Morningside Nature Center

3540 E University Ave., Gainesville, 32641
(352) 334-5067
9am to 430pm; closed on Sunday

swamp

This site features longleaf pine savanna, flatwoods, cypress domes, more than 6 miles of trails, a popular bird blind, educational nature center and living history farm. The bird blind offers good views of common birds like American Goldfinch and Eastern Towhee (patience is rewarded here, bring your camera). Hiking trails offer savanna specialties like Northern Bobwhite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Common Nighthawk, Common Yellowthroat, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Eastern Bluebird. Migratory songbirds such as American Redstart, Ovenbird and Swainson’s Thrush visit during spring and fall. Winter brings Blue-headed Vireo, Tree Swallow, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and numerous sparrows. Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Brown Thrasher and White-eyed Vireo are present all year. This is a good spot for wildflowers (more than 500 plant species occur in the park), butterflies (Gray Hairstreak, Little Metalmark, Henry’s Elfin and Pipevine and Zebra Swallowtails) and other wildlife too including Eastern Box Turtle, and Gopher Tortoise. Call ahead for information about the center’s educational programs and special events.

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