Dry Tortugas 2016
Lead By: Wes Biggs and other great leaders
Aboard: M/V Spree
Departing From: Key West
The Destination & The Birds
Dry Tortugas National Park is the most remote park in the entire system. Located 68 miles from Key West the park consists of 7 islands and 102 square miles of ocean and coral reefs. The Dry Tortugas is quite simply one of the world’s greatest birding destinations!! For the North American or Florida lister it is a MUST BIRD place!! For the bird photographer it is spectacularly unique! The Florida peninsula and the Upper Keys are sub-tropical, but when you reach the town of Marathon on Key Vaca you enter the true tropics. There has never been a freeze recorded south of this location. A number of species reach their northernmost breeding range in the Keys and Dry Tortugas. The rare Antillean Nighthawk arrives in the lower keys to nest in the later half of April and is a regular migrant through the Tortugas. Brown Boobies, and Black Noddies are regular in the Tortugas as non-breeders and Red-footed Booby and White-tailed Tropicbirds are rare visitors as well. The Dry Tortugas is the only North American nesting location for the Magnificent Frigatebird, Masked Booby and Brown Noddy, and the only regular nesting site of the Sooty Tern. Migrating raptors and dozens of species of land birds are a great draw as well, but the lure of a stray from the Caribbean is like gold fever to the hardcore birder.
The photographic opportunities at Dry Tortugas are many and varied. Tropical species not found elsewhere in North America are great fun, but spring plumage migrants posing at very close range are just as exciting. Spectacular coral reefs and the most beautiful 19th century brick fort in the Western Hemisphere will keep you busy!
The human history of the Dry Tortugas began in 1513 when the islands were discovered by Ponce de Leon.
Construction on spectacular Ft. Jefferson began in 1846 and became the prison that held Dr. Samuel A. Mudd after he was convicted as one of the conspirators in President Lincoln's murder. Every real history buff needs to visit this remarkable place.
Dry Tortugas I Monday April 18 through Friday April 22, 2016:
Dry Tortugas II Monday April 25 through Friday April 29, 2016:
Dry Tortugas III Sunday May 1 through Thursday May 5, 2016:
Florida Super Tour: Saturday April 30 - Saturday May 7
Day one is a travel day. You will need to be in Key West at the boat by 7:00 PM on the date the trip begins. There will be a meeting with Florida Nature Tour leaders to discuss what you can expect and a general schedule. Then at 8:00 pm there will be a meeting with the captains of the Spree regarding the ship layout and safety rules.
After an early morning departure we will enter the Gulf Stream in search of pelagic species such as Audubon's Shearwater, Bridled Tern and Band-rumped Storm-Petrel. We will arrive at the Dry Tortugas about mid-day. After lunch we will begin our exploration of Garden Key and magnificent Fort Jefferson. Thousands of Brown Noddies and Sooty Terns will be close at hand, Magnificent Frigatebirds will be hanging overhead and colorful migrants will be only feet away. Don't forget your camera! A beautiful sunset & maybe a view of 'The Green Flash' and a night walk around the moat wall looking for sea creatures will round out the day.
Dry Tortugas tour
$1295 per person
Balance: 90 days prior to departure
Transportation, sleeping accommodations, all meals and leaders are included.
Florida Super Tour:
$1,595 per person (double occupancy) includes hotel, transportation and guides.
Meals are not provided on this tour. Single occupancy supplement: $350.
A $300 deposit is required to hold a space.
You may pay through PayPal on this site or mail us a check
To reserve a space: Contact Wes Biggs by email or call 863-674-1127 or 407-376-6967 or use our registration form.
We would be happy to answer any questions you have - just fill in our contacts form with your queries and we'll get back to you.
Office: 863-674-1127 Cell: 407-376-6967 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org