26 Large Birds In Florida (Size Comparison+photos)

Florida has lots of different landscapes where many amazing big birds reside. From the famous Whooping Crane flying high to the graceful wading birds in its wetlands, Florida has a whole bunch of really cool and large birds. In this article, we’ll learn about 26 incredible large birds in Florida that make Florida’s skies, rivers, and forests really colorful and interesting.

Size Chart Comparison

Bird SpeciesSize (Length)
Whooping Crane 52-56 inches
Wild Turkey43.3-45.3 inches
Bald Eagle34-43 inches
Anhinga35-47 inches
Wood Stork33.5-45.3 inches
Turkey Vulture25-32 inches
American Flamingo20-25 inches
Red-Tailed Hawk18-26 inches
Snowy Owl20.5-28 inches
Roseate Spoonbill28-34 inches
Little Blue Heron22-26 inches
Crested Caracara20-25 inches
Limpkin40-42 inches
American White Pelican60 – 63 inches
Red-tailed hawk18 to 26 inches
Osprey21 to 24 inches
Cooper’s Hawk13.5 – 20 inches
Double-crested Cormorant28 – 35 inches
Barred owl16 – 25 inches
Mute Swan55 – 63 inches.
Great Egret31- 41 inches
Great Black-Backed Gull25 – 31 inches
Northern Gannet35 – 40 inches.
Great Horned Owl18.1-24.8 inches
Pileated Woodpecker16 to 19 inches
American Kestrel9-12 inches

The Large Birds in Florida

1. Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane
  • Scientific name: Grus Americana
  • Length: 52-56 inches
  • Wingspan: 7.5 to 8 feet 

The Whooping Crane is a really tall bird, standing about as high as a grown-up person. It has snowy white feathers with black wingtips and a red patch on its head.

These birds are super rare and special because they are getting extinct. They live in marshy areas and spend their time looking for food like insects. Whooping Cranes make loud calls. 

2. Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey
  • Scientific name: Meleagris gallopavo
  • Length: 43.3 – 45.3 inches
  • Wingspan:  4.5 to 5.5 feet

The Wild Turkey is a big bird with dark feathers and a fan-shaped tail. They roam in forests. They prefer to stay away from busy places. These birds are famous for their gobbling sounds.They mainly eat nuts, seeds, insects, and plants found on the ground. 

3. Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
  • Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Length: 34-43 inches 
  • Wingspan:  6 to 7.5 feet 

The Bald Eagle is a really big bird with white feathers on its head and tail. Which makes it look bald. It has dark brown feathers on its body.

This bird is a symbol of strength and freedom in the United States. Bald Eagles live near water, like lakes or rivers, where they can find fish to eat. 

4. Anhinga

  • Scientific name: Anhinga anhinga
  • Length: 35 to 47 inches 
  • Wingspan: 3.5 to 4 feet 

The Anhinga is a bird that really enjoys swimming and diving in the water. It has a long neck and tail that remind some people of a turkey.

Anhingas have black feathers and a sharp beak they use to catch fish underwater. These birds are good at hunting. And using their pointy beaks to catch fish. 

5. Wood Stork

Wood Stork
  • Scientific name: Mycteria americana
  • Length: 33.5-45.3 inches
  • Wingspan:  5.5 to 6.5 feet

The wood stork is a big bird that wades in Florida. It is the only stork often seen in the United States. You can spot them easily because they have bare, dark grey heads.

These storks like to be together in groups. And they look for food in flocks. They make their homes in large groups called rookeries.

6. Turkey Vulture

 Turkey Vulture
  • Scientific name: Carthartes aura
  • Length: 25 to 32 inches
  • Wingspan: 5.5 to 6.5 feet

The Turkey Vulture is a big bird with dark feathers and a redhead. They eat things that are already dead, like animals that have passed away.

This might sound a bit yucky, but it’s really helpful for keeping the environment clean. Turkey Vultures play an important role in nature by cleaning up and recycling what’s left behind.

7. American Flamingo

American Flamingo
  • Scientific name: Phonicopterus ruber
  • Length: 20 – 25 inches
  • Wingspan: 4.5 to 5 feet 

The American Flamingo is a tall bird with bright pink feathers and long, skinny legs. You can spot them standing in shallow water on one leg!

They use their curved beaks to scoop up food. These flamingos live in groups called flocks. And are known for their beautiful colour and elegant appearance.

8. Red-tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Scientific name: Buteo jamaicensis
  • Length: 18-26 inches
  • Wingspan: 3.5 to 4.5 feet 

Red-tailed Hawks are big birds that many folks recognize. You might spot them while driving through Florida’s countryside. Their feathers can be lots of different colours, from almost white to nearly black.

So, the way they look doesn’t always help identify them. Check for their special red tail—that’s the key to knowing it’s a Red-tailed Hawk.

9. Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl
  • Scientific name: Bubo scandiacus
  • Length: 20.5-28 inches 
  • Wingspan: 4-5 feet

The Snowy Owl is a big bird with white feathers that help it blend into snowy places. It has bright yellow eyes that stand out against its white face.

Snowy Owls are excellent hunters and catch small creatures. They live in cold places like the Arctic and can fly long distances. These owls are really well adapted to living in icy environments!

10. Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill
  • Scientific name: Plantalea ajaja
  • Length: 28 to 34 inches
  • Wingspan: 4 feet

The Roseate Spoonbill is a unique bird with pink feathers. They have  a funny-looking, spoon-shaped beak. These birds wade in shallow water and small creatures to eat. They live in groups and you can find them in wetlands or marshy areas. 

11. Little Blue Heron

 Little Blue Heron
  • Scientific name: Egretta caerulea
  • Length: 22 to 26 inches
  • Wingspan: 3 to 3.5 feet

The Little Blue Heron is a small bird that loves to fish in the water. It has pretty blue feathers and a long neck. When it stretches out its wings, you can see they’re a mix of blue and black colors.

These herons catch fish and bugs for food and move quietly in the water. When they fly, their wings show off a nice blue color, making them look elegant in the sky.

12. Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara
  • Scientific name: Caracara plancus
  • Length: 20 to 25 inches
  • Wingspan: 3.9 to 4.3 feet

The Crested Caracara is a bird that’s a bit like an eagle. It’s not huge and has black feathers with a white neck and head. These birds live in open places like fields. And eat things like small animals and bugs. They fly around with their wings wide open, looking really cool as they hunt for food.

13. Limpkin

  • Scientific name: Aramus guarauna
  • Length: 40 to 42 inches
  • Wingspan: 3.3 to 3.5 feet

The Limpkin is a special bird with brown feathers and a long, curved beak that’s shaped like a big curve. It’s kind of like a mix of a heron and a crane.

Limpkins really love to eat snails that live in the water. These birds make loud, screechy noises that can be heard all around swampy areas.

14. American White Pelican

American White Pelican
  • Scientific Name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  • Length: 50 to 70 inches
  • Wingspan: 7.9 to 10 feet

The American White Pelican is a big bird with white feathers and a long, big beak. It’s really huge, and when it spreads its wings, they’re one of the widest you’ll see in North America!

These pelicans often hang out in groups and fly smoothly over lakes and rivers. They team up to steer fish into shallow water before catching them. These birds are famous for being beautiful and amazing to watch when they fly together.

15. Red-tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis
  • Length: 18 to 25 inches
  • Wingspan: 3.5 to 4.8 inches

The Red-tailed Hawk is a hunter bird known for its reddish-brown tail feathers. It flies really high up in the sky. It looks for and catches small animals like mice and rabbits using its excellent eyesight and fast flying skills.

16. Osprey

  • Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus
  • Length: 20 to 26 inches
  • Wingspan: 4.2 to 5.9 feet

The Osprey is an awesome bird known for its looks and amazing fishing ability. It has a white head, a dark line across its eyes, and strong wings.

They dive into the water feet-first to grab fish using their sharp claws. These birds are fantastic hunters and like living near rivers, lakes, and the ocean to catch fish!

17. Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's Hawk
  • Scientific Name: Accipiter cooperil
  • Length: 14 to 20 inches
  • Wingspan: 2.2 to 3 feet

The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized bird.They have bluish-grey feathers on their back and reddish stripes on their chest and belly. These hawks are great at flying between trees and bushes to catch small birds like sparrows and doves, which they like to eat the most.

18. Double-crested Cormorant

Double-Crested Cormorant
  • Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax auritus
  • Length: 28 to 35 inches
  • Wingspan: 3.7 to 4 feet

The Double-crested Cormorant is a bird with dark feathers and a long neck. These birds are good at swimming underwater to catch fish. You might spot them sitting near water with their wings wide open, drying their feathers in the sunshine.

19. Barred Owl

Barred Owl
  • Scientific Name: Strix varia
  • Length: 16 to 25 inches
  • Wingspan: 4.1 to 5 feet

The Barred Owl is a nighttime bird with big round eyes and brown stripes on its chest. These owls make a unique hooting sound that you might hear in forests. They hunt when it’s dark, catching small creatures.

20. Mute Swan

Mute Swan
  • Scientific Name: Cygnus olor
  • Length: 55 to 63 inches.
  • Wingspan: 6 to 8 feet

The Mute Swan is a big bird that looks really fancy with its white feathers and an orange bill that has a black bump on it. You can often see them moving smoothly on lakes and ponds. When it’s time to have babies, they make their homes close to the water. 

21. Great Egret

Great Egret
  • Scientific Name: Ardea Alba
  • Length: 31 to 41 inches
  • Wingspan: 4.5 to 5.5 feet

The Great Egret is a tall bird with snowy white feathers, a long neck, and a pointy, yellow beak. You can find them standing in shallow water, looking for fish, frogs, and tiny animals to eat. They move really gracefully and look amazing when they stretch their wings. 

22. Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-Backed Gull
  • Scientific Name: Larus marinus
  • Length: 25 – 31 inches
  • Wingspan: 5.5 to 6.5 feet

The Great Black-backed Gull is a big bird with dark feathers on its back and wings and a white belly. It’s called “Great Black-backed” because of its big black area on its back.

This bird is tough and good at catching food. It looks for fish to eat and searches for scraps of food left by others. These gulls make loud noises and are quite big compared to other birds.

23. Northern Gannet

Northern Gannet
  • Scientific Name: Morus bassanus
  • Length: 35 to 40 inches.
  • Wingspan: 6 to 7 feet.

The Northern Gannet is a big and beautiful seabird. It has a white body with black-tipped wings and a yellowish head. These birds are amazing divers.

They dive from really high up into the water to catch fish. You can usually find them near the coast, especially when they’re having babies. They live in big groups on cliffs during these times.

24. Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl
  • Scientific name: Bubo virginianus
  • Length :  18.1 – 24.8 inches
  • Wingspan : 3.3 to 4.8 feet

The Great Horned Owl is a big owl with fluffy feathers and tufts on its head. It’s a night hunter that has big, bright eyes. That helps it see well in the dark. Great Horned Owls are skilled hunters. Catching small animals like mice, rabbits, and even other birds.

25. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker
  • Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus
  • Length: 16 – 19 inches
  • Wingspan: 2.1 to 2.5 feet

The Pileated Woodpecker is a large bird with a bright red crest on its head. It’s mostly black with white stripes on its face and neck. These birds are really good at making big holes in trees to find bugs to eat. You can hear their loud drumming in the woods, and they often climb trees or fly in a unique way.

26. American Kestrel

American Kestrel
  • Scientific name: Falco sparverius
  • Length: 9-12 inches
  • Wingspan: 1.7 to 2 feet. 

The American Kestrel is a small bird of prey with colourful feathers. These birds are about the size of your hand. They’re really good at catching insects, small animals, and even other birds for their meals. American Kestrels are fantastic flyers, darting around the sky to chase after their food.


Florida has many beautiful birds that bird lovers and nature fans find really exciting. From majestic birds like the Bald Eagle and Red-tailed Hawk to graceful ones like the Roseate Spoonbill and Great Blue Heron, these 26 birds are like special symbols in Florida. It’s super important to protect and take care of them, so future generations can also enjoy their beauty in the Florida sky.

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Dr. Patrick Simon, DVM, is a qualified veterinarian specializing in exotic animals, especially reptiles. He has a master’s degree in zoology and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of California, Davis. He has worked with various reptile owners and rescues for over ten years, providing expert care and advice. He is passionate about educating people about the fascinating world of reptiles and their unique needs.

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