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"This guide is an excellent reference that will be used by birders of all levels. It offers a wealth of information on the more famous birding areas as well as Florida's hidden jewels."--Roger Clark, National Park Service
This easy-to-follow guidebook spans 18 counties in eastern Florida to showcase 136 birding sites from the Georgia border to Lake Okeechobee, including the Jacksonville and Orlando metropolitan areas. The sites, organized into clusters of five to ten, are all within an hour's drive of one another and are identified on individual as well as regional maps. Each site is described from a birder's point of view and includes directions, hours of operation, seasonal birding opportunities, and other information essential for a successful outing.
Unique to the book are 27 essays written by state experts to round out the reader's understanding of issues specific to species and habitats. The conservation needs of each area, bird-watching ethics, and resources for additional information are also covered.
The Great Florida Birding Trail project, sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, seeks to unify existing and new birding sites on a 2,000-mile trail through the state. It will combine special highway signs identifying Birding Trail sites with a detailed map. The East Florida section, now open and available for use, will be followed by West Florida, Panhandle Florida, and South Florida at intervals of 18 months.
Julie A. Brashears is Birding Trail coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Susan Cerulean is a nature writer and interpretive specialist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.