Birdwatching in Florida's Capital City

by: Andy Wraithmell, Birding and Wildlife Expert

Tallahassee is the perfect home base for exploring the natural wonders of the eastern Panhandle -- St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs and Apalachicola National Forest are all nearby.

Easily accessed along Lighthouse Road, St. Marks offers clouds of winter ducks and enormous alligators. Bitterns and manatees can be spotted on the Wakulla Springs river boat cruise. Apalachicola National Forest is home to more than 1,500 red-cockaded woodpecker families; there is no better place on earth to see this special bird.

In spring and summer, Bachman’s sparrows are a common sight, and the elusive Swainson’s warbler sings from titi trees that form thickets along the forest’s many creeks.

Tallahassee offers miles of canopy roads and large tracts of public green space where white-breasted nuthatches, Mississippi kites and red-headed woodpeckers can be spotted while waiting for a traffic light to change.

During fall migration, Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park attracts cerulean warblers, scarlet tanagers and wood thrushes. Lafayette Heritage Trail Park’s miles of multi-use trails wind through a variety of habitats where purple gallinules, wood storks and bald eagles are just a sample of what you can enjoy.

Occasionally, an unexpected visitor shows up. In 2012, Florida’s first and only Costa’s hummingbird visited a Tallahassee backyard attracting birders from all over the Southeastern U.S. Whether it’s a first-state record, or flocks of hungry, wintering waxwings, we promise you will enjoy our birds and wildlife. So grab your binoculars and camera, and Visit Tallahassee.

Happy Birding!

Andy Wraithmell a Birding and Wildlife Expert from Tallahassee Author:

Andy Wraithmell

Birding and Wildlife Expert


Andy Wraithmell aka Limeybirder was born in Liverpool, England in 1971 and moved to Florida in 2004. He has been an avid birder and naturalist for most of his life and has worked for The National Trust, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Dungeness Bird Observatory, Cape May Bird Observatory and the Florida Park Service. He is a graduate of Bicton College of Agriculture and Florida State University and currently works for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission promoting the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. He lives in Tallahassee with his wonderful wife Julie and daughter Maisie Lark.

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