photo of Florida Scrub Jay
Florida Scrub Jay

Look for wading birds along the shores of the lakes and ponds on the Lake Wales Ridge. Nesting pairs of osprey occur at the Lake Placid Scrub tract and the Royce Unit. Bald eagles nest at the Lake Placid Scrub site and the Royce Unit. The threatened Florida scrub-jay is relatively common some of tracts. A 1992-93 survey located 164 scrub jay groups on acquired sites, and 153 additional groups on lands sought for acquisition. Together these lands contain nearly 10 percent of the entire population of jays that still exist in Florida.


Wildlife Spotlight: Sand Skink

photo sand skink
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Sand skink

The presence of the rare sand skink (listed as threatened by both Florida and the U.S.) is best detected by the distinct waving trails it leaves in the sand as it "swims" just below the surface. Slender, shiny and light in color, the sand skink reaches a length of about 5 inches and feeds mainly on beetle larvae and termites. The sand skink is endemic to the sandy ridges of central Florida. Its future is threatened by habitat loss from conversion to agricultural and residential uses and from habitat degradation due to fire exclusion. The sand skink appears to do best in areas free of abundant plant roots, with open canopies, scattered shrubby vegetation, and patches of bare sand.


Lake Wales Ridge Bird List Adobe PDF

FWC Facts:
The spatulate bill of the roseate spoonbill has sensitive nerve endings that help it detect prey, and the shape helps the bird move sediment and catch the prey.

Learn More at AskFWC