How were these sites selected?
Each o the sites in this guide was originally chosen orits birdwatching characteristics, accessibility and abilityto withstand birder use. This is not to say there aren’tother places to watch birds, rom traditional sites thathave opened since this printing, to nontraditional sitessuch as landlls that did not meet the Trail’s criteria.In other words, keep your eyes peeled! Some o the best birding opportunities are feeting andspontaneous. You never know what you may nd!
Gateway sites provide more extensive Trail-relatedresources, have loaner optics available on-site, and actas hubs o regional birding inormation. The PanhandleSection has two gateways: Big Lagoon State Park(site # 1) in Pensacola and St. Marks National WildlieReuge (site # 72) near St. Marks.The West Florida Section has two gateways: PaynesPrairie Preserve State Park (Gainesville) and FortDe Soto Park (St. Petersburg). Three gateways wereselected or the East Florida Section: Fort Clinch StatePark (Fernandina Beach), Merritt Island National WildlieReuge (Titusville) and Tenoroc Fish ManagementArea (Lakeland). Lastly, the South Florida Section hastwo gateways: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Naples)
City Map City Map
Apalachicola I Laguna Beach GBristol J Marianna F Carrabelle Beach I Mexico Beach HChattahoochee J Milton CChipley F Panama City GCrawordville M Pensacola BCrestview C Port St. Joe HDe Funiak Springs E Quincy KDestin D Sopchoppy MGrayton Beach D St. Marks MGul Beach A Sumatra IGul Breeze B Tallahassee Land Loxahatchee National Wildlie Reuge (BoyntonBeach). Each o these sites has sta on hand to answerquestions about the Birding and Wildlie Trail, kiosks withinormation about the Trail structure and visitor centersoering inormation about birding classes and eventsoccurring across the state. Hop on the Birding andWildlie Trail at a Gateway and get o to a fying start!
Loaner optics are available ree o charge at allGateways, as well as at additional sites as marked in thesite descriptions!When birding and wildlie viewing:Take sunscreen, a hat, water and bug spray.Make reservations in advance or “by-appointmentonly” sites.Check seasonality o the site; are you visiting atthe right time o year?
Wildlife Watching Vocabulary
Some words used in this guide are specic to birdersand wildlie viewers. Bone up on the ollowing lingo soyou’ll blend in at your next birding dinner party!
orested wetland (swamp) usually dominatedby evergreen trees and shrubs.
Birding by ear:
the ability to identiy birds by their songor call.
the interace between two habitat types.
the sudden appearance o large numbers o migratory birds, usually songbirds, as a result o a stormor cold ront.
to look or ood.
a dense group o birds circling in a warm-airthermal to gain altitude (typically raptors in migration).
describes any bird that spends the winterin Florida but breeds elsewhere.
slang or any number o small shorebirds thatorage in mixed focks.
scanning with a spotting scope.
to plunge dramatically in fight, as PeregrineFalcons do when hunting.
a location where birds rest and eed beorecontinuing on their migration.
the line o seaweed and fotsam at the hightide line on beaches.