Birds of Florida’s Gulf Coast

7 Days - Bonita Springs, Florida
Mar 9 - Mar 15, 2023
Activity Level
Skill Level
All Levels


Registration deadline: January 30, 2023

Only 1 Seats Left

Pay a deposit of $1,000.00 per item

They say birds of a feather flock together, and that sentiment certainly holds true for Florida’s Gulf Coast where countless winged creatures call home.  Join former Florida resident, photographer, and author of “Everglades: A Photographic Destination”,  Beth Ruggiero-York, as she guides you to locations along the Gulf Coast to visit rookeries, wetlands, sanctuaries, preserves, and the Everglades to photograph birds, birds, and more birds.


During this workshop, you will visit the best birding locations in the entire region from the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, Venice Area Audobon Rookery, Corkscrew Swamp Audobon Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, the Big Cypress National Preserve, Tigertail Beach, Myakka River State Par, and much more.  Each day you will have an opportunity to capture dozens of species of birds from egrets, burrowing owls, barred owls, herons, Roseate spoonbill to a variety of wading birds, songbirds, and raptors.  Of course, we may also find other wildlife during our travels like alligators, otters, and turtles.


So if you enjoy photographing our feathered friends, this workshop is for you.  Sign up early as the last trip sold out in just a few weeks.

Workshop includes:

  • 6 nights single occupancy lodging*
  • Round trip transportation from Bonita Springs
  • Water, snacks, one picnic lunch, and farewell dinner
  • Entrance fees and permits
  • Everglade Boat excursion
  • Copy of Everglades, a Photographic Destination by Beth Ruggiero-York
  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • Infield instruction and critiques
  • Post-workshop critiques

*Double occupancy deduction available for couples or traveling companions.  Please note on your registration.

Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change depending on weather and lighting conditions in the hopes of giving you the best opportunities possible.


Day 1 – Thursday, March 9, 2023

  • Participants are to arrive in Ft. Myers, Florida, and transfer to the hotel in Bonita Springs no later than 3:00 pm.
  • After getting settled, the group will head out for our first shoot at Naples Pier, where we will photograph the pelicans diving into the water for fish.
  • Following our sunset shoot, we will have dinner and return to the hotel.

Day 2 – Friday, March 10, 2023

  • Our first full day will start early with a departure for Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk to photograph snowy egrets, osprey, alligators, and other birds in a classic Florida swamp setting. Afterward, we will head to Big Cypress National Preserve to travel the 17-mile scenic drive along Turner River/Wagonwheel/Birdon Road to photograph birds, shimmering reflections, and sunning alligators.
  • Mid-day we will stop for lunch and continue photographing birds and landscapes in the area.
  • Late in the afternoon, we will drive to Everglades National Park to enjoy a boat ride on Chokoloskee Bay in the Ten Thousand Islands area of Everglades National Park to photograph alligators and birds nesting on the tiny islands and rookeries at sunset.
  • Return to the hotel and break for dinner.

Day 3 – Saturday, March 11, 2023

  • Day 3 begins with a drive to Cape Coral to photograph the burrowing owls in the morning as they emerge from their burrows.
  • Then we will be off to Sanibel Island, starting at Pond Apple Trail and then continuing to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to photograph birds.
  • After a break for lunch, our group will return to the hotel for rest and downloading images.
  • Late in the afternoon, we will reconvene for a sunset shoot at Bunche Beach Preserve.
  • Return to hotel and break for dinner.

Day 4  – Sunday, March 12, 2023

  • Our morning will begin at the Corkscrew Audobon Sanctuary where we will photograph a wide variety of bird species before returning to the hotel to download images.
  • After a lunch break, our group will convene in the meeting room to hold an image critique and instruction on post-processing.
  • Late in the day, we will head out Tigertail Beach Park on Marco Island to photograph many varieties of shorebirds at sunset
  • Return to hotel
  • Break for dinner.

Day 5 – Monday, March 13, 2023

  • Today we will enjoy a leisurely morning.
  • After lunch, we will head out to Myakka River State Park to photograph throughout the afternoon.
  • Then it is on to the Venice Rookery (an Audobon site) to photograph the birds returning to the rookery for the night at sunset.
  • Return to hotel.
  • Break for Dinner.

Day 6 – Tuesday, March 14, 2023

  • Our last morning will take us to Lovers Key State Park for morning photography of shore birds.
  • Back to the hotel to download images.
  • Break for lunch followed by our last critique session
  • Then our group will enjoy a farewell dinner before turning in for the evening.
  • Workshop ends.

Day 7 – Wednesday, March 15, 2023

  • Participants depart for home.


Physical Rating:  Easy

This workshop involves minimal hiking.  Most walks will be on boardwalks, flat trails, or sandy beaches. You must be able to navigate getting into and out of our tour boats and be comfortable being out on the water for up to 4 hours.

Workshop Lodging:

La Quinta By Wyndham Bonita Springs No. Naples
28600 Trails Edge Blvd
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

For this workshop, we will be based at the LaQuinta in Bonita Springs for six nights.  Should you wish to arrive prior to March 9th or stay after the workshop is over, you may contact the hotel directly to make those reservations.


Beth Ruggiero-York



If you are concerned about the possibility of canceling your trip we urge you to protect your workshop investment and purchase travel insurance.  We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel insurance plan with a “Cancel for Any Reason” option. Many guests have last-minute injuries, emergencies, or life changes that can disrupt their plans only to wish they had a way to recoup their lost expenses.


There are a number of reputable companies that provide Travel Insurance.  For a listing of providers, you can visit  AHPS has worked with TravelEx Insurance Services over the years and has found them to be reputable and offer comprehensive plans at competitive prices.  For more information visit or contact them at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20


  • If you must cancel your reservation 120 days or more before your trip, you must notify us in writing. After we receive your written cancelation at, you will be refunded any amount you have paid less the non-refundable $250 processing fee.
  • If your cancelation occurs between 90-119 days before your workshop departure, Arizona Highways PhotoScapes will issue a credit voucher for the fees paid that can be used toward a future workshop within 18 months of cancelation.
  • Should you cancel less than 90 days prior to your trip, no refunds will be made and you will forfeit any funds paid to Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.*

* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less a $250 processing fee.


This cancelation policy applies in every situation and there will be no exceptions made for any reason. We will not issue refunds for cancelations due to illness or late arrivals due to travel delays.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel or change any workshop if our minimum enrollment is not met or if situations beyond our control arise that may create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions.  Any cancelation or postponement as a result of situations beyond our control, AHPS does not promise any refunds or credits.  If and when feasible, we will attempt to reschedule the workshop at a later date.  Alternatively, we may decide to issue you credit for a future workshop, or issue a refund, less any non-refundable deposits we have paid to workshop providers on your behalf.


Please note that AHPS is not liable for any additional participant expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.   If final payments are not received by 70 days prior to your workshop, your registration is subject to forfeiture including all fees paid to date.


If registering within 90 days of your workshop, full payment is due at the time of registration.