September 30 2010 by Mike Mason
I can't say this is a passion of mine, but my father is bird watcher. I have spent some afternoons driving out to beautiful areas and relaxing while my dad pulls out his binoculars, bird book and rattles off the names of different types of birds while I take in the scenery. I am not an expert, but I have enough experience to know that this is a great passion for many people. It offers a great way to relax, enjoy nature and see new and beautiful places around the world. The great thing about birding is it is accessible to everyone in almost any location. All you need is some transportation, bird book and binoculars and you are ready for birding.
No matter where you live, there is someplace nearby to bird watch. But there are places in North American that offer more species and variety than other places. Here are a few bird watching destination ideas:
Southern Arizona: This part of the US is one of the best birding vacation destinations. Visit Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains, Huachuca Mountains southeast of Sonoita and the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve, located 90 miles southeast of Tucson.
Texas: Visit Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande and you can find 450 different bird species. Other places include the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, 7 miles south of Alamo, Texas and South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, the world's largest barrier island.
Florida: There is no end to the birding locations here. Try the 2,000-mile Great Florida Birding Trail. This self-guided highway trail includes 445 total birding sites along the way. The trail includes popular spots Big Cypress Preserves and Everglades National Park.
Costa Rica: If you venture outside the US, Costa Rica is a popular bird lover's destination. Though Costa Rica is smaller than many US states, it boasts over 840 bird species, more than all of North America combined! To top that, Panama has over 1,000 species of birds. Driving the Pipeline Road along the Panama Canal Watershed you can spot 300 species in one day.
These are just a few bird watching vacation destinations. Leave a comment and let us know of others that you enjoy.