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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Florida: Winter Birds

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Florida. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING THE US: Non-U.S. citizens will need a valid passport and may need a tourist visa or visa waiver.  Consult your nearest US Consulate or Embassy for additional details. Canadian or other non-US citizens need to carry proof of citizenship in the form of a passport. 

HEALTH: Birdwatching in South Florida poses no real health hazards, but sun and insects are concerns. Even in winter, the intense sun at 23° latitude makes a sun hat, protective clothing, and a strong sunscreen essential. Mosquitoes and small biting flies can be abundant in some years, especially in the mangroves. Chiggers and ticks are present in small numbers, though we rarely encounter them.

PACE OF THE TOUR: Although there are some long drives with occasional bad traffic delays around Miami, this is a low-key tour from a physical standpoint.  Most walking is done along roadsides or level trails. There are no strenuous or long hikes on this tour (walks will generally be of less than a half mile in distance) and on most of the days we depart around 6:30 AM.  To accommodate the best birding locations (parrot roosts for example) and to take advantage of the late afternoon sun (as it does not get dark until 8 pm) we will on several days eat dinner before returning to the hotel, which will result in a late arrival time to the hotel.

CLIMATE: Spring temperatures are in the 60s, 70s and rarely into the low 80s in some years, but near the coast a breeze tends to moderate the effect of the heat.  Nights remain mild to warm.  Scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, some with brief, heavy rain, are possible, and the humidity will be high.

ACCOMMODATIONS:  We stay in standard accommodations throughout the course of the tour. WIFI is free and available at all of our hotels.

FOOD:  Meals are taken in local restaurants and may include a picnic lunch or two depending upon the weather conditions.  Seafood and Cuban cuisine are local specialties.

DRESS: Informal throughout.

TRANSPORTATION: We will be traveling by 15-passenger window van or minivan, depending on the group size. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles. 

SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location at which the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, the stricter policy will prevail.

GENERAL INFORMATION & CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the General Information & Conditions. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A more detailed General Information for Tours to South Florida in Winter will be sent to each registrant on receipt of their booking. Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary.

Updated: 09 August 2021