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January Wildlife Notes
Big numbers of birds winter throughout the swamp. You will find Sandhill Crane and Ibis particularly abundant near the junction of Grand and Chesser prairies and in the vicinity of Gannet Lake. Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, and teal can be seen amid the prairies and backwaters. Tree Swallows and American Robins form large flocks, and gray Catbirds disperse among the thickets. Alligators are harder to see but like to sun in the middle of the day.
February Wildlife Notes
The rites of spring start arriving to the swamp. Ospreys begin nesting. You can observe aerial courtship displays of red-tailed hawks. Southern Leopard Frogs can be heard calling. Ferns raise new fiddleheads, early blooming wildflowers, such as Neverwet, Arrowhead and Climbing Heath begin to flower. Wild turkeys seek mates during the latter part of the month.
March Wildlife Notes
Florida Cricket Frogs, Pig Frogs, and Carpenter Frogs join the choruses of Southern Leopard Frogs. Common Yellowthroats and Red-winged Blackbirds can be heard singing. Pond Cypress begin to get their leaves back. Wildflowers begin to bloom as the prairies fill with golden club, bladderworts, Hurrah Bush, Titi, Hatpins, and pawpaws. Alligators and aquatic turtles can be seen in bigger numbers sunning on exposed banks and logs.
April Wildlife Notes
Land bird activity and variety increase as incoming migrants join residents. Sandhill crane chicks are hatching and ospreys are seen feeding their young in their high bulky nests. Alligators bellow territorial warnings as mating begins. Orchids, Pitcher Plants, Grass Pink, Fragrant Water Lily, Spatterdock, and Virginia Sweetspire are in bloom. Swallowtail butterflies visit the blossoms of wild irises.
May Wildlife Notes
Many aquatic turtles are laying eggs, raccoons are just as rapidly digging up and eating the eggs. Wading birds become more conspicuous, common Nighthawks perform aerial displays. Warmouth perch fishing is improving. Pine woods Treefrogs and Little Grass Frogs can be heard calling. Watershield, Arrow Arum, and pitcher plants are in bloom. Newborn fawns appear.
June Wildlife Notes
Chorus, green tree, pig, carpenter and over a dozen other species of frogs are heard during the evenings. White Water-lilies and sweet-bay flowers bloom. Good bream fishing.
July Wildlife Notes
Young herons, egrets and ibis, now fully fledged, leave the rookeries. Wood storks are observed feeding in the prairies. Red-headed woodpeckers and pine warblers are seen in pine forest uplands. Deer are best viewed in the early morning; the bucks are showing their new sets of velvet-covered antlers.
August Wildlife Notes
Small flocks of blue-winged teal arrive. Alligator nests hatch and the young alligators may be heard "clucking" to their mother. Nighthawks and chuck-will's widow frequent the evening sky, scooping insects from the air.
September Wildlife Notes
Fall migration begins as many different warblers move through the area. Fall fishing improves as daytime temperatures lower.
October Wildlife Notes
Black bears are active, feeding on acorns, nuts and berries. Marsh hawks are seen gliding low over the prairies.
November Wildlife Notes
Robins and migrating greater sandhill cranes arrive with the cool weather. Watch for the occasional bald eagle, migrating through the swamp to Florida wintering sites. With cool weather comes the traditional fall color change. Cypress needles turn a golden brown, and sweetgum leaves glow a reddish hue before tumbling to the ground.
December Wildlife Notes
Otters are seen swimming in the lakes and boat trails as alligators become less active. Wading birds are prominent as they forage amid the prairies. Wood Ducks and teal can be seen throughout the swamp.