Seasons of Wildlife

This list is meant to serve as a guide for general times during the year to view wildlife. Changes in weather, along with many other possible factors, can cause variations in these events below.

  • Spring

    Blue Flag Iris 150x118

    MarchWild turkeys are gobbling. Eagles migrate off refuge. Bass are spawning. Giant Canada geese and wood ducks are nesting. Redbud, crabapple, wild plum, and dogwood bloom.

    AprilGeese goslings and wood duck ducklings are visible. Bullfrogs are croaking. Snakes and turtles become active. Doves begin nesting. Shad are running in river. Turkeys are nesting. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are starting to nest.

    May: Bluegill and catfish are spawning. Cattle egret and heron rookeries are active. Bluebirds and Prothonotary warblers are nesting. Alligators are active. Chuck-wills widows are calling.

  • Summer

    Four Alligators 150x118

    June: Queen Ann's lace and maypops bloom. Turkey and grey squirrel young are visible. White-tailed deer fawns are born. Blackberries are ripe. Bobwhite quail are calling and nesting.

    July: Purple martins leave their nests. Black-eyed Susans and purple cone flowers bloom. White-tailed deer with young are visible. Cattle egret rookery full, cormorants and anhingas on Bluff Lake. Selected lakes are de-watered. 

    August: Teal and shorebirds migrate early. Ironweeds bloom. Wood storks are present and on lakes. Cattle egrets are nesting. Alligators are very visible.

  • Fall

    Cattle Egrets 150x118

    September: Muscadines and fall plums ripen. Shorebirds and broad-winged hawks are migrating. Blue-winged teal pass through.

    October: First appearance of osprey and bald eagles are usually reported. Hickory nuts and acorns are falling. Peak of fall bird migration. Squirrels are barking. Wild persimmons are ripening. Fall colors start to show. Waterfowl impoundments begin flooding.

    November: End of season for flowering plants. Peak of fall colors. Expect killing frost. Woodcock flights arrive from the north. Wintering bald eagles and osprey appear on lakes. Waterfowl numbers build. 

  • Winter

    Lake and Cypress in Fog 150x118

    December: Peak hunting month. Deer are in rut. Late acorns fall. Horned owls being nesting. Bald eagles and osprey are present on lakes.

    January: Bald eagles are nesting and present on lakes. Prescribe burns for wildlife habitats.

    February: Red maples and elms bloom. Bald eagles hatch and can been seen in nests. Black vultures and red-shouldered hawks are nesting. Prescribe burn for habitats continue.

  • Year-round residents

    Flowers 150x118

    White-tailed deer, grey and fox squirrels, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, alligator, beaver, muskrat, nutria, and a variety of other mammals. 

    Resident birds include red-cockaded woodpecker, Canada geese, bobwhite quail, Eastern wild turkey, wood ducks, barred owls, etc. Visit the Refuge bird list.

    Resident snakes include cottonmouth, copperhead, timber and pygmy rattlesnake, grey rat, corn, king, hognose, mud, etc.