Bird Watching at its Best
With a wide range of natural habitats - from salt marsh and mangrove to oak scrub and flatwoods - Pasco County is home to more than 325 species of birds. Pasco is home to 10 stops along the Great Florida Birding Trail, created by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, are right here in Pasco County! Check them out below. Click here for a glimpse of Pasco's famous Anclote River eagles.
Make plans to celebrate the rush of migrating wings north along the Atlantic Flyway over Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando counties during the Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival March 19 2015. The weekend will feature a variety of Birding and Eco Tours, programs, activities and walks at several preserves in the tri-county area, including the coastal areas of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail sites Crews Lake Park, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park on the Pithlachascotee River, and the Withlacoochee State Forest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Chinsegut Conservation Center will host displays and many educational opportunities.
Green Swamp West
This 37,000-acre property safeguards the Green Swamp, which gives rise to the Withlacoochee River, while providing excellent access to upland pasture, sandhills, cypress domes, riverfront and "wildcat swamp." Take a bike ride through this beautiful area and explore all it has to offer.
Address: 13347 Ranch Road, Dade City
Withlacoochee River Park
This park features an observation tower overlooking sandhill bluffs, as well as a small wet prairie and seasonal wetlands. A great place for family birding, with picnic shelters, trails, restrooms and a canoe launch.
Address: 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd. Dade City
Anclote Gulf Park
An extensive fishing pier provides great access to the mudflats and open water to view wintering ducks and feeding shore birds. Expect flyovers from terns and gulls. In winter, watch for loons and horned grebes. Keep an eye out for gray kingbirds throughout the summer!
Address: 2305 Baillies Bluff Rd., Holiday
Anclote River Park
A small park with a gorgeous waterfront worth checking for egrets and black-bellied plovers on the flats and in the shallows of the Anclote River. There are nearby osprey nests as well as, great horned owls.
Address: 1119 Baillies Bluff Rd., Holiday
Key Vista Nature Park
This small nature park provides hiking trails through sand pine uplands, a viewing tower of mud flats where shorebirds feed at low tide, as well as a sandy beach on the south side good for spotting terns and skimmers.
Address: 2700 Baillies Bluff Rd., Holiday
Land O' Lakes
Crews Lake Wilderness Park
A high tower overlooks Crews Lake, where wintering waterfowl like sandpipers, ring-necked ducks and dunlin loaf are known to forage. Sedge wrens call from grassy margins and migratory songbirds like bobolinks exploit the edges between the wetland and oak hammock. According to the Great Florida Birding Trail, a "must see."
Address: 16739 Crews Lake Drive, Spring Hill
New Port Richey
James E. Grey Preserve
This 100-acre park includes a canoe launch and trail along the Cotee River with easy views of an eagle's nest. Look for yellow-crowned night herons and limpkins by the water; migrants like cedar waxwings can be found in the canopy.
Address: Plathe Rd., New Port Richey
Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park
In nice weather, there are bird walks the first Saturday of each month. Loaner optics are available at the nature center. Behind the nature center, take the boardwalk out across the floodplain forest to enjoy the gorgeous views of the Cotee River. While biking through Starkey Park, enjoy some of the best birding views.
Address: 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., New Port Richey
Robert K. Rees Park / Green Key Beach
This peninsular park is a birding gem, with clapper rails, reddish egrets and roseate spoonbills year-round. You can also enjoy wintering shorebirds, marsh and sedge wrens and breeding gray kingbirds.
Address: 4835 Green Key Rd., New Port Richey
Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park
This vast park stretches nearly 3,500 acres along the Gulf of Mexico. Birdwatchers can enjoy sighting raptors, wading birds, shore birds, and migratory songbirds. Monthly bird walks are available.
Address: 8737 US Highway 19 North, Port Richey