Winter is Prime Bird-Watching Season
January 20th, 2018 by Curtis Condon

A snowy egret fishes for its next meal in a marshy area in west-central Florida. Find bird-watching hotspots near you on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail website’s interactive map at www.public.myfwc.com/maps/birdtrip.
© iStock/Jenituck

Florida is world-famous for its fishing, but it is also one of the best places in the world to view birds—lots of them.

More than 500 species of birds winter in Florida or live here year-round, which means plenty of prime bird-watching opportunities exist throughout the state.

One of the beauties of bird-watching is you don’t have to go far to engage in the activity. Birds are everywhere. Of course, certain areas provide better bird habitat than others.

To find the greatest diversity and concentrations of birds, look for the three essentials birds need: water, cover and food.

Bodies of water and coastal areas offer some of the best bird-watching opportunities. For example, birders from around the world flock to places such as St. George Island and Santa Rosa Island in the Panhandle, and the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee in South Florida.

Another advantage of bird-watching is it does not require a lot of equipment. A good pair of binoculars or spotting scope and a comprehensive birding field guide provide the basics for a gratifying outing.

App of the Month—iBird Pro Guide to Birds
Many of us loathe the idea of paying for apps. Yet sometimes an app comes along that is well worth the splurge.

iBird Pro Guide to Birds costs a relatively hefty $14.99, but is worth every penny for serious birders.

Identify birds by searching the app’s comprehensive database using one or more of 14 different attributes, such as size, color, pattern and call/song. That feature alone makes the app worth the money. In addition, it has all of the vital features and information you expect to find in a top-notch birding app.

Prevention is the Best Safeguard
The optimal fix for a stuck multi-piece fishing rod is to avoid getting it stuck in the first place. Keep ferrules clean and dry. Remove dirt and gunk inside the ferrule sleeve with a cotton swab and alcohol, and use a wipe to clean the end of the piece that fits within the sleeve. Storing rods assembled for long periods of time can increase the incidence of stuck ferrules, so make a habit of breaking down rods after each use.

What Day is It?

  • February 3, Feed the Birds Day
  • February 8, Boy Scout Day
  • February 22, Walking the Dog Day

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