Mike Roess - Birding

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The park offers many birding opportunities in a variety of habitats. During the spring and fall migrations, the lush hardwood forest of the ravine attracts many migrating warblers, thrushes, and other songbirds. You can start at the ravine stairway and take the fern loop trail or you can start at the mill site parking lot and take the loblolly loop trail. Take the Florida National Scenic Trail through the longleaf pine forest which features Bachman's sparrow, and can be heard singing all summer long. In the winter, many other sparrows are possible. All year round, if you drive slowly along the main park road you might see wild turkey, bobwhite quail, or raptors like the American kestrel. Around the park's many lakes you might see wading birds, as well as the bald eagle, which has nested in the park every year for many years. Other birds soaring around the lakes and marsh include other raptors such as the northern harrier and the swallow-tailed kite. In the winter, many ducks frequent Little Lake Johnson. If you’re camping in the park at night, listen for the eerie call of the eastern screech owl, or the hoot of the great horned owl. On summer nights, the chuck-will’s-widow’s distinctive call can be heard. Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is a designated part of the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail.

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Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park