Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
During the current public health emergency, whenever possible, outdoor recreation sites at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries will remain open to the public. Visitor Centers and other facilities, however, may be closed. Scheduled events may be cancelled. Please follow public health guidelines and avoid congregating. For more information: FWS Coronavirus Response page and call for local conditions.


  • Belted kingfisher / L. Woodward, USFWS

    eBird Observation Entries

    Find out what birds are being seen at the refuge, including the most recent sightings.

    eBird Daily Observations

  • Swallow-tailed kite flying high

    Artful flyer

    The return of these striking beauties, the swallow-tailed kite, is celebrated each spring.

  • Baby bat


    If you hate mosquitoes, you'll love our flying friends! Forty thousand Brazilian free-tailed bats live in the Refuge's giant bat house.

  • Fluorescent pink sunrise behind pines

    Forestry on the Refuge

    Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge was carved out of a pine plantation made of row upon row of non-native pines.

  • Prescribed fire sign posted

    Prescribed Fire

    The Refuge uses rotations of planned strategic fires to replenish the land.

Y'all Stop In!

COVID-19 Response Update

March 24, 2020

The Refuges are open! Please adhere to CDC, State of Florida, and local directives on this pandemic event. Our lands, waters, trails, roads, fishing, turkey hunt season, boardwalks, fishing piers, viewing areas, boat launches, etc. are there for you to safely and responsibly enjoy. As long as we have cleaning supplies, we will maintain the public restrooms. We are all eager to stay healthy and keep others healthy as well. The Refuge is big enough that we can keep a safe distance from each other and enjoy nature's beauty in Spring. The trails and roads are here for you. Come enjoy fishing, see the butterflies and the birds, put your boat in at McCormick Creek, Shellmound, or Shired Island launches. Drive the Nature Drive. Walk down the River Trail to the gazebo and sing a verse of Way Down Upon the Suwannee River. We will miss visiting with you at headquarters; we have had to close the headquarters building and rest room because of Coronavirus precautions. But please, come on out and enjoy the nature-based recreation that the Refuge is known for. Stay well! ~ Andrew (call or text 703.622.3896).

Pre-columbian Settlements


Drone-mounted lasers have revealed details of the architecture of an ancient island settlement off Florida’s Gulf coast, researchers said in a new paper published on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. This settlement comprises 37 residential areas “enclosed by ridges of oyster shell” that are up to 12ft (4m) tall, Barbour and Sassaman said. Test excavations – digging down 3ft to assess the depth of archaeological deposits – of 10 such areas were conducted.

Pre-columbian Settlement

Hunting Permits

White-tailed deer buck

Information on how to purchase a permit: To view the Lower Suawanee NWR hunting regulations . . .

Hunting Regulations

Friends of Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys Refuges

Friends Logo

The mission of the Friends of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges is to provide active advocacy and physical support for the successful stewardship of the Refuges. In order to support this stewardship, the Friends of Lower Suwannee will promote awareness of these refuges, their habitats and their work, assist the scientific conservation and preservation efforts of the refuges, and advocate responsible habitat use. Thus education, volunteering, and advocacy will be the primary activities of this organization. Funds will be generated to accomplish this goal.

Friends of Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys Refuges
Let Us Know What Birds You Are Seeing!

On-line eBird Observation Entries Site

Little grebe juvenile / L. Woodward, USFWS

Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird website Program is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. The link below allows you to set-up an account in eBird to submit your observations. The Refuge appreciates you entering your bird sightings on the eBird online checklist program. For more information about eBird go to:

eBird On-line Program to Submit Observations

About the Complex

North Florida Refuges Complex

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the North Florida Refuges Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS