Great Bird Watching Opportunities in Taylor County
Get out your life lists! In Taylor County, part of Florida's Nature Coast, birders have the opportunity to view numerous species in a variety of habitats. So that you don't spend the majority of your vacation tracking migration patterns, we've compiled a list of some of our best birding spots.
About 25 miles west of Perry is the Hickory Mound Impoundment, part of the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area that is home to green- and blue-winged teals, northern pintails, buffleheads, hooded and red-breasted mergansers, common goldeneyes and many more. Besides the ever-present wading birds, there have also been sightings of bald eagles, ospreys, Mississippi kites and other raptors.
Along the coast, marshlands and sandy flats at Adams Beach provide a home for numerous seaside sparrows and the occasional clapper rail and Wilson's plover. Farther down the coast is Keaton Beach, where you're apt to see a variety of shorebirds in the bay. A good viewing spot is at the public park at the end of the road heading to the beach.
South of Keaton Beach is Hagen's Cove, which has been called one of the "premier shorebird locations on Florida's Gulf Coast." Look for signs on CR 361. The best viewing can be found in the lofty observation tower, which provides spectacular views of the surrounding pine islands, beaches and mud flats. This recreation area abounds with shorebirds and wading birds year-round, including sandpipers, dunlin, whimbrel, reddish egrets, plovers, marbled godwits and many more of our feathered friends.
Forgot your binoculars? Don't let your feathers get ruffled! A variety of birds roost along the Steinhatchee River that are easily seen and identified without the aid of binoculars. You're likely to encounter egrets, blue herons, swallow-tailed kites and many more species up close and personal.