Staff Spotlight, Jim Morris

Jim, standing in the doorway of the ranger station, smiling at the camera.

Park Ranger, Jim Morris

Blue Springs State Park

Jim Morris (aka Ranger Jim, aka Jim the Birdman) has been a park ranger at Blue Spring State Park for almost 3 years.  He is a strong public speaker and has an infectious passion for ecology and ornithology, the study of birds, which makes him a top-notch environmental interpreter.  Working with our Park Service Specialist he has been involved in much of the educational programming offered here, which allows him to share his passions with the public who may not normally experience these things in their daily lives, and offers the people who come to this park a fun way to reconnect to the natural and cultural resources here at Blue Spring. 

When Jim started working at Blue Spring State Park the bird list we offered to people was in dire need of an update; outdated scientific names, birds on it that shouldn’t be, and birds missing from it that had been documented in the local area.  He took it upon himself to update and improve the list and now it is something we are proud of!  Of the 250+ birds on that list Jim has personally observed 142 species inside the park, including highlights such as Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Mississippi Kite and Merlin.  Don’t just pigeon-hole him as a birder, though!  He has also documented a dozen different snakes (including Eastern Indigo Snake and Florida Worm Snake), dozens of caterpillars, moths, and butterflies and over 30 different fishes.  In the course of his duties he has also developed a greater understanding of land management techniques including prescribed fire.  He repeatedly demonstrates not only his expertise in Florida ecology but his desire to continue to learn.   

Jim works with Florida Park Service because of his strong personal connection to Florida as well as the Park Service from his years of birding one end of this state to the other.  When asked about this he said “I feel like I want to be a part of Florida as more than just a resident.  I want to make a real difference and become an integral part of the fabric that makes up the mosaic of Florida, and the Park Service allows me to do just that.” 

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