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Horses under a tree in Jefferson County Florida

From Sea to Tree – Jefferson County Florida is a Birder’s Paradise

By Tami Lewis
Posted: January 23, 2019

Photo of egrets by the Mayhaw Pond at Golden Acres Ranch

In the world of ornithology, the scientific study of birds, I would be considered a birdwatcher since I enjoy watching the wild birds on my property. My sister, however, is considered a birder, or someone who has made a hobby out of bird watching, bird listing or other activities involving bird life.

Since moving to Jefferson County, I have been amazed at the numbers and varieties of birds that visit my own backyard. As birdwatchers go, I enjoy watching the sharp-eyed hawk awaiting his prey, wild turkeys wandering the property, and the unobtrusive egrets hanging out with my horses. Nature offers up a stage at any given moment with astounding performances.

My sister Kathy lives in southern California and has documented and photographed over one hundred fifty varieties of birds in all sorts of habitats. While she doesn’t find these to be notable numbers, I’m impressed. On any given day you can find her out and about with “bins” in hand and her camera gear. Bins are a birder’s term for binoculars.

Fascinated by my feathered friends, I set out to learn more about our local birding “hot spots” and found that the sky is the limit. Whether you’re traveling to a nearby park or local eco-destination, hot spots are sights that share birding locations and information about what birds may be visiting at any given time of year.

Bird Watching in Florida is Second Only to Beach Activities in Popularity

Situated between tropical and temperate regions, the Florida peninsula acts as a migration corridor for a variety of species, making it a birder’s paradise year-round. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, bird watching in the Sunshine State is second only to beach-related activities for outdoor recreation. With the birding trend on the rise, expect to see more people out with their bins.

Recognized as Florida’s Keystone County, Jefferson County is the only county that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the state of Georgia. Encompassing thousands of wooded acres, rolling hills, rivers, lakes, springs and the Gulf of Mexico, literally from sea to tree we are a birder’s paradise.

Whether you’re a birdwatcher or a serious birder, get out your favorite bins, and start the New Year with an avian adventure as I reveal Jefferson County’s hot birding spots in my next article, Travel, For the Birds.