Cape Florida Banding

A large percentage of the songbird species that breed in North America fly to Central America, South America and the Caribbean Islands to spend the winter months. Birds migrating to or from these locales generally use the Atlantic Flyway and funnel down Florida’s east coast, stopping at sites such as Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (BBCFSP) to refuel. The restored native vegetation in the Key Biscayne-cited park provides ample insects and fruit for the birds to eat in order to put on fat deposits for the next leg of their journey, the overwater crossing to the Caribbean islands or the northern coast of South America. The park habitat also provides refuge for hundreds of migrating birds of all types that may be forced to land here due to bad weather.

Since 2002, the Cape Florida Banding Station (CFBS) has been monitoring migratory birds in our region. In 2013, Tropical Audubon Society partnered with CFBS to expand public outreach and education about Key Biscayne’s and South Florida’s importance to migrant songbirds traveling along the Atlantic Flyway. CFBS opens for the fall migration season in mid-August and continues through the first week in November. The Station is occasionally operated during spring migration as part of collaborative projects with students from Florida International University and other institutions.

Data collected at the Station helps illustrate the migration patterns of songbirds and the importance of the park’s restored native hardwood hammock for these migrants, and also supplies crucial information to policymakers, scientists and the birding public.

For more information, visit the Cape Florida Banding Station website.