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District lands are for the birds (and birders, too)

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From the St. John's River Water Management District

Whether you’re a card-carrying member of the Audubon Society or just an amateur birder smitten with Florida’s diverse bird species, St. Johns River Water Management District lands offer the best opportunities in the state for viewing feathered friends.

We own more than 700,000 acres of land throughout our 18-county jurisdiction as part of our work to protect and preserve water resources. Because the land includes woodlands and wetlands, you’re likely to see everything from bald eagles and pileated woodpeckers to wading birds like wood storks and great blue herons.

Our Lake Apopka North Shore property, for example, is one of the most renowned birding destinations in Florida, with 369 bird species recorded here. Blue Cypress Conservation Area, with its thousands of acres of open marsh, is a prime area for sighting endangered snail kites and bright pink roseate spoonbills.

Before you grab your binoculars and checklist, brush up on your bird identification expertise with our little quiz. Then head to one of our District properties where there’s a good chance of seeing them for yourself! (All the photos in the quiz were taken on District lands).

1.

a. glossy ibis

b. green heron

c. gray heron

d. tri-colored heron

2.

a. anhinga

b. little blue heron

c. Eastern bluebird

d. purple gallinule

3.

a. white heron

b. cattle egret

c. ibis

d. great egret

4.

a. roseate spoonbills

b. flamingos

c. rose-colored herons

d. dusky ibis

5.

a. black-bellied whistling duck

b. mottled duck

c. red-shouldered duck

d. crimson clucking duck

6.

a. wood duck

b. mossy blue duck

c. blue-winged teal duck

d. black scavenger duck

7.

a. multi-hued duck

b. wood duck

c. rainbow duck

d. skittles duck

8.

a. American eagle

b. snail kite

c. swallowtail kite

d. hawk

9.

a. barred owl

b. snowy owl

c. horned owl

d. barn owl

10.

a. Cooper’s hawk

b. red-shouldered hawk

c. Maltese falcon

d. dusky seaside sparrow

Answers:

D — tri-colored heron

B — little blue heron

D — great egret

A — roseate spoonbills

A — black-bellied whistling duck

C — blue-winged teal duck

B — wood duck

B — snail kite

A — barred owl

B — red-shouldered hawk

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