Archive for the ‘Birding at the Dry Tortugas’ Category

Summer Terns in the Dry Tortugas

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Terns are certainly one of the amazing wonders of the bird world.  Most stunning is the migration of the Arctic Tern yearly from the Arctic to Antarctic and back.  This summer while catching lots of King Salmon at a remote fish camp on the Nushagak River (this river drains to Bristol Bay – Alaska’s premier sockeye salmon fishery)  I was mesmerized by Arctic Terns.  Both eye- and ear-catching, busy, always busy guarding their young and catching fish to fatten the chicks for the long flight south.  Bills, legs and feet turn blood red during breeding season making them striking in appearance and sharp in call.

Arctic Terns

Arctic Terns

Arctic Terns

Arctic Terns

The Dry Tortugas has four species of oceanic (open ocean home) terns that utilize these remote islands for summer nesting.  (more…)

Northbound – The Birds Are Still Coming

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Birdwatchers at fountain in parade ground of Ft. Jefferson – a great place to spot warblers and more.

Birdwatchers at fountain in parade ground of Ft. Jefferson – a great place to spot warblers and more.

A spring surprise Black-Necked Stilt

A spring surprise Black-Necked Stilt

By: Debra Hess
Yankee Freedom II Naturalist

Spring birdwatching at the Dry Tortugas National Park remains excellent and as summer approaches snorkeling reaches its peak.  Late spring trips on Yankee Freedom II offer excellent opportunities for both snorkeling and birdwatching on a single day trip.  (more…)

Fallout Delights Birdwatchers!!

Friday, May 8th, 2009

By: Debra Hess
Yankee Freedom II Naturalist

Spring bird watching in the Dry Tortugas is always good but once every couple of years a major lightning storm especially during the evening hours will cause literally hundreds of migrants to search out any point of land.  This happened on Tuesday evening April 14, 2009 and the Dry Tortugas was flooded with birds.  Warblers, thrushes, buntings, cuckoos and falcons to name a few.  Good bird watching turns into a birder’s paradise and stayed so for several days. (more…)

Fall Birding at the Dry Tortugas

Monday, December 8th, 2008

by: Deb

Fall birding in the Dry Tortugas has been outstanding. More bird watchers should take advantage of the excellent sightings in the Dry Tortugas in the Fall. Just about every trip this Fall yielded a good bird or more. Not as dramatic as Spring migration, this Fall has been consistently active with rains grounding numerous unusual sightings. (more…)

Have you ever seen a Booby Bird?

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Debra Hess
Yankee Freedom II Naturalist

A trip aboard the Yankee Freedom II to the Dry Tortugas National Park will allow you to observe as many as three species of Booby Birds. The Masked Booby—largest of the Booby species w/ a wingspan of 62 inches, a weight of 3.3 pounds and a length of 32 inches—nest on Hospital Key near Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. This is the only nesting Booby species at any National Park in the continental U.S. (more…)

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