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Wildlife Activities by Month

Florida's Protected Species
Florida's Saltwater Fisheries
Hunter Safety Course
Florida Hunting Regulations & Seasons
Freshwater Fishing Guide
Wildlife Updates & Happenings
Florida's Protected Species
Saltwater Fishing
Hunter Safety Course
Hunting in Florida
Freshwater Fishing
Wildlife Updates


Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | August | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec


January

  • Nesting activity begins for ospreys, sandhill cranes, some herons and egrets, and Black Vultures.
  • Deer reach the peak of the rutting season in north Florida.
  • Gray foxes, bobcats, and raccoons begin courtship and breeding this month.
  • Look for red-tailed hawks perched in trees and on billboards along interstates.
  • Huge clouds of tree swallows should be visible around sunset roosting over large marsh areas.
  • Cedar waxwings and robins are eating fruits such as holly berries.
  • Male cardinals begin territorial singing later in the month.
  • Early returning purple martins can be seen in South Florida.
  • Put your old Christmas tree to good use - start a brush pile near your bird feeder. Not only will it provide good year-round cover for birds, but it will also take up a lot less space in your county land fill.
  • General gun season for antlered deer and wild hogs (only where they are established as a game animal).
  • Turkey (only bearded turkeys or gobblers) season.
  • Quail and Squirrel season.
  • Dove season.
  • Crow season.
  • Waterfowl and coot season.
  • Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day Only children under 16 may hunt. They must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.
    Up

February

  • Early Purple Martin scouts will start to appear in Florida this month. Now is the time to raise houses or gourds.
  • Screech Owls begin nesting in the central region of the state.
  • South Florida should start seeing Wild Turkey and Quail breeding activity.
  • Magnificent Frigatebirds begin nesting in mangroves in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.
  • American Swallow-tailed Kites return to Florida from South American wintering areas.
  • Woodcocks begin courtship behavior in north Florida. Listen at dusk for their "peenting" in open fields.
  • Ospreys will begin nesting in north Florida.
  • Pileated Woodpeckers begin their mating season and will start announcing territories by drumming on various objects including houses and telephone poles.
  • Others who are beginning their nesting season include: Little Blue and Tri-colored Herons, Wood and Mottled Ducks, and Snail Kites.
  • Purple Finches and Pine Siskins will leave our feeders and begin their migration back to northern nesting areas.
  • Alligator Snapping Turtles will start mating this month, with nesting activity throughout the spring.
  • Eastern Moles are breeding this month in tunnels under our lawns.
  • Pocket Gophers begin their spring breeding season.
  • Striped Skunks begin their breeding season.
  • Quail and Gray Squirrel hunting season is still open.
  • Antlered Deer and Wild Hog general gun season in the Northwest Zone (Panhandle).
  • Special archery and muzzleloading for Deer in the Northwest Zone (Panhandle).
  • Shad spawing occuring in rivers.
    Up

March

  • Frogs and toads move to ponds, streams, and ditches to breed during rainy nights.
  • Gulf of Mexico Sturgeon migrate into the coastal rivers late Febuary through early March of their spawning season.
  • Largemouth bass spawn throughout central Florida.
  • White bass run up the Ochlockonee River above Lake Talquin.
  • Many birds begin nesting.
  • Snakes and other reptiles are more active and likely to be seen in yards and gardens.
  • Wild turkey and quail begin breeding in central and north Florida.
  • Mangrove cuckoos return to the Keys.
  • Summer tanagers and great-crested flycatchers arrive to breed.
  • Swallow-tailed kites can be seen in significant numbers throughout the south Florida wetlands.
  • Listen for newly-returned chuck-will's-widows calling after sunset.
  • Hummingbirds return.
  • Woodpeckers begin announcing their territories by drumming on loud objects.
  • Litters of raccoons, bobcat, and armadillos are being born.
  • Last chance to see manatee concentrations in various springs this winter.
  • Quail and gray squirrel hunting season.
  • Spring turkey season.
  • Purple martins begin nesting.
    Up

April

  • Black bears begin moving after winter's inactivity.
  • Long-tailed weasels, minks, and river otters will be born April through May.
  • Endangered gray bats return to Florida caves to raise young.
  • Sooty terns take over Dry Tortugas for nesting.
  • Bobwhite quail nest now through September.
  • Migrant warblers concentrate on coasts.
  • Mississippi kites return.
  • Great-crested flycatchers return. They use shedded snake skin in their nests.
  • Watch for hummingbirds feeding on blooms of columbine, buckeye, and feeders.
  • Pine barrens treefrogs begin calling.
  • Carolina anoles breed - red dulap.
  • Most Florida snakes begin mating rituals.
  • Beginning of sea turtle nesting season on Florida beaches.
  • Largemouth bass move into shallow water in Lake Talquin.
  • Plant extra parsley for black swallowtail butterfly larvae to eat.
  • Spring turkey season ends.
  • Endangered Re-cockaded Woodpeckers are year-round resident and nest in living pine tree cavitites from April to June.
  • Tarpon enter inshore waters to feed before spawning from April to June.
  • Common Snook spawning season begins and runs until October.
    Up

May

  • Least terns and snowy plovers nest on beaches and flat rooftops.
  • The last of the cedar waxwings and goldfinches head for their northern breeding grounds.
  • Painted buntings nest through summer in northeast Florida.
  • Brown pelican and white ibis young are now visible in nests.
  • Crocodile nesting begins in Southwest Florida.
  • Courtship ritual of adult alligators begins, noted by the loud and resounding bellows and water slapping. Continues through June.
  • Loggerhead and green sea turtles begin nighttime nesting on sandy beaches.
  • Soft-shell and alligator snapping turtles complete egg laying.
  • Gray bats congregate at maternity caves now through mid-July.
  • Bluegill begin to bed during full moon.
  • Flathead catfish congregate below Jim Woodruff Dam, Apalachicola River.
  • Peak flight month for Schaus' swallowtail butterfly in the Keys.
  • Mating Season of the invasive Love Bug species begins and lasts until September.
    Up

June

  • It is the height of the gopher tortoise breeding season.
  • Red bats and Seminole bats are being born.
  • Southern flying squirrels' breeding season begins.
  • Tarpon spawning begins in June and runs to August.
  • It's breeding season for least terns, oystercatchers, and black skimmers. They nest on islands, undisturbed beaches, and even rooftops when their preferred habitat is unavailable.

Special dates in June

  • June 1, 1952 - first sighting of cattle egrets in Florida.
  • June 14, 1969 - last sighting of ivory-billed woodpeckers in Florida.
    Up

 

July

  • Look for frigate birds flying overhead in south Florida.
  • Shorebirds are nesting on beaches.
  • Listen for Eastern narrowmouth toads ("waaa", like a baying sheep) after heavy rains.
  • Treefrogs are laying eggs which hatch into tadpoles in about 5 days.
  • Alligators and crocodiles will begin to hatch.
  • Armadillos are breeding.
  • Gray squirrels are being born.

Special Date in July

  • July 22, 1982 - First Florida bog frog discovered in a panhandle wetland.
    Up
  • August

    • Black bear cubs are weaning from their mothers.
    • Short-tailed shrews are beginning a second round of breeding for the year.
    • First flocks of blue-winged and green-winged teal arrive to winter on Florida lakes and wetlands.
    • Swallow-tailed kites begin gathering in communal night roosts before migrating.
    • Purple martins and tree swallows begin to gather to migrate south for the winter.
    • Yellow warbler migration begins.
    • Young sea turtles are hatching so watch where you're walking on the beach.
    • Gopher tortoise and turtle eggs are hatching.
    • Indigo snake and other snake eggs are hatching.
      Up

    September

    • Hawk migration begins at St. Joseph Peninsula in Gulf County.
    • Bald eagles return to nest sites and begin courtship.
    • Deer breeding begins in south Florida flatwoods.
    • Gray bats migrate to Alabama caves for winter hibernation.
    • Adult Atlantic and Gulf sturgeon begin fall migration from the Suwannee and Apalachicola Rivers as well other coastal rivers to the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
    • Blue crabs migrate from the shallow panhandle coast to deeper water for the winter.
    • Blue crab "jubilee" also begins along panhandle beaches.
    • Fall Mullet migration to the gulf begins.
      Up

    October

    • Vultures return to the Miami Courthouse and other areas in South Florida (Turkey Vultures, that is).
    • Northeast Florida: Look for migrating Peregrine falcons in natural areas, especially along the coast as they follow shorebird prey.
    • Warbler migration peaks early this month.
    • Monarch butterfly migration nears its peak along Florida's Gulf coast.
    • Sandhill cranes that nested in more northern latitudes move down to join our resident birds.
    • Peak in chimney swift migrations in South Florida.
    • Flatwoods salamanders breed with the first rains of the October.
    • Flying squirrels will be moving into pecan groves as the nuts ripen.
      Up

    November

    • Cedar waxwings come south for the winter. Their flocks can be seen on cedars, hollies, cherry laurels, privet, and other fruit plants.
    • Peak of deer rutting in central and north Florida.
    • Hunting seasons for deer, turkey, quail, and gray squirrel are in full swing.
    • Ornate chorus frogs begin calling.
    • Enthusiasts look for downy, hairy, red-bellied, and red-headed woodpeckers on suet feeders.
    • Bald eagles begin their nesting season. Look for spectacular aerial courtship displays.
    • As water temperatures lower, manatees begin to move to relatively warm waters at springs. Boaters beware of idle speed zones.
      Up

    December

    • Snail kites gather in large south Florida roosts, and nesting activity begins.
    • This is the best time for watching waterfowl on wetlands, lakes, and prairies.
    • Great horned owls and barred owls courting. Listen for them. =)
    • Oscars abundant in Everglades Water Conservation Area canals, taking worms, crickets, and beetle spins.
    • Look for Goldfinches at north Florida feeders.
    • In north Florida, bald eagles start hatching about Christmas day.
    • Shad migration from the ocean to the rivers begins.
      Up

    Popular Links:

    Living With Alligators
    Black Bear
    Breeding Bird Atlas
    Feral Cats Information
    World Fishing Capital
    Florida Birding Trail
    Florida Panther Net
    Manatee Information
    Shark Information

    Youth Camps


    Last Modified:  Friday, December 21, 2007 11:57

 
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