Wildlife Through the Year: December

  • Annual Christmas Bird Count begins mid-month.
  • Buy live Christmas trees for later planting - red cedar, holly and pine are nice.
  • Great horned and barred owls are courting; listen for their hooting.
  • During cold spells, manatees congregate at natural springs and industrial warm water sites.
  • Bears are still on the move. Watch out for them in Lake, Collier, Marion, Highlands, Jefferson, Gulf, Volusia and Hernando counties.
  • Belted kingfishers become more common as winter migrants join resident populations.
  • Right whales appear off east coast north of Sebastian Inlet.
  • Snail kites in south Florida begin courtship this month.
  • Goldfinches are plentiful in north Florida.
  • Nesting season begins for ospreys in south Florida.
  • December and January are best times for watching waterfowl on wetlands, lakes, and prairies.
  • In north Florida, bald eagles start hatching about Christmas day.
  • Opossum breeding now through mid-summer.


FWC Facts:
Ospreys, also known as "fish hawks," are expert anglers that like to hover above the water, locate their prey and then swoop down for the capture with talons extended.

Learn More at AskFWC