Ospreys are expert anglers in both saltwater and freshwater habitats.

The area’s outstanding wildlife habitats, including floodplain forest, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods, support significant populations of both rare and common wildlife. The Apalachicola ecosystem supports the highest diversity of amphibians and reptiles in North America, north of Mexico, as well as the greatest number of freshwater fish species in Florida.

Apalachicola River Bird List PDF
Wildlife Viewing Tips

From the wildlife viewing tower at Sand Beach, you might see bald eagles External Website, osprey External Website, waterfowl, wading birds, brown pelicans External Website, red-shouldered hawks External Website, northern harrier External Website, red-bellied woodpeckers External Website, pileated woodpeckers External Website, rails, shore birds, barred owls External Website, swamp sparrows External Website, and marsh wrens External Website. If you walk along the nature trail in the adjacent maritime hammock, you will find neo-tropical birds during spring and fall migrations. More than 280 species of native birds have been spotted.

White ibis in flight

You may also observe deer, raccoons, and opossums along the nature trail. From the pier look for fiddler crabs, blue crabs External Website, alligators, and dolphins in the bay.

During spring and fall migrations, the boat ramp sites and their associated wetland communities are good birding spots. 

Check out other species recorded from Apalachee WMA, or add observations of your own, by visiting the Apalachicola River WMA Nature Trackers project External Website.


Wildlife Spotlight: Apalachicola Kingsnake


© D. Bruce Means

The population of kingsnakes inhabiting the eastern Apalachicola lowlands has fewer and wider light body crossbands than neighboring populations. In an article in Contemporary Herpetology, D. Bruce Means and Kenneth L. Krysko propose that the population “evolved in isolation on a barrier island or the coastal strand of a peninsula during one of the many higher stands of the sea during the Pleistocene.” They argue that light-colored patterns would have conveyed adaptive advantages on sandy coasts. The snakes would be seen less easily by predators and would be less likely to overheat on the bright white sands.

FWC Facts:
There's a lot you can do to view wildlife without ever leaving your home. Bring birds, butterflies and wildlife to your backyard with a few simple steps.

Learn More at AskFWC