Ever since I became a birder it has been a dream of mine to visit Florida, with its subtropical birds and climate. Many of our breeding birds spend the winter there, and, as it funnels the birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway, it is an excellent spot to see a large number of species during migration. Florida claims to have more bird species in the winter than the summer, which is highly appealing to someone who may tally only fifteen species on a cold Ottawa morning in mid-January. Even the resident birds, the ones that can be found year-round, have an exotic appeal.
Just as enticing to me was the prospect of seeing other wildlife, such as butterflies, dragonflies, lizards, snakes, mammals and more. Having spent the past 8 years birding and wildlife-watching in Ontario, I was eager to visit a place where almost everything would be new to me.
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