Florida is a world unto itself, drawing more than 125 million people a year with its stunning white-sand beaches, exhilarating amusement parks, vibrant nightlife, luxurious cruises, and much more.
Given that it is home to more than 500 kinds of birds that have been identified in the state, it is nothing short of a birder’s paradise. As a result, Florida is one of the best birding regions in all of North America.
This post will focus on a must-see list of white-colored birds from Florida’s wide variety of birds, leaving you absolutely stunned. Florida is a top destination for migratory birds, even though several white bird species are year-round inhabitants of the state. Because of this, avian enthusiasts from all over the world go to the state to see its rare species.
Ten white birds live in Florida, some of which travel south during the winter. Before heading outside with a set of binoculars, scan the article for a quick identification.
Species Of White Birds Commonly Found In Florida
White birds, of which there are 15 kinds, are frequently seen in Florida. Here are a few fascinating facts about these birds.
As you can see, most of these species are water birds that visit the seashore, rivers, lakes, and other significant bodies of water.
The Wood Stock is an exceptional flier that flies in the sky with its expanded legs and neck, despite the fact that this species doesn’t give birth. The majority of this wading bird’s head is bald, and it reaches just over 3 feet tall, which is far taller than its wetland buddies. It has a large, long beak that it dips into the water to feed on fish and crustaceans.
The Wood Stork has a hefty, shaped like a football, profile. It often seems to have a humpback during flying. It is totally white in hue, save for its black tail and flying feathers.
The head of this bird is unfeathered and has a scaly appearance. It frequently resides in colonies on trees that are positioned over bodies of still water.
It also resembles the Great Blue Heron in terms of size. Wetlands, especially catfish ponds and flooded swamps, are good places to view Wood Storks. It frequents wetlands with an open canopy where it forages. The fact that this species tends to eat in groups—most often in lines—sequentially after one another is another noteworthy fact about it.
The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America, yet it is also one of the most endangered owing to overfishing and widespread habitat degradation. These cranes are the fifth-largest in the world out of all the species that are still alive.
The adult Whooping Crane has a white body, a red crown that has faded, a black pointy beak, and a red crown on top of its head. The striking black tips on their flying wings make them stand out while they are in flight.
However, the juveniles are cinnamon-brown in hue. These cranes generate fairly loud sounds that may be heard from many kilometers away. After courting, when defending their territory, and in the early hours of the morning, they are renowned for generating a collective “unison call.”
Although they are quite widespread, rock pigeons are virtually always found in metropolitan settings. You have certainly seen them congregating in large groups in city parks, expecting to be thrown some birdseed or leftover food. These birds are what everyone refers to as “pigeons.”
The normal pigeon has two black wing bars, a blue-gray head, and a gray back. However, their coloration varies greatly, and birds in Florida frequently have all-white plumage.
Pigeons are often drawn to bird feeders, particularly if food scraps are left on the ground. Unfortunately, if these birds frequent your garden in large numbers, they could start to bother you. Many individuals find them overpowering and seek means of avoiding them!
Whether you like them or not, Rock Pigeons have a long history of being related to people. According to certain Egyptian hieroglyphics, domestication of animals may have begun more than 5,000 years ago. However, it’s fascinating to note that scientists aren’t even sure of their initial range!
One of the most often observed wading birds in Florida is the White Ibis. This bird, which prides itself on being gregarious, continues to forage and sleep as a flock.
Although it often favors big colonies, bushes, and trees as its home, it typically relocates every year. It flies with a body resembling a football, complete with long legs and a straight neck.
The White Ibis moves over shallow marshes and estuaries with each stride, stirring the ground with its vivid red legs. It has a large, curved crimson beak that it uses to scan the mucky ground below.
The bird’s blue eyes are encircled by reddish-pink skin. The juvenile birds have a brownish front with whitish underbodies and orangish-pink legs, in contrast to the adult birds’ white plumage with black wingtips.
These birds have a relatively erratic diet. But the majority of their diet consists of crustaceans like crabs and crayfish. They occasionally also like frogs, tiny fish, snakes, and insects.
The White Ibis has been seen feeding on lawns and in city parks by several birders. So if you come into these creatures while out on a walk, don’t be surprised! They may also be found on mudflats, marshes, mangroves, and shallow areas with 8 inches or less of water.
The Masked Booby is a large seabird that is a member of the gannet and booby family. These birds, which are the biggest of the booby species, are often referred to as “blue-faced boobies” or “masked gannets.”
They can be found in every tropical ocean, with the exception of the eastern Pacific and Atlantic. The French scientist Rene-Primevere Lesson originally identified their species in 1831.
The Masked Booby’s body has an aerodynamic form, a long neck, thin wings, a pointed tail, and a long, pointed beak like every other Sulid. From the front, they are all white with a white chest, belly, and rump. Their head, back of the neck, and wingtips are completely black in color with a small white stripe on the neck. If you see them in flight, everything save their faces will be white.
The amazing diver known as the Masked Booby frequently dives to pursue its main food source, fish. They prefer to eat flying fish in particular. If they are unable to catch fish, they are also known to devour mollusks and other aquatic animals.
The Cattle Egret is noticeably small in comparison to other herons in size. Its features include two short legs, a thin neck, and two medium-sized, rounded wings. This bird’s linear, dagger-like beak is significantly thicker than other birds’ bills. It has a bright yellow beak and legs with all-white plumage.
The Cattle Egret has golden plumes on its head, back, and chest when breeding. The juveniles, on the other hand, have black legs and a deeper toned bill.
In contrast to other heron species, this bird prefers drier environments and forages in flocks in highland regions like fields and pastures. It either rides on its back to gather up food while foraging or its head bobs with each movement.
Do you realize that Cattle Egrets are native to Africa? They arrived in North America in 1953 and quickly took over the whole region! These birds feed alongside rhinoceros, camels, ostriches, and even countrymen’s tractors in other parts of the world.
The Cattle Egret enjoys building large colonies of nests in trees or emergent wetlands, frequently merging in with other heron species. It also consumes insects and other tiny creatures that are prevalent in grassy areas.
A medium-sized goose that is native to North America is the Snow Goose. Carl Linnaeus officially described their species in 1785. These birds move to the warmer regions of the continent, such as south-western British Columbia and certain regions of the US to Mexico, after breeding at the northernmost tip of Siberia, Canada, Alaska, and Greenland.
Although they are not year-round residents of Florida, during their migratory season you may encounter them in great numbers all around the state.
The Snow Goose comes in two distinct color morphs: white and blue. Except for the black wingtips, the former is all white.
On the other side, the birds of the blue morph have a white head and bluish-gray feathers. While the while morph birds are common, the blue morph birds, which are a little bigger than their white-colored relative, are an uncommon sight.
The solely vegetarian Snow Goose consumes aquatic plants, shrubs, roots, grass, weeds, and clover as food. They may, however, consume certain insects throughout the mating season in order to produce a healthy egg.
Large bodies of water, landfills, piers, and coastlines are common places to see them. They prefer to build their nests close to freshwater sources, unlike many other gull species.
The most probable species of gull you’ll find inland is a Ring-billed Gull. These birds are widespread around cities, farms, ports, and parking lots because they have successfully adapted to human-affected environments. In fact, I frequently observe them rummaging for food in a Target parking lot not far from my house.
Check out the page below for a detailed list of the many gull and tern species that may be found in Florida, many of which are white.
The Great Egret is a long-legged wading bird with an extended, S-shaped neck and a dagger-like beak that is a spectacular sight across Florida. It has a body that is entirely white, and its beak is orange-yellow. This bird stretches its legs over the length of its little tail when in flight, tucking its long neck in.
This bird, which is smaller and more slimline than the Great Blue Heron, has an amazing wingspan. It hunts in the traditional heron fashion, either by remaining motionless or by wading through marshes to catch fish with its lethal jab.
It loves to forage in shallow water, where it mostly consumes tiny aquatic creatures like frogs. Typically, this bird will look for unsuspecting prey as it passes by. The Great Egret uses its bill to smash its prey in a swift motion that is astonishing to see.
Another fascinating detail to remember is that these birds were almost driven to extinction in the late nineteenth century because of their plumes. This led to the creation of several conservation initiatives as well as some of the first laws to protect the bird kingdom.
The Great Egret is a common bird in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. These birds typically breed in colonies and place their nests very high in the trees. Aside from that, they build stick nests on islands free of mammalian predators.
The goldeneyes are a genus of tiny marine ducks, including the buffleheads. Their scientific name, which refers to their strangely formed bulbous head, loosely translates to “bull-headed.”
These birds exhibit sexual dimorphism, with the males being bigger than the females. The males’ bodies are mostly white, with the exception of a strong black streak on their back and a black face with green iridescence. Their wings are also white.
They have a large white patch on the back of their heads. The females, who have a black head and upperparts and a pale grey underparts, look considerably duller in comparison.
Buffleheads frequently travel to other states in America, including Florida. Their main source of food are insects. However, in saltwater, they also consume fish, aquatic plants, mollusks, crabs, and other animals.
These stunning white birds frequently use their yellow foot to stir up dirt or water to assist them find crustaceans, amphibians, or fish that are hidden. Snowy Egrets have little trouble running their meal down to finish the job once their victim has been located!
It’s interesting to note that Snowy Egrets will breed with various heron species, even smaller birds like Cattle Egrets, Little Blue Herons, and Tricolored Herons. Therefore, if you see a heron that you’re not sure about, it may be a hybrid!
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Body color is mostly white; it has a spear-like bill, rounded wings, and a two-toned beak.
Diet consists of insects, crabs, and fish.
Status of conservation: Low concern
September and October are the best months to see them in Florida.
Little Blue Heron juveniles are very little birds with a thin neck and lengthy legs. It has rounded wings and a broad, straightened beak that resembles a spear.
Despite its name, the Snowy Egret and this bird are possibly close relatives. When young, they practically seem identical, but as they become older, they molt into a richer shade of blue. This species is often afraid of danger and difficult to approach.
The juvenile little blue heron uses the stand-and-wait strategy to scan the water for fish and other tiny eats. It is known to move about by wading slowly or soaring to other sites. Additionally, it typically builds colonies of nests on trees with other wading birds and herons. This bird forages in marshes, looking for food with its long neck.
This creature’s elongated body, which is longer than that of the Snowy Egret, is a wonderful method to tell them apart.
These birds are clearly seen in still waterways, including estuaries, tidal flats, marshes, streams, and flooded areas. If not, they may be discreetly stashed away in obscure places. Therefore, a good pair of binoculars and a keen eye will aid in your ability to see these young, all-white birds.
The Black-crowned Night Herons, often referred to as “Black-capped Night Herons,” are among the most common herons in the world. During their non-breeding seasons, these herons migrate to the northernmost region of their range, where they breed in freshwater or saltwater wetlands.
Despite having a mostly white body, they do have a black cap on their heads that extends to the top of their backs.
A few white feathers on their heads rise upright during courting. They have legs, bills, and a small neck. With a continual “woc” or “quok” calling sound, they are among the noisiest herons.
American White Pelican
Due to their enormous size, these BIG white birds are difficult to overlook in Florida!
Although American White Pelicans are normally between 11 and 20 pounds (5 and 9 kg) in weight, their wingspan is what really stands out. The wings are the second-widest in North America, behind the California Condor, measuring almost 9 feet (2.7 m) from tip to tip.
During the breeding season, freshwater inland lakes are home to American White Pelicans. They travel south as winter nears, and are generally seen close to the coast.
In flight, these big white birds appear exceptionally majestic! They can fly for vast distances in the skies with grace thanks to their large wingspans. It’s difficult to avoid stopping and gawking when you see them flying in a V-formation since they resemble ancient creatures.
The Great White Heron
With its pearly feathers, the Great White Heron resembles the Great Egret in appearance. Recent research suggests that it could really be a subspecies of the Great Blue Heron, which was once thought to be its white morph. This bird, which has two shaggy feathers on its breast, is often seen in southern Florida. You have probably confused the Great Egret for this bird, unless you are present.
This species is also known as the Great White Heron due of the all-white population that resides throughout South Florida and the Keys.
In addition to their enormous size, these creatures are distinguished by the presence of a massive, yellow-colored beak. However, their bodies are not as starkly white. They also have faint, dusky greyish-yellow coloration on their legs.
This particular kind of bird favors living in saltwater environments, tidal shallows, mangroves, or coastal ponds. It tends to be alone and makes deliberate, deliberate moves most of the time.