FLAMINGO QUEST – 2017
Audubon Society of the Everglades (Palm Beach County Audubon Chapter), in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), is pleased to offer special “Flamingo Quests” in Stormwater Treatment Area (STA 2), a rare opportunity to see these iconic birds in the wild in Palm Beach County!
A small flock of American Flamingos have been visiting the same restricted access area (closed to public access) in Palm beach County during March and April for the past 10 years. According to SFWMD biologist the Flamingos seem to stay through early May, and then move on. In 2014, more than 140 flamingos were present. Because of the recurring pattern, and sheer number seen in 2014, several scientists believe most of these visitors are wild birds.
Like all birding, the birds are in the wild and free to come and go as they please, there is no guarantee to see the Flamingos on any specific date.
In 2014, the Flamingo count increased toward the end of April.
In 2015, the Flamingo count decreased toward the end of April.
In 2016, the Flamingos did not show up until the end of April and increased in May!
Who knows what will happen in 2017? It will depend in the weather, water levels and food availability. There is no way to predict those things from day to day, much less months in advance.
2017 FLAMINGO TOUR DATES
– Sun Mar 12 (first day of DST)
– Sat Mar 25
– Sat Apr 8
– Sat Apr 22
ASE also offers carpool tours in the same Stormwater Treatment Area monthly from November – February to see the incredible waterfowl wintering there, but Flamingos are not likely until March.
There will be 2 tours (10:30 am and 3:30 pm) on each trip date. The probability of seeing the Flamingos is equal throughout the day. The main difference in the times is the lighting; the best lighting for photography is later in the day,
– are lead by experienced guides who are very familiar with the area.
– are carpool caravan tours in the restricted access area with 4 people per auto with stops along the 10+ mile route with time to view, scope and photograph.
– require little walking other than exiting the auto for better views as desired.
– last approx 3.5 hours from the time the tour begins until the tour returns to the main gate.
A map and driving directions will be provided after registration is confirmed. The site is in rural Palm Beach County off US Rt 27, approximately 25 miles south of South Bay, FL and 30 miles north of Weston, FL. Approximate drive time from various locations is provided below.
Palm Beach County
Boca Raton 1 hour
Jupiter 1.5 hours
Palm Beach (airport) 1.25 hours
Wellington 1 hour
Other Florida Locations
Clewiston 45 mins.
Daytona (Airport) 4 hours
Fort Lauderdale (Airport) 1 hour
Fort Myers (Airport) 2 hours
Jacksonville (Airport) 5.5 hours
Key Largo 1.75 hours
Miami (Airport) 1 hour
Naples (Airport) 1.75 hours
Ocala 4.25 hours
Orlando (Airport) 3.25 hours
Sarasota (Airport) 3 hours
South Bay 30 mins.
Tallahassee (Airport) 7 hours
Tampa (Airport) 3.75 hours
Weston 30 mins.
Yeehaw Junction (Turnpike) 2 hours
Tours are open to the public. Each tour is space restricted and advance registration is required. Trips usually fill with a Wait List, so early registration is suggested.
Click here to Register for a Flamingo Quest (Registrations open Sep 1, 2016)
You can also register through the CALENDAR section on the ASE web site. Once on the calendar page, go to the month, day and time for the trip you want, click on the trip, then “more details” and then on the registration link.
There is no “Fee” for the tour, however there is a suggested donation of $5 per person for each tour to help fund the cost of offering these tours and ASE educational programs.
IN THE NEWS
QUESTIONS? Email ASETripInfo@gmail.com and include “Flamingo Quest” in the subject line.
* * * * * * *