You may be surprised to learn that Tallahassee is one of the best cities in the United States to watch birds. Really? Florida's state capital, in terms of number of species observed, consistently ranks in the top 10 during Cornell University's annual Great Backyard Bird Count. In 2012 we ranked 7th in the nation with 148 species, true testament to the great birding opportunities our wonderful city provides to residents and visitors alike. So where can I go to watch all these amazing birds?
I have lived in the city now for 8 years and still haven't visited all of the birding sites that are available. In winter I'll explore the many retention ponds in the city, like Lake Elberta on Lake Bradford Road, that provide refuge for wildfowl such as Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Northern Shoveler. In spring, Koucky Park in Indianhead Acres provides food and shelter for northbound Neotropical songbirds. Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Great Crested Flycatchers can be enjoyed in the hot summer months along the shaded trails at Lake Lafayette Heritage Trail Park and fall brings thousands of southbound migrants to the city. Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, my favorite birding site, is excellent for finding many migrant species, including the rare and endangered Cerulean Warbler.