Seasons of Wildlife


All seasons have something to offer visitors.

  • Spring

    Alligator head

    March & April

    Nesting wading birds and migrating shorebirds can be seen taking advantage of the lower water levels to eat the concentrated fish and invertebrates.

    Alligators can be seen sunning along the creeks and canals. Wood ducks as well as most resident songbirds are nesting. The bald eagle young are ready to leave the nest. 

  • Summer

    manatee and baby

    May & June

    Alligators start nesting and manatees move into the refuge and adjacent waters. Bream fishing improves as they go on the bed(spawn).

    July & August

    Thunderstorms are prevalent. Broods of gallinules and rails can be seen in refuge impoundments. Swallow-tailed kites are active over the refuge creeks and swamps.


    Blue-winged teal are the first ducks to migrate through the refuge. The scheduled archery hunt for deer and hogs is held. 

  • Autumn



    The warbler migration is in progress and hundreds of vultures begin arriving and roost on Tick Island. The black powder hunts for deer and hogs are this month. The maple trees along the waterways begin showing their fall colors.


    Bald eagles begin their nesting. Waterfowl migration is underway with the principal ducks being blue-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and wood ducks. Manatee leave the area for the warm waters of Blue Springs.

  • Winter



    Smoke may be seen from the refuge prescribed burning program that starts this month. The pools are lowered to provide feeding areas for marsh birds and waterfowl. The local Audubon Society conducts the annual Christmas bird count. 

    January & February

    The refuge prescribed burning program is underway. Around the refuge impoundments ibis, herons and otter may be seen. Osprey begin nesting during this period. Refuge waters are opened for year-round fishing.