The best time of the year for bird watching in the Dry Tortugas starts at the end of this month with the large migratory bird populations currently starting to make their way to the islands
Online PR News – 10-February-2010 – – The islands of the Dry Tortugas, found in the Gulf of Mexico about 68 miles west of Key West Florida, are known as one of the country's premier bird watching destinations. Close to 300 unique species of birds have been reported in the Dry Tortugas over the years. On a trip to the islands during any time of the year, you are sure to see at least 50 of these different species.
While bird watching in the Dry Tortugas and its resident brick fort, Fort Jefferson, is excellent year-round, the spring months are known as the absolute best time for bird watching. Many bird species can be found on the islands throughout the year, but certain species only live on the islands seasonally. Spring finds the largest variety and largest number of birds on the Dry Tortugas.
Right now, at the beginning of the month of February, some of these migratory bird species such as the Sooty Tern and the Black Noddy, are slowly starting to be spotted on the islands. By the beginning of March, some 100,000 Sooty Terns descend on the Dry Tortugas island of Bush Key for their yearly nesting season. Bush Key is closed off to visitors during this season but the birds can still be seen from nearby Garden Key. The display of this large number of birds is a truly stunning display that most people only ever see on the Discover Channel.
Bird watchers should come to the Dry Tortugas prepared with their Dry Tortugas bird checklist. During the spring season, it is said that the keen bird watcher can spot over 70 unique species of birds on the islands.
"While many people come to the Dry Tortugas to see Fort Jefferson or to experience what many call the best Key West snorkeling trip there is, bird watchers come in hordes, especially during the spring and fall," says one of the Dry Tortugas Information Center's reservations agent, Tammy Doherty. "The Dry Tortugas are much more than what meets the eye and travelers who do their research before coming can discover one of the country's most unique natural habitats for birds and a variety of marine species."
Daily trips out to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson take up to 200 enthusiastic passengers out to the islands. The Dry Tortugas Information Center offers travelers two ferries from which to choose for their Dry Tortugas day trips. Dedicated nature lovers can also reserve a camping spot on the islands, which are limited to 6 camping passengers per ferry per day. The larger of the two Dry Tortugas ferries also provides its guests with an on-board naturalist who can help in spotting and identifying bird species.
To learn more about the Dry Tortugas and the upcoming bird watching season, call the Dry Tortugas Information Center directly at 1-877-243-2378.