This premier birding site is a gateway with good reason: year-round, there’s always something cool to see. After passing the fee station, the Visitor Center will be on the right, with a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk through a cypress swamp. Pick up a map and ask about educational programs and guided walks before heading out to the boardwalk. Next, head to the trailhead leading to the impoundments. Look for Yellow-breasted Chats, Painted Buntings and Common Yellowthroats skulking in the vegetation. Off the west side of the levees, you’ll see impoundments of increasing depth as you walk south; Limpkins, wintering waterfowl and secretive marsh birds like American Bittern can be found. Smooth-billed Anis have been seen at the refuge in recent years so be sure to ask at the visitor center for more information on their whereabouts. In summer, look for Swallow-tailed Kites, and Snail Kite can be found year-round. Other Florida specialties to look for at the refuge include Wood Stork, Least Bittern, Roseate Spoonbill, Short-tailed Hawk, Purple Gallinule, and Florida Sandhill Crane. Seasonal waterfowl and alligator hunting takes place from the Hillsboro Area entrance; please click here for more information.