Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

1101 Country Club Way S., St Petersburg, 33705
(727) 893-7326
9am to 7pm; closed on Monday

alligator

This superb family friendly preserve has 6 miles of trails and boardwalks, plus lakefront access, hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, upland scrub, freshwater swamp and a freshwater marsh. The Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center has exhibits and an aviary with rehabilitated birds of prey; educational programs and tram tours are offered (call for details). Bird and butterfly checklists can be picked up at the center, including a special one just for kids. A free birding walk leaves the library at 8am on the first Saturday of each month. The preserve supports more than 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, including Gopher Tortoise, Florida Box Turtle and Eastern Indigo Snake; young alligators hiding in the lake shallows are a delight for the whole family. More than 60 species of butterflies have been found including Giant Swallowtail, Southern Oak Hairstreak and White Peacock. Year-round, common birds like Green Heron, Osprey, Common Gallinule, Eastern Screech-Owl and Downy Woodpecker are easy to find. Limpkin, Purple Gallinule and King Rail require a little more patience. Over 20 species of wood-warbler have been recorded during spring and fall migration including Kentucky, Cerulean, Blackburnian, Bay-breasted and Wilson’s. Rarities such as Long-tailed Duck, Groove-billed Ani, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Nashville Warbler and Lark Sparrow have also been recorded.

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