15 Amazing White Birds Commonly Found In Florida!

white birds in florida

Florida is a bird watchers paradise with so many different species of birds making this state their home. Some species will spend their time in Florida all year round while other species will flock to the warmer weather during winter.

You might be interested to learn how many species of white birds there are in the Florida region. We’ve going to explore these today and tell you some characteristic features so that you know how to identify them.

15 Species Of White Birds Commonly Found In Florida

There are 15 species of white birds that are commonly found in Florida. Here is some interesting information about these birds.

Common Name Scientific Name Weight Wingspan Lifespan Diet
Whooping Crane Grus americana 16 pounds 87 inches 24 years Fish
White Ibis Eudocimus albus 2.7 pounds 41 inches 16 years Small fish, crabs, crayfish & insects
Masked Booby Sula dactylatra 16 pounds 67 inches 20 years Fish & insects
Great Egret Ardea alba 3.3 pounds 67 inches 5 years Frogs & fish
Wood Stork Mycteria americana 7.3 pounds 71 inches 18 years Fish & crustaceans
Snow Goose Anser caerulescens 5 pounds 65 inches 15 years Leaves, roots & seeds
Bufflehead Bucephlala albeola 1.2 pounds 21.6 inches 2.5 years Plants & fish
Black-Crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 2.2 pounds 46.5 inches 3 years Fish & crustaceans
Snowy Egret Egretta thula 0.81 pounds 39.4 inches 16 years Aquatic animals
Cattle Egret Bulbulcus ibis 1.13 pounds 38 inches 10 years Flies, insects, earthworms & crickets
Swallow-Tail Kite Elanoides forficatus 1.3 pounds 4.5 feet 6 years Reptiles, insects, amphibians & small mammals
Juvenile Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea 0.71 pounds 40 inches 7 years Insect, fish, crustaceans & amphibians
Great White Heron Ardea herodias 7.9 pounds 79 inches 15 years Insects & fish
Ross’s Goose Anser rossii 2.45 pounds 45 inches 22.5 years Grass & grains
American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos 30 pounds 120 inches 25 years Fish & crayfish

As you can see, the majority of these birds are water birds that frequent the coastline, rivers, lakes and other large bodies of water.

1. Whooping Crane

Whooping cranes are large birds that are now highly endangered due to the destruction of their habitat and excessive hunting. An adult whooping crane can reach a height of 2 feet.

If you do get a chance to spot one of these birds, they make quite an imposing sight. They have a white body and a dark red crown on top of their heads. Their bills are pointed and dark gray to black. Their white wings have long, black tips that make these birds look quite spectacular when in flight.

2. White Ibis

The white ibis is a common sight around the waterways in Florida. It has all-white feathers with a red face and red legs as well as black wingtips. You can easily identify it from its football-shaped body plus its very long bill that is black on the tip. This allows the bird to dig deep into the sand or mud to find a feed of crabs or small fish.

Because these birds have a varied diet, you may also spot them in urban parks as they forage for food. It’s also most common to see these birds congregating in large flocks.

3. Masked Booby

The masked booby belongs to the family of Gannets. It’s quite a large bird and often also called the masked gannet. These birds have a long neck, pointed tail, slender wings and a pointed beak. Apart from a majority of white feathers, these birds do have a black face and wing tips.

These birds love to dive for their feed of fish and they’re particularly fond of flying fish.

4. Great Egret

The great egret is a wading bird with long legs and a long S-shaped neck. It also has a long yellow bill. This stunning bird likes to wade through wetland areas to forage for fish that it stabs with its pointed bill. Interestingly, these birds almost became extinct as they were hunted for their glorious white feathers.

5. Wood Stork

Wood storks are quite bulky in appearance. Apart from their white feathers, they have black wingtips and faces. They also have a long bill with a slight hook shape on the end. With its bald head, this bird can reach up to 3 feet in height. It likes to forage for food in wetlands and flooded swamps.

6. Snow Goose

The snow goose is a migratory bird and can be seen in Florida mainly between December and January. This pretty white goose has black wingtips and a bright orange or pink beak and legs. It’s quite common to find these birds in flocks rather than solitary.

7. Bufflehead Duck

The bufflehead duck is one of the cutest ducks you’ll ever see. It has quite a large head that is white in the middle and surrounded by rainbow colored feathers of red, blue, green, purple and orange. It also has a black stripe along its back.

8. Black-Crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned night herons are widespread around the world. They’re also migratory birds. Their feathers are mostly white but they have a black cap on their heads that continues down their backs. These birds have a short neck as well as quite a short bill and legs.

9. Snowy Egret

Snowy egrets are all-white but they have yellow patches over their eyes and a pointed black bill. Their legs are also black. When you spot one of these birds you’ll immediately notice that it’s quite an elegant bird.

These birds were hunted almost to extinction around the early 20th century for their lovely white feathers that were used to adorn women’s hats. You can most often find these birds along the shallow banks of waterways as they forage for food.

10. Cattle Egret

Cattle egrets are closely related to herons. Their name derives from the fact that they like to forage  on land rather than along waterways. These birds have a thick neck and a stocky body. They sport all-white plumage with a stout yellow bill and yellow to black legs that are quite short.

Most often you can find these birds in fields and pastures as they forage for food such as insects and small animals.

11. Swallow-Tail Kite

The swallow-tail kite is actually a raptor and is quite commonly found all over America. You’ll most commonly find these birds in Florida during the winter. Their plumage is a mixture of black and white. Their breast, head, neck, belly and under tails are white while their backs and flight feathers are black. Their tail, bill and feet are also black. They’re quite impressive when viewed from below when they’re in full flight.

12. Juvenile Little Blue Heron

As far as wading birds go, the juvenile little blue heron is quite a small bird. It has white feathers all over with a gray spear-like bill and gray-green legs. The legs are quite long and the bird has a slender neck. These birds prefer to forage for food around quiet waters and are quite shy.

13. Great White Heron

The great white heron is quite similar in appearance to the great egret. It has dull white feathers and a vibrant yellow bill. Its legs are a yellowish-gray color and it has some pointy black feathers on its head. You’re most likely to find these birds along the coastline as they prefer to forage in salt water and around mangroves.

14. Ross’s Goose

The Ross’s goose is very similar in appearance to the snow goose except that its smaller. It has a short neck and a stocky body. Its bill is also quite stubby and triangular in shape. Both its beak and legs are orange and its tail feathers have black tips. These birds also prefer to travel in large flocks and you’ll often find them migrating together with flocks of snow geese.

15. American White Pelican

The white pelican is one of the largest birds that inhabits North America. It can generally be seen in Florida all throughout winter. This majestic bird has all-white feathers with a yellow patch over each eye. Its large pouched bill is a yellow-orange color as are its legs.

As you would imagine, you can find these birds along the coastline in Florida as they forage for their favorite food that consists of fish and crustaceans.

Final Thoughts

There are around 15 species of white birds most commonly found in Florida. Some of these species live in the state all year round while others migrate to the state during the winter time.

Most of these birds are water birds or wading birds with the exception of the swallow-tail kite which is a raptor. If you want to spot these birds while you’re out and about, visit areas along the coastline and also inland lakes, rivers, swamps and open wetlands.

One Comment

  1. Interesting how many differents species there are in your country. However, these white birds of Florida are amazing.

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