St. Augustine Beach Guide to Birding

Florida is a birder's paradise, thanks to its diverse habitat, location on migration routes and abundance of remaining wildlands. More than 470 verified species occur throughout Florida.

This guide provides information on the "Painted Bunting Cluster" birding trail (Map4 of the Great Florida Birding Trail) and includes links to detailed maps and trail guides. Click here for trails on and nearby Anastasia Island.
It's easy to get started in this new vacation "sport". A fascinating birdwatching experience is right here on Anastasia Island.

Birdwatching is FUN for all ages!

The whole family can enjoy birdwatching on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Birding is easy and inexpensive, requiring little equipment, skill or physical fitness.
  • Most birding trail sites offer free entry or have a minimal entrance fee.
  • Loaner optics are available at Gateway sites for use while you are there. The nearest Gateways to St. Augustine Beach is Ft. Clinch State Park, north of Jacksonville and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville.
  • Trail Guides provide detailed directions and tips on how to make birdwatching more rewarding. You can obtain your copy of the Trail Guide for the St. Augustine Beach area at a Gateway site or get instant gratification and download your Trail Guide by clicking here. (Note: this is a PDF file and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. Get your free Acrobat Reader download here.)
  • Some sites are considered "drive-up" where you can just enjoy wildlife viewing from the car.

Anastasia State Park offers several habitats for birding. Wading birds and rails can be found in the salt run. Look for painted buntings and migrating warblers while hiking the maritime hammock trail. On the beach find terns, gulls, sandpipers and plovers. Don't forget to scope just offshore for sea ducks, loons and gannets.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm is located on Anastasia Island less than a mile from Anastasia State Park. Egrets, wood storks and tri-colored herons have long nested above the gator ponds at this site. Boardwalks wind through the rookery, giving an up-close look at adults, chicks and nests. Great for photographers. Breeding peaks April through July.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a short drive from St. Augustine Beach, to the south and offers an abundance of birding opportunities.

Guana River Wildlife Management Area and Guana River State Park are a short drive to the north and offer 12 miles of rustic trails through flatwoods, hammocks, scrub and wetlands.
Birding at these areas include the native shore and wading birds plus peregrine falcon migration, bald headed eagles, ospreys and spoonbills.
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