Angela Minor

Angela Minor’s first avian adventure involved a 1000-mile road trip just to look at hummingbirds. Now she considers herself a hopeless vagabond having lived, traveled, and birded across the continental U.S., Alaska, the Caribbean, and seven European countries over the past three decades.

Freelance travel writer is her third career, following teacher and small business owner. She’s a regular contributor to several travel publications including Blue Ridge Country and Smoky Mountain Living, and writes feature articles for Ft. Myers Magazine, 3rd Act, and international cruise sites. She serves as a field editor with Birds & Blooms, the “Park Watch” Beat Writer for 10,000 Birds, and authors the state park birding series for Bird Watcher’s Digest.

Lake June-in-Winter Scrub State Park, Florida

Florida scrub-jay. Photo by Michael Todd

A quiet preserve of rare plants and animals. Have a look at a map of the peninsula of Florida, and you’ll see hundreds of puddles of blue down the center of the state. These are freshwater features that have existed since ancient times, when the area was a series of islands. And, where there’s water… Read more

Amelia Island and Fort Clinch State Parks, Florida

Clapper Rail. Photo by Michael Todd

One barrier island with two state parks. Two state parks bookend the northern-most barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic seashore. This coastal area welcomes hundreds of neotropical species during spring and fall migrations, and provides the home address to approximately 100 species year-round. Amelia Island State Park: At the southern tip of this sea island (named… Read more

Perdido Key State Park, Florida

A piping plover stands among beach vegetation.

Shore-to-shore Birding. The coastal barrier islands of this expansive seashore region—the Florida panhandle—sit at the confluence of two flyways: the Atlantic and the Mississippi. The Gulf Island National Seashore contains an “extremely high diversity of [bird] species, [as a] result of its size, location, and diversity of habitats,” according to Audubon. That’s great news for… Read more

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Florida

Whooping Cranes by Geoff Gallice / Wikimedia.

No beaches required. In the late 1770s, renowned naturalist William Bartram recorded his awe-struck impressions of this biologically and geologically significant area in the northern center of the Florida peninsula, calling it the “great Alachua Savannah.” As late as the 1880s, this prairie was a lake deep enough for steamboat passage. In the 1970s it… Read more

Blackwater River State Park, Florida

Green heron by Mike Blevins

A rare sand bottom river, longleaf pines, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. Located within the premier state forest of Florida with the same name, Blackwater River State Park is one of the nation’s richest biological areas. There are 300 bird species throughout the year, 2,500 species of plants in residence, and a rare sand bottom river flowing… Read more

Henry W. Coe State Park, California

Bullock's Oriole. Photo by Kevin Cole / Wikimedia.

Come for the birds; stay for the views. Grassy knolls, craggy ridges, steep canyons, rushing creeks, hillsides of native trees, sweeping vistas…the wild spaces that define the wilderness. These are the characteristics across 87,000 acres in the Henry W. Coe State Park southeast of San José, California. And, diverse habitats mean large numbers of species… Read more

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Costa's Hummingbird by Robin L. Edwards.

Binoculars, scopes, and cameras at the ready! Over 300 species of birds call the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park home at various times throughout the year. With elevations ranging from near sea level to 6,200 feet, habitats include canyons, groves of native trees, meadows, creeks, mesquite bosques, bajadas, mountains, and deserts, within and around 12… Read more

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, California

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park sign.

Where the waters meet and the birds gather. For those in search of isolated destinations where many birds and few people visit, Ahjumawi Lava Spring State Park, California, is the place. Located at the intersection of rivers, lakes, and creeks, this remote area enjoys one of the biggest freshwater spring systems in the country. The… Read more

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, California

Elfin Forest California Park Sign

It’s all about the trails. While we’ve all had the moments of trying to bird out the windows of a moving vehicle, putting our feet on the ground is unquestionably the most desirable way to spot our feathered friends. The San Pascal Valley, which encompasses the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, Lake Hodges, 2,350 acres of… Read more

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