It's all about the birds this week for Trail Tuesday! I watched The Big Year a few days ago, so now I'm in total birding mode. It's an activity that is perfect for individuals, couples and the whole family. Plus, you have the added bonus of getting to explore some pretty amazing places. You'll be having such a good time that you probably won't even notice that you are getting a little bit of excercise, too.
Florida is one of the most productive birding states in the U.S., with a broad range of year-round resident species and tons of visiting migratory birds. Shorebirds, tropicals, wading birds and rare species like the Florida scrub-jay are all on the life list of birders. There are plenty of species to see, and plenty of places to see them!
One area in particular comes to mind – Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands. There are seven sections of the Great Florida Birding Trail in the area, with different habitat types and species to be discovered. On Lemon Bay, visit the Cedar Point Environmental Park and keep an eye and ear out for bald eagles and migrating waterfowl in the winter months. Just outside of Punta Gorda, head over to the 65,000-acre Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area and go birding by car (there's plenty of good roads to drive) while you keep a look out for kingfishers, osprey and endangered Red-cockaded woodpeckers.
There are plenty of other incredible birding locations in the area. Visit the birding page on the Charlotte Harbor and Gulf Islands website for more information. Get out there and have fun!