Bird watching season, top 5 places to spot

This time of year, Navarre Beach’s undisturbed natural spaces come to life in new way as feathery residents return for another nesting season.

Black skimmers with their tuxedo-like pattern and oddly elongated, orange beaks have arrived to nest among the sand dunes in Navarre once again, accompanied by tiny least terns.

Further inland migratory and nonmigratory species of songbirds mingle such as among the treetops and grasslands. A variety of birds of prey, including majestic bald eagles and water-diving osprey, are also out in force.

In swamps and coastal waters blue herons slowly and steadily trek the shallows searching for a fish meal.

The Navarre Beach area offers both amateur and seasoned bird watchers a real treat with more than 300 widely varying bird species calling this coastal community and its surrounding woodlands home.

The areas unique biodiversity and mix of ecosystems brings in a wide array of bird species including year-round natives and migrant species.

From the sweeping slow circles of a brown pelican’s 7-foot wingspan to the zipping flaps a tiny ruby-throated hummingbird, bird watchers can expect to see majestic birds of prey, colorful songbirds, waterfowl and coastal birds.

The miles and miles of habitat these birds call home in and near Navarre Beach include stretches of uninterrupted coastline, winding rivers, windswept grasslands, murky swamps, teeming bayous and hushed forests.

On Navarre Beach and within a half hour’s drive are a variety of locations to spot the birds. Some of the best spots include:

  1. Gulf Islands National Seashore, one of longest uninterrupted examples of Florida coastline
  2. Navarre Beach Fishing Pier and Marine Sanctuary, both boast excellent opportunities to not only spot shorebirds but also marine species
  3. Shoreline Park in Gulf Breeze, featuring picnic-friendly water fronts and winding woodland nature trails
  4. Blackwater River State Park, acres of river, woodland trails, pitcher plant swamps and more
  5. Garcon Point Trail, a 1.5-mile trail for spotting

Ready for some birding? Grab a guide book, a pair of binoculars and book your vacation today at

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