Many extremely excellent locations for bird watching exist, and all of them have their charms. Some attract hundreds of different bird species, while others hide some rare birds. But none of them comes close to Dry Tortugas; a group of islands located around 70 miles away from the Key West. This is an important resting spot for birds as they get tired after crossing the Gulf of Mexico.
The seven islands – Beauty is in the diversity
Dry Tortugas consists of seven small islands that are a haven for birds that come from South America. Very few bird species call this place home as it is just a first resting spot after a 600-mile flight over the open water.
When it comes to numbers, they aren’t extremely abnormal as around 300 different species have been spotted at these islands. The beauty of this birding spot is that it’s not strange to spot over 75 species in a single day of spring. The largest number of species that can be spotted at Dry Tortugas is during the spring. You can visit during other seasons as well, and you won’t be disappointed.
Species that you can spot at Dry Tortugas
Dry Tortugas is a life-long goal for every birder due to rare species that can be spotted at one of those small islands. Things can become strange as you can catch a glimpse of birds that you didn’t expect. We are talking about bird species like bananaquits and fork-tailed flycatchers. It’s possible to spot them due to strong storms that bring them to Dry Tortugas. That is why this place is a location that many birders visit every year.
It’s not all about those unexpected spotting; other rare and common birds attract people who are willing to pay for a boat or helicopter ride to come to Dry Tortugas. For example, it’s not strange to spot Bridled and Roseate terns, Red-necked Phalarope, Double-Crested Cormorants and other both common and rare birds at this location.
Some interesting species that can be spotted at Dry Tortugas
Sooty Terns come to the Dry Tortugas once a year to nest. It’s hard to spot this bird at any other place because it sticks to the sea and it avoids land. The best time to come to this location and spot these birds is at the beginning of the year.
Black Noddy is another species that can be spotted at this location between April and the end of the September. They can be found on docks and mangroves where they rest.
Masked Booby is spotted at Dry Tortugas throughout the year, and they can be located at smaller islands. Their number never exceeds forty which is why it is hard to spot them.
Magnificent Frigatebird is a rare bird, and it can only be located at this location (when we talk about American soil). They were more numerous in the past, but human disturbance drove them off. Around 100 nests are found of these animals, so their number is quite low.