Traveling to and from the Dry Tortugas, we did some birding along the way in south Florida and the Keys.

On the way down, we stopped in the St. Augustine area to find some Nanday Parakeets (also known as Black-hooded Parakeets). Although many different parrot species can be found in Florida, Nanday Parakeet is one of only a few species that are regarded as having established self-perpetuating breeding populations.
At Canaveral National Seashore, we found some Florida Scrub-Jays, a species that is found only in Florida (although three very similar species are found in the western US).
Florida Scrub-Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay
Blue-winged Teal pair at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Mottled Duck at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Common Gallinule at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Black-necked Stilt at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Roseate Spoonbill at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Black Skimmers near Melbourne.
Black Skimmers
We ventured into urban Miami to find a colony of White-winged Parakeets that nests in ornamental palms at an Ocean Bank building. This is another parrot species that has a self-sustaining population; however their abundance now is much lower than in the past.
White-winged Parakeet
A vain search for Spot-breasted Oriole took us to Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Lauderdale, where I got this almost passable photo of a Worm-eating Warbler.
Another vain search for Spot-breasted Oriole took us to Brewer Park in Coral Gables, where we found the resident flock of Red-masked Parakeets. This species is not thought to have a breeding population, but numbers are sustained through escapes from captivity.
Red-masked Parakeets
Red-masked Parakeet
Thanks to the internet, we got word that a Thick-billed Vireo (another extremely rare West Indian visitor) had been seen at John U Lloyd State Park. The next day we spent 2–3 hours unsuccessfully searching for it, but we did see the very Black-whiskered Vireo with which it had been seen. Black-whiskered Vireo is rather similar to Red-eyed Vireo, except for that black whisker mark. It is a Florida specialty, seldom seen further north.
At Flamingo in Everglades National Park, we succeeded in finding the Shiny Cowbird that was hanging out in a flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds.
In the Flamingo marina, this Manatee was enjoying a stream of water.
While we were in the Dry Tortugas, we got word that a Cuban Vireo had been seen in Key West. The moment the ship docked on our return we made a dash for the park where it had been seen, and we found it. Although this is a common species in Cuba, it has never before been seen outside of Cuba, and thus this sighting caused a great deal of excitement. This is now the rarest bird that I have ever seen in North America, considering that this individual is literally the only one that anyone has ever seen here.
Elsewhere in the Keys, we found some Mangrove Cuckoos, a tropical species that ranges no farther north than the south tip of Florida.
On a return visit to Brewer Park, we had a nice look at a Green Heron.
And we finally caught up with our nemesis bird, Spot-breasted Oriole. This rounded out the set of life birds that I most expected to find on this trip. It's a tropical species that was introduced in the Miami area in the late 1940s and became established.
Spot-breasted Oriole