This small hotspot outside Everglades National Park is a great spot to find White-crowned Pigeon, Wood Stork, and Swallow-tailed Kite.
By Angel Abreu | Published: 10/22/2010
Just outside the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park lies Lucky Hammock, a small hotspot that gives you a glimpse of what it must have been like to bird in South Florida 100 years ago. If you have the urge to pass it on your way into the park, stop! It’s worth a visit.
Because of its small size, it’s an easy spot to bird. You can walk around the hammock or bird it from your car. I saw my life Yellow-breasted Chat here while sitting in my car waiting for a rain shower to pass. The chat was using the water that was dripping off a leaf to bathe.
I enjoy searching for songbirds here during spring and fall migration. The birding usually leads to warbler-neck. Shorebirds can be spotted in the fields during autumn. During the winter, Lucky Hammock shines. From November to February, you can enjoy the buzzing calls of wintering Grasshopper Sparrows. And birding here at dark can be phenomenal. I enjoy looking for the many species of owl and nightjar that hunt over the fields under the moonlight. It may be small, but I think Lucky Hammock is hard to beat. — Angel Abreu
Angel Abreu monitors fish and invertebrate populations in the Everglades and is an expert in radar ornithology. He owns and operates www.badbirdz2.wordpress.com.
At a Glance
Click on the coordinates below to view location:
Tropical hardwood hammock surrounded by grass prairie, millet fields, and fallow fields.
Uneven path around the hammock and gravel paths through the fields.
190 species. White-crowned Pigeon, Lesser Nighthawk, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blackpoll, Swainson’s, and Wilson’s Warblers, Painted Bunting, Sandhill Crane, Upland and Pectoral Sandpipers, American Pipit, White-tailed Kite, Swainson’s and Short-tailed Hawks, Peregrine Falcon, Western Kingbird, Wood Stork, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Swallow-tailed Kite, Black-whiskered and Bell’s Vireos, Brown-crested and Alder Flycatchers, Lark, Grasshopper, Clay-colored, and Vesper Sparrows, Dickcissel, Short-eared Owl.
When to go
August through May.
None, but the Ernest Coe Visitor Center in Everglades National Park is less than five minutes away. Restaurants and hotels can be found in Florida City. Checklist. Free all-day birding trips in southern Dade County hosted by Tropical Audubon often include Lucky Hammock; the next one is slated for Saturday, February 5, 2011.
South Florida Water Management District property. Admission free. Street parking free.
Mornings, afternoons, and after sunset are best. Bring water, snacks, and sunscreen. A scope is helpful when looking for shorebirds or sparrows. Park on the paved road on the southeast corner of the hammock and walk the perimeter.
For more info
Tropical Audubon Society, (305) 667-7337.
South Florida Water Management District headquarters, (561) 686-8800, ext. 6635.
Farm fields along SR 9336
Before you enter the Everglades, pull over to scan for shorebirds. Good spot to find Buff-breasted and Upland Sandpiper in September.
22301 SW 162nd Ave., Miami. Songbirds, hummingbirds, Shiny Cowbird.