19 Astonishing White birds in Florida [Images + IDs]

White birds in Florida
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Florida is a world in 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 and 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 birds in Florida, which will leave 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, bird enthusiasts from all over the globe 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 quick identification.

List of White birds in Florida

While many of these birds live in Florida all year round, some only visit during the summer breeding season.
Other birds also spend the winter in Florida. This guide will also show the frequency of these birds based on the checklists submitted by birdwatchers of Florida on ebird. Let’s now delve into the specifics and examine each of these species in more depth to learn all there is to know:

1. Snowy Egret

Snowy Egrets live in Florida all year round and can be seen near the coast, in wet areas, by rivers and lakes, and in wet agricultural fields.

A long time ago, plume hunters almost wiped out the Snowy Egret in the late 1800s. But now, they are more widespread and common. However, the snowy egret is protected by laws like the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Rule (68A-4.001, F.A.C.).

Frequency in Florida: Snowy Egrets have been reported 20% on Summer checklists and 24% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Egretta thula
  • Lifespan: 16 years
  • Size: 20-27 inches
  • Native to: United States and southern Canada, south through Central America, the West Indies, South America, and Argentina

The Snowy Egret is a magnificent wading bird known for its striking appearance and graceful demeanor. With its pure white plumage, slender black legs, and contrasting yellow feet, this medium-sized egret stands out in wetland habitats across the Americas.

Measuring about 24 inches (61 centimeters) in height, the Snowy Egret possesses a slender, curved neck and a distinctive black bill. During the breeding season, the adult birds develop long, delicate plumes on their heads, necks, and backs, adding an extra touch of elegance to their already beautiful appearance.

Snowy Egrets primarily inhabit marshes, swamps, estuaries, and shallow coastal areas, where they can be seen wading through the water or patiently waiting for fish, frogs, crustaceans, and other small aquatic creatures to come within striking distance. They employ a distinctive hunting technique, known as “foot-stirring,” where they rhythmically shuffle their feet to disturb prey and then swiftly capture it with their sharp bill.

These birds are highly social and can often be spotted in large colonies, alongside other egret and heron species. Their graceful movements and synchronized foraging make for a captivating sight, particularly during the breeding season when they engage in elaborate courtship displays, including aerial acrobatics and elegant plume displays.

2. Cattle Egret

Cattle Egrets are year-round residents of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Florida, and along parts of the Pacific Coast

A study done in North Central Florida found that almost 90 percent of what Cattle Egrets eat in the summer are grasshoppers and crickets.

The South Florida Wading Bird Report for 2021 says that Great Egrets made 15,306 nests in Florida, which was the second most after White Ibis. But the report doesn’t give specific details about how often Cattle Egrets are seen in Florida.

Frequency in Florida:  Cattle Egrets have been reported 15% on Summer checklists and 13% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Bubulcus ibis
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 19-21 inches
  • Native to: Africa to humid Asian tropics, from India to Japan and northern Australia

The Cattle Egret is relatively new to the New World and was first seen in Europe and Africa.
Nobody is sure how these birds crossed the Atlantic, although they were originally seen nesting in Brazil before making their first appearance in Florida in late 1955.
Cattle Egrets are widespread breeding birds in the state and have done a great job of populating the Americas.
They often graze in dry environments, including high-altitude regions, in contrast to other egrets and herons.
Except during the mating season, when adults gain orange plumage on their backs, chests, and heads, this little egret is totally white.
The beak and legs of these birds are yellow, but at the height of the breeding season, they develop a reddish color.
It lives in a variety of wetland environments, including freshwater lakes, ponds, and swamps as well as shallow saltwater areas.
The Cattle Egret spends a large portion of its time feeding in dry places, such as pastures, in addition to wetlands. Here, it prefers to accompany cattle and eat the insects the animals disrupt.

3. Great Egret

Great Egrets live in Florida all year round and can be found in many different wet areas like marshes, swamps, rivers, ponds, lakes, and flooded fields.

In 2021, Great Egrets built 15,306 nests in Florida, which is a lot compared to the average over the past 10 years. Only the nesting record in 2018 was higher than that.

Breeding can happen at any time of the year in Florida, but it mostly occurs from May to August. Male Great Egrets have a fascinating way of courting females to attract them.

Frequency in Florida:  Great Egrets have been reported 31% on Summer checklists and 41% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Ardea alba
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Size: 3 feet
  • Native to: Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe

The Great Egret inhabits practically every continent and has a range almost completely encircles the globe.
This large, all-white heron has long, black legs and feet and a broad, yellow beak. It is a heron.
The Great Egret develops a plume on its back that reaches all the way to the tip of its tail during the spring and summer mating seasons.
It may be found in freshwater and saltwater settings, and it often builds enormous colonies of eggs along the edges of marshes, lakes, and rivers.
In addition to rice fields and other flooded regions, Great Egrets graze in many types of shallow water, including ponds, lakes, rivers, and estuaries.

4. White Ibis

The White Ibis is a common wading bird in Florida and often moves around in groups. It is very social throughout the year, as it likes to roost and feed together in flocks, build nests in colonies, and fly in formation.

The White Ibis is protected by laws like the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Rule (68A-4.001, F.A.C.), which prevent it from being harmed or captured.

Frequency in Florida:  White Ibis have been reported 30% on Summer checklists and 38% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Eudocimus albus
  • Lifespan: 25 to 27 years
  • Size: 21 to 28 inches
  • Native to: Virginia via the Gulf Coast of the United States

Due to its totally white plumage and long, intensely colorful, downward-curving beak, this species is simple to identify.
When it takes to the air, the black wing tips become more visible.
Immature White Ibises have a pale orange beak and a chocolate brown body with light streaks throughout the first two years of their existence.
The White Ibis likes to graze in freshwater settings even though it is more often seen in coastal regions.
Fish, insects, crayfish, and other crustaceans are all food sources for this bird. In regions where they are prevalent, crayfish make up a significant portion of its diet.
They build their nests in large colonies in woods adjacent to wetlands. Due to their high levels of social interaction, these birds prefer to graze in flocks of 20 or more. In actuality, seeing a single White Ibis is uncommon.

5. Wood Stork

The Wood Stork is the only stork that is native in North America and it has a wingspan of more than five feet.

At one point, the Wood Stork was in great danger because it was losing its nesting areas. However, it has made an impressive recovery.

The Wood Stork often visits golf courses and can be seen in places like freshwater marshes, pastures, and open woodland in Florida.

Frequency in Florida:  Wood Storks have been reported 7% on Summer checklists and 17% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

  • Scientific name: Mycteria americana
  • Lifespan: at least 22 years
  • Size: over 3 feet tall
  • Native to: Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas
  • Beak length on average is 6.6 inches (17 cm).

A Wood Stork is easily recognized if you can get a close-up look at it because of its totally white body and bald, black head.
The Wood Stork has a bill that slopes slightly downward, like the White Ibis. The Wood Stork, in contrast to the White Ibis, has a black bill.
Even though the Wood Stork’s tail and wing tips are black, you generally only notice them when you see them in flight.
Large and resembling a Great Egret in size, the Wood Stork is readily distinguished from that species by its bent beak.
Sadly, the number of wood storks has been declining over the last several decades, a tendency that many other wading species have also experienced.
It consumes fish, aquatic invertebrates, and amphibians like frogs. It likes to build big colonies of nests in mature trees around food sources.

6. Whooping Crane (Large white birds in Florida)

The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America and it represents the importance of safeguarding endangered species. Because of extensive hunting, the Whooping Crane was almost wiped out in the early 20th century.

By the mid-20th century, the Whooping Crane became one of the most endangered birds in North America, with only 21 wild birds remaining by 1941. Strict protections have helped the species recover, but it is still one of the rarest bird species in North America.

The Whooping Crane is protected in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. There are two groups of Whooping Cranes that migrate and one group that doesn’t migrate. The largest flock is also the only one that naturally migrates.

Frequency in Florida:  Whooping Cranes are not common bird species in Florida. It is only reported 1% or less in checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Grus americana
  • Lifespan: 22 to 30 years
  • Size: 5 feet tall
  • Native to: Canada and America

The body of an adult Whooping Crane is entirely white, and its crimson crown is made up entirely of exposed skin. Juvenile birds have a reddish brown tint as opposed to adults.
When it gets chilly out, Whooping Cranes winter in Florida. These birds move south during the winter after reproducing in Alberta, Canada.
Marshes, estuaries, and salt flats are where Whooping Cranes like to live during the non-breeding season.
These birds eat mostly mollusks and crustaceans, with blue crabs being the majority of their diet.
The whooping crane population has miraculously recovered from the brink of extinction, but it is still a critically endangered species that requires ongoing conservation efforts.

7. American White Pelican

The American White Pelican is a migratory bird. However, there are some populations that stay permanently in certain areas, like the Texas coast and Mexico. During the breeding season, the pelicans from the northern plains migrate to warmer coastal areas in the southeast and southwest. Some pelicans that don’t breed also stay in their winter range, particularly in Florida, throughout the summer.

Frequency in Florida:  American White Pelicans have been reported 1% on Summer checklists and 7% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

birds with long beaks

  • Scientific name: Pelecanus
  • Lifespan: 15 – 25 years
  • Size: 48 inches
  • Native to: all continents except Antarctica
  • Beak length is typically 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm)

With the exception of the black primary and secondary feathers on its wings, the American White Pelican is one of the biggest aquatic birds in Florida.
During the summer mating season, a flat plate protrudes from the top portion of its enormous orange beak.
The bill turns from orange to a light yellowish tone when not in the breeding season.
As winter visitors to Florida’s coastal regions, American White Pelicans are most often seen during the colder months.
Estuaries, shallow bays, and coastal inlets, as well as freshwater lakes further inland, are its favored habitats.
Unlike other pelican species, this one nearly solely eats fish and does not dive to get them. Instead, it dips its head all the way down into the water to catch fish.
The most frequent groupings of American White Pelicans are those that forage for fish together.

8. Snow Goose

Snow Geese are known to visit Florida regularly, and they are mostly observed during the winter season, from October to April.

Despite their name suggesting otherwise, Snow Geese can actually be spotted in certain parts of northern Florida. Although Florida is not typically associated with heavy snowfall, these geese can still be found there.

Snow Geese are often seen in large flocks, sometimes alongside Ross’s Geese, Canada Geese, and Cackling Geese. They are frequently observed near water bodies, cornfields, lakes, and marshes.

Frequency in Florida:  Snow Goose has been reported 0% on Summer checklists and 1% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Anser caerulescens
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Size: 29 to 31 inches
  • Native to: Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern tip of Siberia, and spend winters in warm parts of North America

Snow Geese are winter visitors to Florida, much like Trumpeter Swans, although in recent years, their population has grown quickly.
There are two color variations of the Snow Goose: one is totally white, while the other is bluish-grey with a pale cream head.
The number of Snow Geese in the Arctic has increased dramatically over the last several decades, and as a consequence, they are now much more widespread in their wintering areas.
Previously uncommon winter visitors to Florida, Snow Geese are now often seen in the state throughout the winter months.
Snow Geese like to consume leftover grains on farmland that has been harvested, such as wheat fields. These birds may feed on rice fields as well.
All around Florida, Snow Geese may be observed during the winter, although the eastern region is where they are most often spotted. The majority of these birds depart by March after arriving in October.

9. Laughing Gull

Laughing Gulls are birds that live in Florida throughout the year and are often seen in groups on beaches, salt marshes, and nearby parking lots.

These gulls have a medium gray color on their upper parts and white color on their lower parts. During the summer breeding season, adult Laughing Gulls have a black head with a white arc around the eye and a reddish bill. In winter, their heads become white with a dark smudge behind the eye.

Laughing Gulls are mostly found in warm weather, and many of them leave the Atlantic coastal areas north of Florida during the winter.

Frequency in Florida:  Laughing Gulls have been reported 22% on Summer checklists and 17% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

white birds in florida

  • Scientific name: Leucophaeus atricilla
  • Lifespan: 22 years old
  • Size: 14–16 in
  • Native to: North and South America

The Laughing Gull is widespread throughout Florida’s entire coast and is readily recognized by its black head and loud, human-sounding cry.
With a black head and a grey upperside, adult Laughing Gulls are mostly white in the summer. The legs and beak are also a dark crimson color. Adult birds are dark grey-brown, and immature birds are light grey.
Laughing Gulls are most often seen around mud flats and sandy beaches, although they may also be seen foraging over open sea far from shore.
These are the gulls that are most prevalent in Florida all year long.
Rarely seen farther inland, in lakes and reservoirs, Laughing Gulls may also be seen during the non-breeding season.

10. Ring-billed Gull

The Ring-billed Gull is a very common and widespread type of gull in North America, and it can be found all across the United States, including Florida.

These gulls are often seen near docks and harbors, and they are comfortable being around people. They can be spotted along the coastlines and estuaries of Florida.

At one point, the Ring-billed Gull population faced a significant decline due to habitat loss and hunting. However, thanks to the implementation of protective laws like the 1917 Migratory Birds Convention Act in Canada and the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States, this bird species was able to recover and thrive.

Frequency in Florida:  Laughing Gulls have been reported 22% on Summer checklists and 17% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Larus delawarensis
  • Lifespan: 3 to 10 years.
  • Size: 50 cm
  • Native to: Canada and the northern United States

In Florida, the Ring-billed gull is a frequent winter visitor. Even though it doesn’t nest in the state, some birds may be sighted there in the summer.
Except for their light grey upper parts and black wing tips, adults are nearly totally white. Bright yellow may be seen on the legs and beak. The appearance of juvenile birds is more mottled, with a blend of brown and grey.
Although this species and the Herring Gull may be mistaken for one other, the Ring-billed Gull is more frequent on major lakes and reservoirs in Florida.
This gull forages on parks, landfills, and golf courses, although its preferred habitat is near inland bodies of water. It is the gull species that is most often found around large reservoirs.
During the winter, Ring-billed Gulls are frequent visitors to Florida; they begin to arrive in September and depart mostly in March.
It enjoys visiting waste dumps as a scavenger, when groups of hundreds of birds sometimes may be spotted.

11. Forster’s Tern

Forster’s Terns can be seen flying above the shallow waters of marshes and coastlines in Florida, searching for fish. They are skilled at shallow plunge-diving and often hover in the air before diving down to catch their prey. During the hunting process, their head is pointed downward, helping them locate and capture fish more effectively.

Frequency in Florida:  Laughing Gulls have been reported 2% on Summer checklists and 10% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Sterna forsteri
  • Lifespan: 10 Years
  • Size: 13–14 in
  • Native to: North America

The Forster’s Tern is a medium-sized tern that breeds often along Florida’s coast.
Almost all adult birds are white, with the exception of their grey mantle and black head. Their beak is orange with a black tip.
It loses much of its black cap in its non-breeding plumage but is still easily recognized by a distinctive comma-shaped black eye patch.
This tern prefers shallow coastal waterways, such as bays, inlets, and tidal flats, as its primary nesting habitat.
Additionally, Forster’s Terns may be found nesting in a variety of freshwater habitats, however, they are most usually seen around lakes and reservoirs.
Forster’s Terns are sporadic winter visitors to reservoirs all around Florida after the breeding season is ended.

12. Caspian Tern

The Caspian Tern holds the title of being the largest tern in the world. It is easily identifiable by its vibrant red bill shaped like a fish knife and its deep, raspy call.

These Terns are commonly found along both the east and west coasts of North America, and they can also be spotted in certain inland areas.

Frequency in Florida:  Laughing Gulls have been reported 1.5% on Summer checklists and 3.5% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Hydroprogne caspia
  • Lifespan: 12 years
  • Size: 19–24 in
  • Native to:  North America (including the Great Lakes), and locally in Europe (mainly around the Baltic Sea and Black Sea), Asia, Africa, and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand).

The biggest tern species in the world, the Caspian tern is a rare winter visitor to Florida.
Although it has some superficial similarities with the Forster’s Tern, it is somewhat bigger, has a thicker beak, wider wings, and a less forked tail.
Additionally, the Caspian Tern preserves a dark, striped crown throughout the winter rather of totally losing it.
On the other hand, Forster’s Terns fully lose their cap throughout the winter, which becomes completely white.
In addition to being a competent predator, the Caspian Tern also scavenges food from gulls and other terns. It dives into the water and captures fish with amazing accuracy.
The Caspian Tern spends the winters in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and breeds in freshwater areas in Canada and the northern United States.

13. White-tailed Kite

The White-tailed Kite is a rare bird species that is found in specific areas of south-central and southeastern Florida.

These kites are commonly seen in various habitats such as savannas, open woodlands, marshes, desert grasslands, partially cleared lands, and cultivated fields. However, they tend to avoid areas that have been heavily grazed.

Frequency in Florida:  White-tailed Kite is a rare visitor of Florida and has been reported as less than 1% on the checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

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  • Scientific name: Elanus leucurus
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 14.5 inches
  • Native to: The Americas, breeding as far south as Chile and Argentina. A closely related and very similar species, the Black-shouldered Kite, occurs across Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Both the Black-shouldered Kite and the White-tailed Kite are appropriate names for the White-tailed Kite.
The head, tail, and underside of adult White-tailed Kites are all white. Their shoulder patches are dark grey, while their upper side is light grey. Deep red eyes are present.
On the other hand, young birds have lighter stripes and a more brownish tint.
In open grassland, White-tailed Kites forage for small rodents, insects, and reptiles from perches or while flying.
These birds like hovering in the air over a particular area while they wait for a mouse to emerge from its tunnel, much like kestrels.
Along Florida’s coast, where these birds may be seen all year round, White-tailed Kites are a rare breeder.

14. Swallow-tailed Kite (Large white birds in Florida)

Swallow-tailed Kites are commonly found in Florida and can also be seen in wooded wetlands in six other southeastern states. Occasionally, they are spotted in areas far north of their usual range.

These kites migrate early in both spring and fall. In Florida, they arrive around February-March and depart in August-September. Some migrate by going around the Gulf of Mexico, but most Florida birds seem to cross the Caribbean. During late summer, up to 2,000 Swallow-tailed Kites gather in Florida before flying south for the winter.

Highland Park Fish Camp provides the closest water access to one of the largest roosting areas of Swallow-tailed Kites in Florida.

Frequency in Florida:  Swallow-tailed kites have been reported 9% on Summer checklists and less than 1% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

white birds in florida

  • Scientific name: Elanoides forficatus
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 2 feet
  • Native to: Southeastern United States to eastern Peru and northern Argentina

Due to the contrast of its brilliant white underparts and its widely forked tail, this graceful Florida raptor is simple to see in flight.
Black lines border the backs of the wings and tail. Its white head and breast stand out against the dark greyish-black upperside when perched on a tree.
This bird is a competent hunter and able to capture insects in flight, much like other kites. Small reptiles, rodents, and insects are its favored dietary sources.
The Swallow-tailed Kite spends the summer in Florida before migrating south to spend the winter in Central and South America.
In North America, Florida is home to the majority of breeding Swallow-tailed Kites.

15. Little Blue Heron

Adult Blue Herons have a plumage that is grayish-blue, not white. However, it’s important to note that their immature plumage is completely white. This means that only the juvenile Little Blue Herons fall into the category of white birds. Interestingly, their appearance is quite similar to Snowy Egrets. To correctly identify these two species in the field, continue reading for further information.

Frequency in Florida:  Laughing Gulls have been reported 21% on Summer checklists and 30% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

white birds in florida

  • Scientific name: Ardea alba
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Size: 3 feet
  • Native to: Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe

Little Blue Herons are slate blue in color as adults, but during their first year, young birds are totally white.
The brown beak and green legs of juvenile birds set them apart from other white herons.
In Florida, it’s typical to witness these little herons reproducing all year round.
Due to an inflow of birds from farther north that spend the winter in Florida, their numbers increase throughout the winter.
These birds eat crayfish in great quantities along with tiny fish, mollusks, and crabs.
These birds love an aquatic environment and are seldom ever observed apart from water. They hunt in the shallows.

16. Ross’s Goose

The first time a Ross’s Goose was recorded in Florida was in 1987. It is a very rare visitor to Florida.

During the winter, Ross’s Geese are often observed in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. They are known to move around during the day in search of the best fields or marshes for feeding. However, they typically return to refuges or reservoirs in the evening to rest and roost.

Ross’s Goose is one of the eleven species of gees found in Florida.

Frequency in Florida:  Bufflehead Ducks have been reported 0% on Summer checklists and .1% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

  • Scientific name: Anser rossii
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 22-24 inches
  • Native to:  Canada

With the exception of size, Ross’s geese resemble the snow goose extremely closely. Its body is bulky, with a short neck and a triangular-shaped beak that is likewise fairly short and stubby. Its tail feathers have black tips, and its legs and beak are also orange. These birds also love to migrate in huge groups, and you may often see them doing so with herds of snow geese.

17. Masked booby

The Masked Booby is commonly found in tropical oceans and can be regularly seen off the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.

This booby species holds the title of being the largest among all boobies. It has an impressive wingspan that can reach up to 5 feet and 7 inches, and it can weigh up to 5 pounds.

Frequency in Florida:  Masked booby is a rare visitor of Florida and has been reported less than 1% on the checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

  • Scientific name: Sula dactylatra
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 30 to 33 in
  • Native to: United States

The Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) is a seabird species in the booby family, Sulidae. They are named for their distinctive “mask-like” black markings around their eyes. Masked Boobies are large birds, with a wingspan of up to 6 feet and a body length of up to 2 feet. They have a white body and wings, with a long, pointed tail and a hooked beak that they use to catch fish and squid.

Masked Boobies are native to the tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They breed on islands and coastal cliffs, where they lay their eggs in simple nests on the ground. They are strong fliers and spend much of their time soaring over the ocean in search of food.

Masked Boobies are important indicators of the health of marine ecosystems, as they are sensitive to changes in ocean conditions, such as water temperature, water quality, and availability of food. They are also a valuable source of food for many predatory species, including humans in some parts of the world. Despite this, Masked Boobies are not considered to be threatened with extinction, though their populations may be declining in some areas due to habitat loss, pollution, and other factors.

18. Bufflehead Duck

Buffleheads hold the title for being the smallest diving or sea duck in North America. They get their name “bufflehead” from their distinctive large-headed appearance. These ducks are known for their fast flight with a rapid wingbeat, often close to the water, and they do not produce a whistling sound while flying.

During the winter, Buffleheads can be found in northern Florida. They typically inhabit inland ponds within the region and occasionally seek refuge in sheltered coves along the coast.

Frequency in Florida:  Bufflehead Ducks have been reported 0% on Summer checklists and 3% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

  • Scientific name: Bucephala albeola
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Size: 14 1/2 inches
  • Native to: wooded lakes and ponds in Alaska and Canada

The Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) is a small species of sea duck that is native to North America. It is a small, compact bird with a round head and a short, thick neck. Buffleheads are most easily recognized by their iridescent black-and-white plumage, with the male having a large, round white head with a glossy green-black cap, while the female is drabber, with a brown head and neck. These birds are found primarily in coastal areas and in the Great Lakes region during the breeding season, and they migrate to coastal waters in the winter months. They feed on small aquatic invertebrates and seeds, and they are known for their ability to dive and swim underwater in pursuit of their food. Buffleheads are a common sight in many areas of North America and are popular with birdwatchers and hunters alike.

19. Black-crowned Night Herons

Black-crowned Night-Herons are frequently seen in wetland areas throughout Florida. They are widespread heron species. However, despite their common presence, they can be quite challenging to locate and observe due to their secretive nature.

Frequency in Florida:  Black-crowned Night Herons have been reported 4% on Summer checklists and 6% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Florida.

white birds in florida

  • Scientific name: Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 22.8 to 26 inches
  • Native to:  North America, Mexico, Central America, West Indies

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 move to the northernmost region of their range, where they nest in freshwater or saltwater marshes.
Despite having a mostly white body, they do have 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.

Best Places for Watching White Birds in Florida

Here are some of the best places for birdwatching white birds in Florida:

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is situated on Florida’s east coast and provides a home to over 340 bird species. With its vast area of over 140,000 acres, it is a top destination for birdwatching during the winter. The refuge offers activities like boating, and hiking, and showcases the natural beauty of the area.

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is renowned for its diverse bird species, including Great Egrets, White Ibis, and Wood Storks. It is also home to a wide range of other wildlife, such as alligators, panthers, and manatees.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is an island park off Florida’s coast that can only be accessed by boat. It shelters various bird species, including Sooty Terns, Brown Noddies, and White-tailed Tropicbirds.

J.N. “Ding”

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is home to an array of bird species, including Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, and White Ibis. This refuge is also a habitat for alligators, manatees, and dolphins.

STA-5 Lake Okeechobee

STA-5 Lake Okeechobee, located in South Florida, is regarded as one of the finest birding spots in the region. Designed as stormwater treatment areas, they have become excellent locations for Florida bird species. Hawks, ospreys, owls, and bald eagles can be observed here, offering a unique Florida experience.

Great Florida Birding Trail

The Great Florida Birding Trail is an extensive trail spanning approximately 2,000 miles and encompassing nearly 500 sites throughout the state. It is one of the largest birding trails in the country, providing an excellent opportunity to observe a wide variety of bird species.

Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve attracts more than 160 bird species, including Wood Storks, White Ibis, and Great Egrets.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Southwest Florida is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. It serves as a haven for diverse bird species, including White Ibis, Great Egrets, and Wood Storks.

Final Words on White Birds in Florida

Some of the most unusual white bird species yet discovered may be found in Florida. In actuality, it is a wonderful location for birds and a rich source of habitats, plants, insects, and other wildlife. The state’s white bird species were the main topic of discussion. Even though many of these feathery ducks seem the same, as soon as you understand the fundamentals of identification, you’ll be able to identify any of Florida’s stunning creatures in a split second!

Frequently Asked Questions on White Birds in Florida

What is the largest white bird in Florida?

The largest white bird commonly found in Florida is the Great Egret. It is frequently seen in wetland areas and along waterways. Another common white bird in Florida is the White Ibis, which is known for its all-white feathers, red face, red legs, and black wingtips. Both of these birds can be observed in various locations throughout the state, including wetlands, estuaries, and waterways.

What is a white cow bird in Florida?

The “white cow bird”  in Florida is most likely the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis). Adult Cattle Egrets are predominantly white in color with a yellow bill and legs. During the breeding season, they develop golden plumes on their head, chest, and back. Juveniles have darker legs and bills. These egrets can often be found in grassy fields where they search for insects and small animals on the ground.

What do long-beaked white birds in Florida look like?

In Florida, there are five varieties of white birds with long beaks:
White Ibis, Wood Stork, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, American White Pelican, and
Check out the images in our thorough ID guide above if you’re unsure which of these birds you spotted.

What are the tall white birds in Florida?

The tall white birds commonly found in Florida are the Wood Storks. These majestic birds can reach a height of over 3 feet (0.9 meters). They are water birds that inhabit marshes and swamps, where they search for their food, such as fish and crustaceans. Wood Storks are known for their distinct appearance with white plumage and unique bald heads.

Further Readings

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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