Black-Necked Stilt

Florida Birds
Last week our whole family visited Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida, which is a birding hotspot. We managed to see more than 2 dozen species including many that simply aren't seen in Nova Scotia.
The highlight for me was a close view of a Black-necked Stilt, which is the image this week, which was a life bird for me. Normally not occurring north of say Virginia, and not a bird that uses the Atlantic flyway, this was a "Florida" bird, that is one we'd probably only see on our Florida trips.
We got grandson Theo started right, he had my spare binoculars and I bought him a bird book, and Marsha kept the list for us and we even e-birded the list with brother Bob's encouragement after we got back to our condo. A lovely day in a wonderful place.
The juxtaposition wasn't lost on Theo either - the day before we'd gone to the Brevard Zoo, a wonderful facility, but of course the animals are captive. Here on Merritt Island, it's you are are more captive, in your car, or able only to move by driving or walking the comopund's various dykes - and with alligators very obviously present, it's a great idea to stay safe and simply view what you can from a distance. Still, you can see a wide variety of birds and get a wonderful feel for the truly diverse ecology that thrives in Florida's protected marshes and swamps.
One of the most fun things about coming to Florida for even a brief visit is the chance to see these amazing birds in their native habitat.