Birding in Central Florida Has Some Unique Challenges
Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Bird with a trusted friend. Traveling in groups can make you feel comfortable, and he or she may spot birds you don’t!
Be aware of your surroundings. While using binoculars, you can be distracted. Watch where you’re walking.
Cell phone coverage is not always guaranteed.
Research directions in advance. Have a paper map or a map downloaded to your phone and local emergency phone numbers, just in case. Make sure your phone is charged.
Bring water and snacks. Wear a hat and be prepared for wind, heat or cold, depending on the season.
Be prepared for sudden thunderstorms, and keep an eye on the weather.
Set a reminder on your phone if you’re worried about staying out too long. Pay attention to closing time, if you’re in a gated park, to make sure you don’t get locked in.
Be prepared for wildlife. Know what to do in case of encountering bears, snakes, alligators, stinging insects or fire ants.
Keep valuables out of sight, especially if you’re parking at an out-of-the-way trailhead.
Don’t bird on the road! If you spot a bird and want to take a look, pull completely off the road to a safe place. This applies to birding while biking too—pull to the side of the trail to let others pass.
Trust your intuition. If you are in a situation in which you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, leave and think about coming back another day.