Florida is truly a destination for the birds. Lakes, ponds and rivers are abundant throughout the state, as well as hundreds of miles of shoreline bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the East coast and the Gulf of Mexico on the West coast. These features serve up a smorgasbord of opportunities for bird watchers and photographers, especially if waterfowl is your specialty. I visit Florida one to three times a year mostly between December and April, a period which covers the breeding season for most waterfowl and a good part of the migration seasons. I usually stay relatively close the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, but birds are abundant almost over the state. Some of my favorite spots are the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, the Viera Wetlands in Melbourne, and the Circle B Bar Ranch near Lakeland. And I nearly always spend some time at the Venice Rookery, the Gatorland Rookery and the St. Augustine Rookery. I also occasionally drive down to The Everglades near Homestead and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
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