The preeminent birding destination of South Florida, with many hotspots and some of the largest wading bird populations in the U.S. Stop at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center for maps/ checklists and then head to Royal Palm Visitor Center, where two fun trails begin. The Anhinga Trail is a photographer’s dream, with stunning close views of many birds and alligators. The Gumbo Limbo Trail is good for songbirds during winter and migration. From fall to spring, the 1st mile of Old Ingraham Hwy. can have Limpkins, Snail Kites, Mottled Ducks and Least Bitterns. Check Research Rd. for White-tailed Kites. The Long Pine Key area offers Brown-headed Nuthatches. Along Main Park Rd., look for soaring Short-tailed Hawks (dark morph is more common). Mahogany Hammock’s boardwalk is home to Barred Owls and wintering/ migrating warblers. Paurotis Pond often hosts Wood Storks, and Roseate Spoonbills. White-crowned Pigeons may be found at Nine-Mile Pond and along Main Park Rd. to Flamingo. At West Lake, check for winter warblers along the boardwalk trail. Patient birders may see Mangrove Cuckoos between the Snake Bight Trail and Flamingo; they become more vocal and easier to find in spring. Waterfowl and waders can be abundant at Mrazek Pond. The Flamingo Visitor Center lies at the end of the road; look for Manatees and American Crocodiles in the marina.