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Birds of the Banana River

The Indian River Lagoon is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Florida. For a bird-watching enthusiast, this strikes a chord of excitement. Bird watching tours in Cocoa Beach are some of the most fascinating and captivating tours a nature lover can experience. With Banana River Boat Tours, on our ecotour, you can experience some of these birds on the Banana River.

Nature Blog featuring the bird

Identifying Birds

The easiest way to identify what bird you see is by looking at the bird’s size and shape. For example, large, long-necked birds like pelicans and herons typically fish in shallow water. Smaller, round-headed birds like kingfishers dive for their food under the surface of the water.

Wading Birds

Wading birds are larger birds that wade through the water, often up to their bellies. When touring the Banana River, visitors often spot:


  • Blue Herons
  • Tri-colored Herons
  • Snowy Egrets
  • White Ibis 

These birds are fascinating to watch, especially when hunting for small fish and crustaceans. The herons often stalk their prey by standing still in the water with just their necks moving back and forth until they strike.

You'll see many different birds when visiting an estuary system.

Shore Birds

Shorebirds are a diverse group of birds that live near the water’s edge. They can be seen walking around on the mudflats or wading in the shallows. Some common shorebirds in the Banana River area include:




  • Laughing Gull
  • Willet
  • Sanderling
  • Turnstone
  • Royal Tern
  • Cormorant
  • Brown Pelican
  • Ring-billed Gull


Shorebirds are known for sprinting on the mudflats to catch prey.

Flying Birds

Flying birds are often seen flying overhead but can sometimes be spotted perched on buoys or other structures along the coast. Some common species in the Banana River area include:

  • Osprey (also known as a fish hawk)
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • The Common Moorhen

These are some of the most common birds that can be seen on the Banana River. Keep your eyes peeled, and you’re sure to see some unique wildlife! 

Photo Opportunities

For photographers or photo enthusiasts, a bird watching boat tour is the perfect opportunity  to capture unique pictures of birds in their natural habitat.

Our sunset boat tours offer a captivating canvas for the picture that will  last a lifetime.


Benefits of a River Boat Tour

When it comes to bird watching on the river, there’s no better way to see them than from a boat. An ecotour with Banana River Boat Tours will take you through all the different habitats along the open waters and give you a chance to see birds in their natural environment. Not only that, but our experienced captains can tell you all about the different species that are nearby and can even point out some of their nests.

banana river boat tours

Banana River Boat Tours are one of the best riverboat tours in Central Florida. People travel from all over the US and beyond to experience one of the many tours we have to offer. Our team is committed to providing you with a safe, educational, and fun trip around the Banana River so you can see all of our unique wildlife! We only hold a max of 6 people per boat so you get a more personal experience. 

 Our tours are professionally guided through habitats along the river, including mangroves, salt marsh flats, and lagoons, where there is plenty of opportunity to see wading birds, shorebirds, herons, and more. As we cruise through the southernmost portion of The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, you may also see ospreys diving for fish, dolphins swimming along the river’s edge, or a variety of land animals such as pigs, coyotes, or even an occasional Florida Panther on the shoreline. 

Book With Us Today

For a fun and exciting tour, onboard Banana River Boat Tours, book with us today! Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly trip or an adults-only trip, we can accommodate you.  

Reservations are required for all trips with Banana River Boat Tours. You can call us at 321.759.TOUR (8687) or email for more information or to reserve your seats today.


Cancellation Policy

We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. Should you need to cancel your reservation or change the number of people at your party, please allow us at least 24 hours notice. If you book by phone, we will take your credit card number to hold your seats and confirm your reservation.

If you cancel or change your group size within 24 hours of your scheduled tour time or do not show up for your tour, you will be charged the total price for the tour. When purchasing in advance, we will gladly refund you as long as you cancel or make adjustments to your reservation at least 24 hours before your tour. In the event that we need to cancel your tour due to weather, you will not be charged.

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