St. George Island State Park

St. George Island State Park

St. George Island State Park is regularly rated one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches, but what all the beachgoers don’t realize is that it is one of the best birding sites in all of Florida! In winter, look for Piping Plovers and Bonaparte’s Gulls along the beach and Northern Gannet offshore. Snowy Plovers, Least Terns and American Oystercatchers nest here and Gull-billed Terns cruise the beach in summer. However the park is famous because of the excellent birding it offers during spring and fall migration. The oaks and pines around the youth camp and sugarhills campground provide shelter for migrant birds who have just crossed (spring) or are about to cross (fall) the Gulf of Mexico. Over 30 species of wood-warbler have been recorded including Cerulean and Cape May and on a good day, Indigo Buntings are a common sight. During fallout conditions, the number of migrant songbirds can be spectacular! Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Western Kingbirds are recorded every October and major rarities like Sage Thrasher, Lazuli Bunting and Bullock’s Oriole have been recorded in recent years. In 1999, Florida’s first Snowy Owl was recorded in the park! If you are birding in the Florida Panhandle between September and May, this site is a MUST visit.

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