By Christy Piña
Looking for a way to get your family outdoors more? Birdwatching is a hobby that families of all ages can easily do all together. All you need is a pair of binoculars, a field guide and bird feeders if you would like to attract birds to your own backyard.
According to the Alachua Audubon Society, there are a few prime spots in the area to go birdwatching. Regardless of whether you’re a casual birdwatcher or an intense birder, these spots are ideal for everyone.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Limpkins, wood storks and other specifies of wading bird can be seen at Sweetwater year-round. In the summer, least bitterns and purple gallinules are common. Black-bellied whistling ducks are present almost all year, and blue-winged teals are present all year except for the summer months.
La Chua Trail
In the summer months, great blue heron, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, great horned owl, and more can be found in and around Paynes Prairie.
Bolen Bluff Trail
On this trail, yellow-billed cuckoo, pileated and red-bellied woodpeckers, and orchard oriole can be spotted.
Palm Point, Powers Park, & Owens-Illinois Park
Osprey, bald eagle, yellow-billed cuckoo, barred owl, pileated and red-bellied woodpeckers, and yellow-throated and prothonotary warblers can be found at each of these parks, along with wild turkeys in the surrounding forest.
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Wood thrushes, hooded warblers, eastern wood-pewees, yellow-throated and red-eyed vireos, and a variety of woodpeckers call San Felasco home.
Morningside Nature Center
Head to Morningside to find eastern bluebirds, pine warblers, brown-headed nuthatches, eastern towhees, brown thrashers and northern bobwhites.