19 Astonishing White birds in Florida [Images + IDs]

White birds in Florida

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. 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

white birds in 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

In Florida, Snowy Egrets are increasingly prevalent breeding birds.
This is because serious conservation efforts were required since this species of egret was routinely hunted at earlier ages.
The slender black bill and the brilliant spot between the eyes and nostrils make this little white heron stand out.
Adult birds have completely black legs and bright golden yellow feet. The feet’s vivid colors aid in luring tiny fish and other food.
Young birds’ legs often have a greenish-yellow tint with some black spots on the front of the leg.
It may be found almost everywhere there is a wetland ecosystem, from tiny ponds to saltwater and everything in between.
The Snowy Egret is an uncommon to moderately frequent nesting bird in the state throughout the summer.
It is considerably more frequent in the winter, when enormous numbers may be seen along Florida’s coast.

2. Cattle Egret

white birds in 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 a bird that 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.
Cattle Egrets 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

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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.
Throughout the summer, it is most common in the eastern and central parts of the state.
Although it is less frequent outside of the mating season, massive flocks may be observed when it does exist.

4. White Ibis

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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

  • 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)

white birds in florida

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

With fewer than 20 birds left, the Whooping Crane was on the verge of extinction in the 1930s.
However, consistent conservation efforts have restored it to a population of 600 birds as of right now.
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

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

white birds in 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

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

white birds in 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

white birds in 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

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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

white birds in 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)

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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.

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!

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 kind of big white birds are in Florida?

The Sunshine State is home to four different species of huge, white birds, including:
Whooping Crane, Great Egret, Wood Stork, American White Pelican, and
Check out the pictures in our comprehensive ID guide above if you’re unsure which of these birds you’ve seen or how to tell them apart.

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