Wildlife is on the Move in Florida’s Fall and Winter
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Each of Florida’s seasons is characterized by a variety of amazing wildlife activities. Below is a list of some notable native wildlife behaviors occurring in November and December around Florida. This information and more can be found at the following University of Florida website: Wildlife Happenings
- Put out your winter seed and suet feeders
- Look for downy, hairy, red-bellied, and redheaded woodpeckers on suet feeders.
- Cedar waxwings come south for the winter. Their flocks can be seen on cedars, hollies, cherry laurels, privet, and other fruit plants.
- Bald eagles begin their nesting season. Look for spectacular aerial courtship displays.
- Sandhill cranes return in full force from their breeding grounds up north. (Only a small number live here all year round).
- Many yellow-rumped warblers and palm warblers will be in neighborhoods, natural areas, and yards, and gray catbirds have already arrived, and will be skulking (and cat-calling!) in thickets.
- Kinglets, phoebes, robins, and other northern songbirds have arrived for the winter
- Deer rutting intensifies in central and northern Florida.
- Bears are on the move and crossing roads, especially in Central Florida
- As water temperatures lower, manatees begin to move to relatively warm waters at springs. Boaters beware of idle speed zones.
- Look for migrating Hoary and Red Bats in North Florida. Hoary is a large bat with frosted fur.
- Ornate chorus frogs begin calling.
- Spotted sea trout should enter tidal creeks around Thanksgiving.
- Bass congregate around jetties in south end of Lake George.
- The annual Christmas bird count begins mid-December. Visit these websites for more information.
- This is the best time for watching waterfowl on wetlands, lakes, and prairies.
- Great horned owls and barred owls courting. Listen for them.
- Look for Goldfinches at north Florida feeders.
- Yellow-rumped warblers will show-up at feeders if it is cold enough.
- In north Florida, bald eagles start hatching about Christmas day.
- Right whales appear off east coast north of Sebastian Inlet
More of these “happenings” for the calendar year can be found at the UF’s Florida Wildlife Extension Website: Wildlife Happenings. Also at the Wildlife Extension website are a number of interesting resources to learn not only about our native wildlife, but our non-native/invasive wildlife as well. Up to date facts about non-native animals in Florida can be found in the UF/IFAS Invader Updater newsletter.