Field Paddle: Mangroves & Seagrass Meadows

An introduction to avian species and wildlife of the mangrove and seagrass ecosystems in Biscayne National Park

Quick Details

Duration: 3 hours

Start Time: 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Available Days: See calendar

Minimum of 3 participants per availability

Learn about the birds that inhabit the park!

Biscayne National Park boasts one of the longest contiguous stretches of mangrove shoreline left on the United States’ eastern shoreline and are considered a vulnerable habitat. Mangroves are home to tree crabs, the mangrove snake, juvenile fish, and several rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

One of the wildlife highlights in Biscayne National Park’s mangrove mangle are the birds. Here, you can see a variety of shorebirds such as a variety of heron species (including both morphs of the Great Blue Heron), egrets, and white ibis. Rare birds such as the mangrove cuckoo, brown pelican, and white crowned pigeon have made appearances here. Magnificent frigate birds, osprey, gulls, and terns can be seen soaring high above. Pausing to listen, you may spy by song or sight, warblers, sparrows, woodpeckers, and more! The west Indian manatee and North American crocodile have also been known to make a rare appearance along the mangrove shoreline and during our Paddle Birding experience.

What to Expect:

Your Biscayne National Park birding program is led by a professional naturalist and the group size is limited to 12 participants. Your guide reviews birding techniques and tools, how to use field guides and report your sightings. Your guide also gives pointers on how to enter and exit your boat, how to use your paddle efficiently, and how to stay safe on the water.

To optimize our chances of sighting shorebirds and more, these programs begin in the morning when wildlife is more active and coincide with the low tide which allows more opportunity to view shore birds. Paddling provides a quiet approach and allows for covering some distance. During this kayak/canoe program, you spend about two and a half hours out on the water.

This guided paddle is great for beginner birders and those curious about the mysteries of the mangroves. This trip is slow paced with stretches of paddling that can require some endurance. It is for ages 9 and up, and it is a great way for families to explore and experience the park together.

We provide the option to paddle a canoe or kayak. All paddlers will be given a life jacket and all children must wear one.

This activity needs a minimum of 3 participants. All participants will be notified prior to their reserved trip by **phone and email** if the availability does not meet the minimum. If the minimum is not met, participants reserved for the**9:00 AM paddle** will be informed of the activity cancellation by **5:00 PM the day prior** to their reservation and participants reserved for the **1:30 PM paddle** will be **11:30 AM the morning of** their reservation. Guests are also welcome to call Park store at (786)335-3644 to ask about the number of people reserved.

Be Prepared:

Remember to bring your sun-glasses, sun-hat, sun-screen, water-shoes, water, and snacks. Also, mosquitoes love the mangroves too, so bring your repellent! Some of these items are sold in our park store. Do not bring anything you do not want to get wet!



Come listen to the sounds of the mangroves and meander along the shoreline and learn more about why they are significant for both birds and humans alike.

Click here to view a list of birds found in Biscayne National Park.