The Emerald Coast is a beach bird hotspot. Here you’ll find many unique beach bird species rarely seen in other parts of the country. It’s not uncommon to share the beach with a Great Blue Heron or walk along Destin’s Harbor and see the Brown Pelican diving from heights of 40 feet as it feeds.
This beach bird guide is intended to be a quick reference to help you identify the birds that may be seen along our coast. The menu along the top of this page groups the bird in 5 categories.
- Shore Birds (Sandpipers, Stilts and Plovers)
- Sea Birds (Pelicans, Gulls, Terns, Loons and Cormorants)
- Wading Birds (Egrets, Herons and Ibises)
- Waterfowl (Ducks, Grebes and Mergansers)
- Birds of Prey (Eagle, Hawks and Owls)
If you want more details about the birds you see, an excellent site that’s a favorite in the bird watching community is AllAboutBirds.org (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology). The also have a free IOS and Android app called Merlin Bird ID. Several other good sites include the National Audubon Society and WhatBird.com.
Note: All bird illustrations on this site are from © David Allen Sibley.