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 Kacie Couch
July 30, 2014 5:02 pm EDT
When you think of a pink bird, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For most people, it would be a flamingo. The flamingo is a very beautiful (and very pink) bird, but it is not a local species to say the least. Lucky for us, we have our own species of pink bird wading in our North Florida waters!
May 29, 2014 4:56 pm EDT
“What a strange looking bird!” exclaimed the bearded man as we looked up at the helicopter flying overhead. It was a beautiful day in July and we were standing outside. I was wearing a sundress that came down to my knees and he was decked out in a woolen long-sleeved uniform. In JULY… In Florida. This was right after he called me a “jezebel,” no less.
Blogs by Gary Sass
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.
April 04, 2014 2:19 pm EDT
One Spark, the World’s Crowdfunding festival, kicks off this year on Wednesday, April 9 for a five-day event. Within the participating 20 square blocks of Downtown, many One Spark venues are historic treasures. Here’s a few to enjoy as you support your favorite creators.
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 Denise M. Reagan
October 22, 2014 12:32 pm EDT
Artists have been working in the realist style for centuries. In this age of technology, what would inspire contemporary painters to embark on the painstaking process of creating art in this style?
October 16, 2014 1:45 pm EDT
A small theater in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood has made a big impact on Jacksonville’s movie tastes.
September 30, 2014 12:05 pm EDT
MOCA Jacksonville ‘Project Atrium’ artist explores the mind’s circuitry in a monumental textile installation
September 22, 2014 2:05 pm EDT
Pick a day and a neighborhood and you’ll find a place to absorb local art.
September 22, 2014 1:58 pm EDT
Jacksonville artist Jason John sets up a working studio at MOCA Jacksonville
Blogs by Void Magazine
September 12, 2014 3:08 pm EDT
According to critics, the most problematic feature of our region is the geographic size of Jacksonville. It’s just a really big city. If you drove from Baldwin in West Jacksonville, all the way to where Atlantic Boulevard dumps you on the ocean, it would take you almost an hour – and you would have never left the city limits of Jacksonville.
September 12, 2014 2:49 pm EDT
Over the past two years, Shad Khan and the leadership of the Jacksonville Jaguars have made extensive efforts to transform the team from relative obscurity (for those outside Duval) into one of the most visible franchises in the league.
July 10, 2014 4:55 pm EDT
Out with the old, in with the bold! Bold Bean Coffee Roasters has just opened its second location in South Jacksonville Beach, ironically where the old Starbucks was located. Bold Bean specializes in handmade, single-origin coffee, espresso beverages, craft beer and a community-orientated atmosphere.
June 10, 2014 5:31 pm EDT
What makes a restaurant romantic? If you’re not sure, you probably ought to ask someone female. When I asked my husband for his suggestions for this article, he said, “Is Guzzle Pipes and Gutty Works open yet?” Having an excellent beer list is not usually high on the list of most women’s romance requirements.
June 02, 2014 12:02 pm EDT
We all love a nice summer night with friends and a cool beer in our hand. This list will be your locally-brewed beer guide for the summer, no matter the occasion.