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:
Florida ranks second in the nation for the number of residents who take trips to view wildlife. (1.4 million)

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