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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Hiding in Plain Sight! One of California’s best kept secrets is the Olompali State Historic Park. If you’re zipping north and south on US 101 between Santa Rosa and the Bay Area, Olompali is equidistant between the two. This mountainous region of 700 acres is the landscape of 8,000 years of native Coast Miwok history… Read more
Birds, and butterflies, and bats – oh, my! The Texas Hill Country, the Chihuahuan Desert, and Brush Country all display their unique habitats at the Devils River State Natural Area, creating exceptional biodiversity found few other places on the continent. Add the pristine, ecologically intact water system of Devils River, and you have the perfect… Read more
Twenty-nine million birds across one million acres. Everything really is bigger in Texas. Brazos Bend State Park, Texas, is approximately 5,000 acres of pure nature located 28 miles south of Houston. It sits among the one million acres of Columbia Bottomlands IBA, where an estimated 29 million birds either live or visit each year. There… Read more