FLORIDA KEYS BIRDING AND WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

FIELD TRIP TO THE DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK ABOARD THE YANKEE FREEDOM II

Debra Hess
Yankee Freedom II Naturalist

Departing Key West at 8 am this full day trip to the Dry Tortugas will be led by National Park Service Research Biologist Sonny Bass. Sonny offers years of experience in the Dry Tortugas, as well as a wealth of knowledge on the birds of these islands. Expect to observe Masked Booby birds year-round nesting residents of Hospital Key,and Magnificent Frigatebirds year-round nesting residents of Long Key. Brown Booby birds may be observed on navigational markers along the trip and around the fort. Fall migration will be underway and numerous warbler species are common on Garden Key (home of awesome Fort Jefferson– one of our largest coastal forts). Garden Key will be the focus of our field trip. Eastern Wood Pewee is a common fall migrant (rarely seen in the spring) and a good opportunity exists to observe Black Whiskered Vireo and Grey Kingbird. Hawk’s and Falcon’s will be moving southward,and are sometimes sighted in large numbers. Caribbean Short Eared Owl can be a spring to fall visitor on Garden key. Many migratory shorebirds stop in the Dry Tortugas ,and all migrants become more common during fall weather events. Fall also brings some of the finest snorkeling conditions to the Dry Tortugas. The natural sand beaches of the Dry Tortugas are awesome, and with the calm weather of the early fall visability can be impressive. The Yankee Freedom II offers complementary use of snorkel gear on it’s daily trips to the Dry Tortugas, or you can bring your own. Fish watching can be incredible on high visability snorkeling days… for more info visit The Yankee Freedom Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas web site.

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