving underwater.

They have bright blue feathers on their heads which help them blend into the water so they can get close enough to their prey without being noticed by predators who would eat them if they were seen above ground.

A third bird that you may encounter while visiting Clearwater beach is the American coot or black scoter duck. These ducks spend their time swimming around in shallow waters, eating fish and other small animals like crabs and shrimp from beneath rocks.

What is the rarest bird in Florida?

The rarest bird in Florida is the brown pelican. This is a large bird with a long beak that can reach up to 7 feet long. It’s also one of the most common birds in Florida, with over 3 million breeding pairs, but it’s still very rare to see one in the wild, which makes it even more special.

If you’re lucky enough to spot one on your trip, don’t try to catch it or touch it. Not only could this cause serious injury for them, but you could also upset their nesting habits. Instead, look for them along the coast and try to get as close as possible without disturbing them.

What is the most common bird in South Florida?

The most common bird in South Florida is the cardinal. It is found in a variety of habitats, including scrublands and forests. They are mostly active during the day, although they may be seen flying at dusk or dawn. They make their nests in hollow trees, usually near water sources.

How to relate with sea birds of Florida

Sea birds are one of the most impressive creatures in the ocean. They have a huge impact on the environment, and they are often some of the first to discover a new area. However, despite how important sea birds are, they can be intimidating to approach.

If you want to learn more about these fascinating creatures, here are some tips:

  1. Be respectful: Sea birds are wild animals who deserve space and respect. You should always try to avoid any contact with them unless you absolutely need to interact with them (like if you’re on an outing with your kids).
  2. Get close: You don’t want to come across as if you’re invading their territory. So, don’t rush towards them or attempt any type of physical contact but rather calmly get closer.
  3. Talk to them: If you want to talk to a sea bird, stand in front of them on the beach. This will give them more room to land, and it also makes it easier for them to see you. If they haven’t seen you yet, they may not recognize that you’re there.


Florida is a great place to go sea bird watching. The best times to see the birds are between March and October when they are migrating north.

If you want to see some of the most common sea birds of Florida, you can head out on a boat or rent a kayak. In addition to seeing birds up close, you can also observe them from afar by snorkeling or diving.

Similar Posts