Published: Dec 23, 2012 9:25 AM EST
Updated: Dec 23, 2012 9:41 AM EST

Fort Myers, Fla. --  Southwest Florida is a birder's dream all year, but it's especially exciting during the winter when dozens of migratory species flock to the area to spend the season or pass through on their way to wintering locations farther south. More than 150 bird species, including many migratory vireos, plovers, sandpipers and warblers, have been documented at Lee County's 2,200-acre preserve on Penzance Boulevard in Fort Myers. Even more birds reside on Sanibel. The refuge on Sanibel provides habitat for more than 220 bird species, including 15 species of migratory shore birds; many non-wading visitors such as white pelicans, waterfowl and warblers can also be seen at the refuge.

Hot off the press, you can check out our News-Press partner Kevin Lollar's latest birding adventures. He had the pleasure of seeing the rare white-tailed kite on his last viewing. http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012312200031

If you're new to birding and want to know where to find flocks of migratory birds, Kevin put together a map of Southwest Florida Birding Hotspots: http://www.news-press.com/article/20121213/ENT13/312130014/0/NEWS01/Map-Up-close-birding-spots-Southwest-Florida?odyssey=nav|head