Birding Festival of the Keys

Birding Festival of the Keys
Boat Trips

To the Festival home page. Details of our evening programs. Go far afield to get some special species. Get out in the field with our knowledgable guides. Discover the details of our workshops. The backgrounds of our professional guides
Boat trips in the intense Florida sun require some prior preparation. Bring sunscreen, sun hat, sea sickness medicine (usually taken prior to trip) if needed. A long sleeved shirt is also recommended. In general spotting scopes are not advised due to movement of the boat, speed of the birds and difficulty in focusing.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Marathon Hump Pelagic Birding Trip-Sea King
Our boat the Sea King 6:30 am boarding - 5:00 pm — 35 max. ($165)
Meet at the Sea King boat docks, MM 53, 11699 Overseas Hwy., Marathon, Fl. 33050, 1.5 miles west of the Holiday Inn, across Vaca Cut Bridge on left.
**minimum of 25 needed for this trip**.   Leader David Simpson
THBOAT1
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Getting out to sea to find pelagic birds is necessary when adding life birds. There is no place better to find pelagic birds than South Florida. Marathon Hump is an underwater sea mount 20 miles off shore. It comes up to 480 feet from the surface and found in water 1000 feet deep. The flow of the Gulfstream against the hump creates an upwelling that draws baitfish, which then attracts a large number pelagic birds.
Bring sun protection, food and sea sickness medication if necessary.
Bottled water and snacks provided.
TARGET SPECIES: Sooty Terns, Bridled Terns, Brown Boobies, Magnificent Frigatebird, Cory Shearwater, Brown Noddy

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Boot Key Hawk Roosting Fly-in & Historic Pigeon Key tour & sunset happy hour boat tour
Our boat the Jolly Roger 4:00-8:00 pm — 20 max. ($60)
Leader Paddy Cunningham
Meet at Marina at Holiday Inn at 3:45 pm
FBOAT1
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Spend a fine afternoon out on the water visiting historic Pigeon Key. Then off to Boot Key for the fly-in roosting of numerous raptors. This phenomenon can be seen only by boat as hawks in good numbers land in trees at sunset to roost before migrating further south. The trip will include expert guides, admission to Pigeon Key and happy hour of light refreshments, wine and beer.

"Boot Key is a relatively undeveloped, 1,100-acre island in the Florida Keys. Boot Key is an internationally important link in the migration of numerous birds, including raptors. The seven-mile gap between Boot Key and Big Pine Key is the longest water crossing migratory birds' encounter in their journey from the U.S. south to Cuba. Experts believe this gap may explain Boot Key's importance as a staging area (Attachment 5, letters of support). Listed as one of the sites in The Important Bird Areas of Florida, it is featured as an FWC Wildlife Viewing Area for fall migration observations of more than 16 species of falcons, hawks, and other raptors. Single-day counts during migration have averaged almost 800 raptors." (Fl. Coastal Management Program)
Pigeon Key is a venture back in time to a tiny island that played a tremendous role in the Florida Keys of today. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a home base for Henry M. Flagler's Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway and the Old Seven-Mile Bridge. It now serves as a group ocean education center and tourist destination.

Rachel Key Kayak or Paddle Board Sunset Fly-In
Kayak or Paddle board birding adventure 5:00-8:00 pm — 20 max. ($55)
Leader Natalie Smith, Natural Paths Paddling Adventures
FBOAT2
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

This sunset paddle with kayak or paddleboard will circle Rachel Key to see a rookery of wading birds, cormorants and seabirds. It will include paddle, boat, PFD, and admission to Crane Nature Center. Go early to see the nature trails, museum, historic house and bird center.
***PLEASE NOTE make reservations on natpaths.com

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

Pelagic Adventure-Personal Pelagic Tour-Capt. Robert "Toe" Torres
Our special Palegic Adventures boat 6:30 am-4:00 pm — 6 max. ($175)
Leader Capt. "Toe" Torres
STBOAT1
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Join Capt. "Toe" Torres for a Pelagic Adventure which offers the ultimate experience in personal pelagic birding. His boat was designed for speed which allows 6 lucky people to chased up to 25 species of pelagic birds. With the deep waters of the Gulfstream only a few miles offshore, South Florida offers tremendous potential for pelagic birding in this dynamic and untamed ocean environment. Let the adventure begin.
Florida Pelagic Birding and Fishing
Target Species: Roseate Tern, Bridled Tern, Pomarine Jaeger, Audubon's Shearwater, Brown Booby, and a remote possibility of White-tailed Tropicbird, Red-footed Booby, or Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, plus more.
Bring your food, lunch, water, sun screen, sun protection and shoes that do not slip/no flip flops. This boat has a top cover to get out of the sun.

Boot Key Hawk Roosting Fly-in & Historic Pigeon Key tour & sunset happy hour boat tour
Our boat the Jolly Roger
4:00-8:00 pm — 20 max. ($60)
Leaders Adam Kent & Gina Kent
STBOAT2
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Spend a fine afternoon out on the water visiting historic Pigeon Key and then off to Boot Key for the fly-in roosting of numerous raptors. This phenomenon can be seen only by boat as hawks in good numbers land in trees at sunset to roost before migrating further south. The trip will include expert guides, admission to Pigeon Key and happy hour of light refreshments, wine and beer.
"Boot Key is a relatively undeveloped, 1,100-acre island in the Florida Keys. Boot Key is an internationally important link in the migration of numerous birds, including raptors. The seven-mile gap between Boot Key and Big Pine Key is the longest water crossing migratory birds' encounter in their journey from the U.S. south to Cuba. Experts believe this gap may explain Boot Key's importance as a staging area (Attachment 5, letters of support). Listed as one of the sites in The Important Bird Areas of Florida, it is featured as an FWC Wildlife Viewing Area for fall migration observations of more than 16 species of falcons, hawks, and other raptors. Single-day counts during migration have averaged almost 800 raptors." (Fl. Coastal Management Program)
Pigeon Key is a venture back in time to a tiny island that played a tremendous role in the Florida Keys of today. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a home base for Henry M. Flagler's Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway and the Old Seven-Mile Bridge. It now serves as a group ocean education center and tourist destination.

Rachel Key Kayak or Paddle Board Sunset Fly-In
Kayak or Paddle board birding adventure 5:00-8:00 pm — 20 max. ($55)
Leader Natalie Smith, Natural Paths Paddling Adventures
Crane Point Nature Center
STBOAT3
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

This sunset paddle with kayak or paddleboard will circle Rachel Key to see a rookery of wading birds, cormorants and seabirds. It will include paddle, boat, PFD, and admission to Crane Nature Center. Go early to see the nature trails, museum, historic house and bird center.
PLEASE NOTE make reservations on natpaths.com

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

Pelagic Adventure - Personal Pelagic Tour Capt. Robert "Toe" Torres
Our special Palegic Adventures boat 6:30 am-4:00 pm — 6 max. ($175)
Blackpoint Marina, Homestead (2 hours north of Marathon)
Leader Capt. "Toe" Torres
SNBOAT1
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Join Capt. "Toe" Torres for a Pelagic Adventure which offers the ultimate experience in personal pelagic birding. His boat was designed for speed which allows 6 lucky people to chased up to 25 species of pelagic birds. With the deep waters of the Gulfstream only a few miles offshore, South Florida offers tremendous potential for pelagic birding in this dynamic and untamed ocean environment. Let the adventure begin.
Florida Pelagic Birding and Fishing
Target Species: Roseate Tern, Bridled Tern, Pomarine Jaeger, Audubon's Shearwater, Brown Booby, and a remote possibility of White-tailed Tropicbird, Red-footed Booby, or Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, plus more.
Bring your food, lunch, water, sun screen, sun protection and shoes that do not slip/no flip flops. This boat has a top cover to get out of the sun.

Florida Bay Birding and Ecotour Peter Frezza with boat
1:30-4:30 pm — 8 max. ($40)
Leader Peter Frezza
SNBOAT2
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Join Biologist, Peter Frezza, of the Audubon of Florida, Everglades Science Center at Tavernier to explore the shallow water habitats of Florida Bay and Everglades National Park. We will take a leisurely boat tour through the central and northeastern part of the bay, stopping at various points of interest for observations of the general suite of Florida Bay. We will look for water birds, shorebirds, and also songbirds from the periphery of mangrove islands. Within this scenic setting, this is also a good opportunity to observe sea life which could include dolphin, manatee, and a wide range of fish.

Meet at the dock at the Marker 88 restaurant. This is right at mm88 on the bayside in Islamorada. Address-88000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

Dry Tortugas trip
7:00 am-5:15 pm — 25 max. ($25)
Leaders David Simpson, Paddy Cunningham
MBOAT1
VISUALIZE YOUR TRIP

Our boat: the Yankee Freedom The Dry Tortugas is on every birders bucket list. There are many possibilities such as Masked Booby, Sooty Terns, Brown Noddy, Magnificent Frigatebird and more. The fall season is a great time to visit the Dry Tortugas with raptor migration at its peak with Sharp-shinned, Cooper's and Broad-winged Hawks, Merlins, and Peregrine Falcons. There is also pelagic birding on the way down and back with chances of Bridled Tern, Roseate Tern, Brown Booby, Shearwaters, Jaegers and much more. It's quite the day; quite the trip.
****MUST be pre-booked online for the Yankee Freedom NP Ferry www.drytortugas.com/
Check the website starting June 15th through August 15th to see if there is a Fall Savings Promotion on the Yankee Freedom. Look for Book Early and Save $100 on a Dry Tortugas Adventure. The discount is offered for online booking only and requires the promo code given on the webpage. National Park Senior Pass must be presented at Ferry ticket office window prior to boarding in order to cover the park fee.

INCLUDED WITH TRIP

SCHEDULE

WHAT TO BRING

During your voyage, you'll enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Marquesa Islands, Boca Grande.
Here are some of our suggestions on what to bring to make your trip memorable!
Comfortable footwear, A sun hat, A bathing suit, Sunglasses, Towels, Change of dry clothes, Sunscreen, A camera, Light jacket/sweatshirt, Seasickness medicine if necessary.

What is the cancellation policy of the Yankee Fleet (not the birding festival)?
Are refunds given if there is inclement weather?

If you plan to cancel your reservation, you will need to do so by 3:00 p.m. the day before your trip. Trips are not cancelled due to rain. The captain may cancel the trip or issue a warning if he feels the conditions are too rough.


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Birding Festival of the Keys