BIRDS AND OTHER WILDLIFE
From Florida Scrub Jays to Bald Eagles, the variety of birds found in Central Florida attracts birders from all over. While there are fewer species seen during the warmer months, we have permanent residents as well as birds who spend their winters here and others who come to the area to breed. In spring and fall, many migrating birds pass through the state on their way to their seasonal homes, stopping here and there for rest, water and food before they continue on.
During the winter, the area hosts a great many warblers, sparrows, finches, raptors, and waterfowl.
The Lake Region Bird Club, which partners with the Lake Region Audubon Society in nearby Winter Haven, has weekly birding outings during the cooler season. The schedule for these is included on our News/Upcoming Events page.
In addition to our feathered friends, the Lake Wales Ridge is also home to Gopher Tortoises, a variety of snakes, skinks, butterflies, and other animals.
The photos shown here were all taken at the Center or in the immediate area, unless otherwise noted. This is just a small sampling of the wildlife of the Ridge.
Left, Swallow-tailed Kites come to this area to breed in spring and early summer.
Right, a Common Ground Dove displays some color. These small doves are year-round residents.
Yellow-throated Warbler (above left) is a winter resident.
Downy Woodpeckers (above right) are here all year long.
Above, a family of Florida Sandhill Cranes -- parents with two nearly grown colts. Year-round residents, they are a sub-species of the migratory Sandhill Cranes who visit here in the winter.
Below, an American Goldfinch, winter resident. They arrive in almost neutral shades of gray-green, and leave with the beginnings of their classic bright yellow breeding-colors.
Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly