WILDLIFE WATCHINGIn the Titusville Florida Area
Hi and Welcome to the Titusville Outdoors Wildlife Watching page. For wildlife viewing, the Titusville area simply cannot be beat. Located within the Atlantic Flyway, and at a latitude where temperate and subtropical climates meet, combined with a variety of habitat types, the Titusville area is a major stop for migratory birds, and due to our almost 1/4 of a million acres of publicly owned and preserved lands, many of these species spend the entire winter with us. Christmas bird counts indicate thet the Titusville area is ranked consistently in the top five nationwide when it comes to bird species diversity.
Inside and just outside of Titusville are opportunities to spot hundreds of species of birds like egrets, herons, lots of ospreys, bald eagles, and the list doesn't stop there. We have resident populations of dolphins, and alligators, the highest manatee population in the state, and many other species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, with thousands of species of insects and plants thrown in for good measure.
Along our coast, Manta rays, dolphins, pelagic bird species, shorebirds, and many other species can be spotted, while each early spring, endangered Northern Right Whales calve offshore and can be occasionally spotted from the coast. In addition, Canaveral National Seashore is one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites on the Eastern Seaboard, used by six species. In fact, Brevard County beaches attract the second largest nesting population of loggerhead turtles in the world.
Habitats available for wildlife watching include oceanic, coastal dunes and seashore, inland salt marsh, wooded wetlands and uplands, and freshwater marsh.
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge immediately to the east of Titusville is a gateway to the Great Florida Birding trail, a system that highlights Florida's greatest birding hotspots. Throughout these pages you'll see the logo at the left, indicating that the particular location associated with it is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Below is a table of our best wildlife viewing sites. The symbols in the right hand column represent the types of wildlife that can be found at each site and a key is provided.
Many of our birding locations are along the Indian River Lagoon shoreline, making them great locations for birdwatching of another kind, Space Shuttle launch viewing. These locations will be marked on the table below by the image at the left.
Photo; Greater Egret at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge by Dean Richard Pettit.
Wildlife Watching KeyThe symbols below for the most part represent groups of birds or other wildlife that can be seen at particular sites based on habitat preferences and not neccessarily on species relationships. For example, even though alligators and otters are not related, they do inhabit the same habitat so on this table, are grouped together.
|Herons, egrets, wood storks, roseate spoonbills, etc.||Willets, plovers, sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, etc||Ducks, coots, grebes, marsh hens, etc.|
|Terns, gulls, etc.||perching birds.||Pelicans, cormorants, anhinga, etc.|
|Eagles, ospreys, hawks, falcons, merlins, kestrels, etc.||West Indian Manatees.||Alligators, aquatic reptiles, otters.|
|Gopher tortises, Indigo snakes, other terrestrial reptiles.||Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins||Loggerhead, green, leatherback, and several other species of sea turtle.|
|Northern Right Whales, pilot whales, manta rays||Bobcat, racoon, armadillo, other terrestrial mammals.||White tailed deer, turkey.|
Type of opportunities
Habitat and species
|Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge|
|Black Point Wildlife Drive||7 mile driving loop around salt marsh|
|Cruickshank Trail||4.5 mile hiking loop accessed from Black Point Wildlife Drive.|
|Oak Hammock Trail||1/2 mile hiking loop|
|Palm Hammock Trail||3 mile hiking loop|
|Scrub Ridge Trail||1 mile hiking loop, Scrub Jay Site|
|Manatee Observation Deck / Haulover Canal||Observation deck, canal shoreline, wooded habitat.|
|Visitors Center Trail||1/4 mile boardwalk|
|Canaveral National Seashore||24 miles of undeveloped seashore to the north|
|Spaceview Park||City park on riverfront, Mangrove habitat along North shore of canal, plus view of river from dock. Great Shuttle launch viewing site.|
|Sandpoint Park||Riverfront park, on the Northeast corner of US-1 and Garden Street just before the Max Brewer Causway|
|Rotary Park||Riverfront park off US1|
|Scobie Park||Park at Astronaut Trail Post Office and walk across street.|
|Max Brewer Causeway / Parrish Park||Easy birdwatching along shoreline west of main bridge, can be done without leaving car. Almost like cheating.|
|Scottsmore Landing||Park on Indian River Lagoon.|
|Blue Heron Wetlands||Driving Tour of reconstructed wetlands|
Enchanted Forest Preserve
closed until construction of visitor's center is complete, about May.
|About 5 miles of hiking trails, visitors center, wheelchair boardwalk, Variety of habitats from wetlands to upland scrub.|
|Wuesthoff Park||hiking trails over wetlands, hammock and sand pine.|
|Fox Lake Park||county park, easy access by car, road alond shoreline with nice view of wetlands and lake habitat. remaining shorelines undeveloped.|
|North Brevard Walking Trails||Short hiking trails through sand pine habitat. Excellent migratory songbird spot for such a small area (6 acres).|
|Buck Lake Conservation Area||10-15 miles of trails|
|Seminole Ranch Conservation Area / Hatbill Park||35 miles of trails|
|Canaveral Marshes Conservation Area||10 miles of trails|
|Tosohatchee State Preserve||30 miles of trails|
|St John's River||Two locations, SR 46 and SR 50, both west of I-95 on St. Johns River and excellent sites for scoping the vast floodplains.|
Hi, First of all, I'd like to thank Lauralee Thompson for all of her help accumilating this information, and for teaching me the subtle differences between a Florida Scrub Jay and an Australian Emu, while all the time forgiving my total ignorance in identifying some of the smaller warblers and such, which I have since taken it upon myself to reclassify into a single species called Minisculis Earthentonus Thingamagigimatus (Little Brown Thingamajig).
Anyway, feel free to email any questions you may have concerning wildlife watching, or any other outdoor subject in the Titusville area,|
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