Tosohatchee's large acreage, mix of wetlands and
uplands, and location on the St. Johns River, create outstanding
wildlife viewing opportunities. Don't miss the unpaved Power Line
Road, which runs east and west, eventually ending at the St. Johns
River. This raised roadbed provides excellent views as it passes
through sand cordgrass marshes.
A boardwalk view of wildlife
Vultures perch on the powerline stanchions, while
herons, egrets, ibises, limpkins, and wood storks regularly
congregate in ditches and wetlands. Raptors such as bald eagles,
ospreys, red-shouldered hawks, owls, and kestrels, nest and hunt
here. Rails, ducks, and purple gallinules frequent the marsh
surrounding the St. Johns River.
Flatwoods on the north and south end of the
property are good for brown-headed nuthatches, northern bobwhite,
and warblers. Miles of rustic trails offer good opportunities to
spot migratory songbirds. White-tailed deer and wild turkey prefer
woodland edges or are attracted to clearings.
Swallow-tailed kites are a spring and summer
specialty usually spotted in flight over open areas. Autumn and
spring blooms in wetlands and roadside ditches attract numerous
species of butterflies.
You may request a copy or
download or print the Tosohatchee Bird List .
Wildlife Spotlight: Wild
Commanding respect and admiration, this wild
ancestor of the domestic turkey is a highly heralded game bird
known for its thundering gobbling call and its spectacular
An adult male wild turkey is heavy-bodied and
larger than the female. The skin on its featherless head is blue
and it has red wattles on its throat and neck, a dark beard on its
breast, and dark brown or bronze iridescent feathers. The female is
slimmer and duller, lacks the red wattles, and usually does not
have a beard. During courtship displays, the male struts, fans out
its tail and gobbles. After mating the female builds a nest on the
ground by scratching out a shallow depression hidden in taller
brush or beneath a shrub, and lines it with grass and dead
Turkeys are not strong fliers and spend much of
their time on the ground, hunting for acorns, seeds, fruits,
insects, leaves and small vertebrates. They are wary birds and will
run to escape danger or fly to a tree. They prefer open forests and
forest edges and, except for the Keys, occur throughout Florida in
By the early 1900s, wild turkeys suffered major
population declines from over-hunting and habitat loss. Through
habitat restoration and reintroduction into suitable habitat, the
population of wild turkeys has increased. Today, the major threats
facing the wild turkey population include the loss of wooded
habitat and disease transmission from domestic poultry.