Prairie Bird Loop (long)


While there are no amenities or public access at these unconventional sites, these two driving loops provide a good overview of the county and bird species that may be observed while traveling in rural south-central Florida. Long loop (take this loop if you wish to visit Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park): from SR 70 in Okeechobee, travel 15.3 mi. north on US 441/SR 15/N. Parrot Ave. to CR 724/Eagle Island Rd. Turn left (west) and go 12.1 miles to CR 700A and turn left (south). Go 5.6 mi. to US 98 and turn left (southeast). This road will return you to SR 70 just west of Okeechobee, 14.1 mi. ahead. The loop will take you through the cattle country of Okeechobee County, keep your eyes peeled for Crested Caracaras perched on fence posts, wading birds and migratory shorebirds feeding at the muddy edges of watering holes and Mottled Ducks in the farm ponds. Florida Burrowing Owls and Sandhill Cranes occur in the pastures, and Swallow-tailed Kites circle over the fields and around the hammocks. Remember to respect private property, and as always when birding by car, drive safely and courteously. Mind the road at all times and don’t impede other motorists. Wherever you stop along the road shoulder, please make sure that you and your vehicle stay well out of the way of traffic. A spotting scope is recommended.

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