Three Great Birdwatching Spots on Florida’s Space Coast

Swallow-tailed Kite in southern Georgia by gman79.
Swallow-tailed Kite in southern Georgia by gman79.Swallow-tailed Kite in southern Georgia by gman79.

Good news! The annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival kicks off today in Titusville, Florida, east of Orlando.

Read about Space Coast and see it on a map.

Editor Laura Erickson.Editor Laura Erickson.

Now in its 17th year, the festival has become a highlight of every winter, and this year’s event will no doubt be made even better by the presence of Bird watching Editor Laura Erickson, author of our regular column “Attracting Birds”. She will be leading field trips and talking about her big year of conservation that just ended.

Read Laura’s most recent column, on the attraction of ground-feeding sparrows.

ABA President Jeffery A. Gordon, eBird Project co-lead Brian L. Sullivan (one of three contributors to “On the Move,” our regular migration column), master carver Floyd Scholz, and Cape May birdwatchers will add to the fun. Louise Zemaitis and Michael O’Brien. They are programmed to deliver keynotes.

See the before and after maps of “On the Move” showing the migrations of the White-winged Scoter and Common Merganser.

Festival attendees will look for birds in all sorts of area hotspots, including nearby Merritt Island NWR, St. Johns NWR, Viera Wetlands and Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area.

Tosohachee 165x116We especially like Tosohatchee, our hotspot near you #37. Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow-throated, Prairie and Palm – and it’s also a great place for Crested Caracara, Limpkin and Swallow-tailed Kite.

You can learn more about Tosohatchee and two other nearby hotspots here:

Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, Christmas
Hotspot near you #37

A great spot for Crested Caracara, Limpkin, Swallowtail Kite and more, just 20.3 miles (24 minutes) west of Titusville.

Get driving directions from Titusville to Tosohatchee WMA.

Canoe stream 165x116Canoe Creek Road, Osceola County
Hotspot near you No. 150

A 35-mile-long route south of Orlando that makes it easy to spot Anhingas, Limpkins, and other large, specialty birds of the southeast. 55.5 miles (1 hour 0 minutes) from Titusville. According to Jim Burns, the stars of the lake show are the snail kites, relatively recent arrivals in central Florida, and sandhill and whooping cranes, but they are not the only ones. Near Lake Kissimmee, he writes, is the largest concentration of nesting bald eagles this side of Alaska.

See also  Biggest Birds in the World

Driving directions from Titusville to Canoe Creek Road.

Woodruff Lake 165x116Woodruff Lake National Wildlife Refuge, De Leon Springs
Hotspot near you No. 174

Home to wading birds, raptors and songbirds 60.3 miles (1 hour 4 minutes) northwest of Titusville. According to our writer, this is the perfect place for undecided birdwatchers as it has both wetlands and woodland. Swamps and waterways make up the majority of its properties, but it also has pockets of hardwood marshes and pine forests.

Directions from Titusville to Lake Woodruff.

Check out other fun birding events happening in late January.

Where and when to watch eagles in January. And in February.

Check out our calendar of events.