Bring your binoculars!
Northeast Florida’s moderate temperatures, diverse habitats, and migratory route location, make it a popular birding destination. The 2,000-mile Great Florida Birding Trail, designated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is a self-guided trail complete with detailed guide books showing pecies descriptions, directions, and maps of birding opportunity sites.
One of the Trail's designated "gateway" sites is Amelia Island's Fort Clinch State Park. Scan the shoreline of this park for laughing, ring-billed herring, great black-backed gulls, royal terns and other shorebirds. In the spring and summer, stay alert for glimpses of the brilliantly plumaged painted bunting.
Huguenot Memorial Park is another designated Great Florida Birding Trail site where birders are likely to spot gannets, loons, and sea ducks. This park includes a critical nesting area for terns and shorebirds, and often hosts rarities like bar-tailed godwits.
Visit Little Talbot Island in the spring to observe the migratory red knot as it makes its layover stop between Argentina and Canada. Spectators can observe these birds as they feed on surf clams to build up their strength and fat reserves for the final push to reach their breeding grounds up north.
Birders may want to rent a canoe or kayak from Kayak Amelia, in order to view the hundreds of bird species that make their homes in inland salt marshes, which are inaccessible by foot.
Area attractions also offer opportunities to spot rare birds. Take a walk through the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park’s wild rookery or photograph beautiful specimens at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Local Experts | All Blogs
Blogs by Visit Jacksonville
October 20, 2014 10:17 am EDT
Unless you’re an expert on our fine city (and who knows? You might be, it is pretty awesome here) here are some things you probably didn’t know about Jacksonville, Florida.
October 06, 2014 12:17 pm EDT
Summer months have come and gone, but the fun has just begun.
September 23, 2014 12:36 pm EDT
From easy to hard, historic to championship, beach to river – Northeast Florida offers more than 1,200 holes of golf on 70 public and private courses, pristine course conditions, affordable rates, great fall deals and comfortable weather all year.
August 31, 2014 1:14 pm EDT
Music, art, fun, food, beer, sports, adventure, and fun await you in Jacksonville on any given day, and the best part? We guarantee it won’t break your bank!
August 19, 2014 12:47 pm EDT
Some people might call them fish shacks, holes in the wall, dives- but here in Jax we call them Fish Camps!
Blogs by Captain Dave Sipler
August 05, 2014 1:58 pm EDT
July was, and August will be too..... Teeth Month, aboard Capt Dave's Jettywolf. From Barracuda's to Sharks, it's all about "Sport Fishing" for the BIG ONES!
July 10, 2014 3:31 pm EDT
Hello Anglers! Summer has been here for quit a while in N.E. Florida. Most of you don't really care what month the calendar says. As a fisherman, I call it summer when the Spanish Mackerel show up at the inlet. And that happened back in May!
May 29, 2014 5:01 pm EDT
Hello Folks, Captain Dave Sipler here.....I'm going to tell you all about Jacksonville's fishing opportunities every month for the next six months.
Blogs by Gary Sass
November 05, 2014 3:12 pm EST
We call it the “First Coast”, home of the first European settlements and a region steeped in history. Read on for a brief description of some of our local museums and sites which are free or have a nominal fee.
October 10, 2014 2:56 pm EDT
The most spectacular annual air show is right here in Jacksonville.
August 13, 2014 11:05 am EDT
“On location in Jacksonville”, has been part of movie production history for over one hundred years. From the silent movie era to today’s modern films, it is entertaining to watch scenes with Jacksonville in the background.
July 16, 2014 5:24 pm EDT
Where can you find the best volunteer lifeguards in the world? Just go to Jacksonville Beach and look for the iconic white tower (a.k.a. “The Peg”) along the ocean. This is home for the American Red Cross Life Saving Corps.
May 02, 2014 9:17 am EDT
May is a month teeming with excitement in Jacksonville. There are many historical events which happened in May and the weather is optimal for the outdoor celebrations.
Blogs by First Coast Magazine
July 21, 2014 9:32 pm EDT
Almost 100 years ago in a community rich with potato farming tradition, but light on technology, Danny Johns’ great-grandfather pioneered the first horseless farm in Hastings.
July 21, 2014 9:30 pm EDT
Summer is a season for light eating. Dining out, it can be a challenge to find dishes that are both refreshing and satisfying.
July 21, 2014 9:23 pm EDT
A dark-haired boy jumps up and down at the ice cream counter as his mother places the order. Then he presses his face against the glass shield, watching the employee twirl sweet milk on a frozen stainless steel plate.
July 21, 2014 9:18 pm EDT
Intrepid food adventurers or those far from the tastes of home find challenge when selecting a wine to accompany ethnic flavors.
May 29, 2014 4:41 pm EDT
By Nan Kavanaugh, First Coast Magazine
Blogs by Local Expert Guest
June 26, 2014 1:57 pm EDT
I’m thrilled to let all of you theater fans know about some great shows coming up in the FSCJ Artist Series’ 2014-2015 Broadway in Jacksonville Season, sponsored by Chase!