Seen Around the Strand

Seen Around the Strand

Friends of Fakahatchee: Dedicated to financial and volunteer support to preserve the unique ecology and cultural heritage of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and educate the public about its importance.

Meet Our Residents

People come to Fakahatchee to see what’s rare in our modern world: Wildlife! The remote acres and variety of ecosystems mean that a vast array of creatures are at home here.

Whether you walk the boardwalk, take a tram ride, or venture down the trails, you are sure to see resident amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, and, of course, insects.

Rose Flynn is caught in front of the lens.

Rose Flynn is caught in front of the lens.

2016 Wildlife Blitz!

by Park Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator

It’s that time of year again. Do you like wildlife? Birds? Exotic and native animals? Or just plain love the Fakahatchee? We will be conducting our annual Wildlife Blitz! on the third Wednesday of each month through April of 2016. We need a total of 24 volunteers and a few hours of your time for each month. Whether you would like to volunteer just once or for all the months, your help and time will greatly be appreciated.

The Wildlife Blitz! is a time to come out and enjoy the Fakahatchee, look for wildlife, and just plain soak up nature at its best. Bring a chair and wait for the wildlife to pass you by. It will be two hours sitting along Janes Scenic Drive, with a volunteer stationed every half mile. You may see Black Bear, Florida Panther, Everglades Mink, Bobcat, Gators, Birds and much, much more.

How to Register
Dates are December 16, January 20, February 17, March 16, and April 20. Please email with the date(s) you are available. If you have a preference on your location, please note it in your email. Please contact:

Tom Mosley at Thomas.Mosley@dep.state.fl.us,
Mike Owen at Mike.Owen@dep.state.fl.us,
or WynLyn McBride at WynLyn.McBride@dep.state.fl.us.

Thank you for volunteering!

Where can I find Recent Sightings?

Several paths to Wildlife sightings by volunteers and visitors in the Fakahatchee.

On our Friends of Fakahatchee Facebook page visitors often report remarkable sightings and share wonderful photos and videos of the wildlife that calls Fakahatchee home. Be sure to Follow us!

If you’re an Instagram user, search for #fakahatchee and see the most recent photos. You’re bound to enjoy the bounty of nature shared.

Another way to see wildlife is to volunteer with the Fakahackers or nature interpreters on the tours or the boardwalk. You’ll often see our residents such as Barred Owls, Virginia Opossums, Alligators, Great Egrets, Gray Catbirds or the beautiful Painted Bunting. Overhead you’ll see a variety of bird species depending on time of year, such as Swallow-Tail Kites swooping low over the trees on East Main.

When you have been out ‘in the Fak,’ be sure to report your wildlife sightings, including time of day and location if possible.

Black Crowned Night Heron

Photo of Black Crowned Night Heron by Becky Basford.

The annual Fakahatchee Christmas Bird Count totalled 31 species of birds, such as this Black-Crowned Night Heron. Also found were Bobcat tracks, Florida Black Bear scat that look like chia pets, a Panther scrape, a Leaf-footed Bug, spiders, butterflies as well as mosquitoes too numerous to count. Kathy Hatch said, “It was a pleasant morning to be with friends and look for birds and other wildlife.” She was joined by Dick Brewer and Karen Relish.

See what’s been seen at the Fakahatchee! Enjoy clicking through the slideshow to learn more about our fabulous flora and fauna. 
This Little Metalmark Butterfly, on an Everglades Daisy, is about ¾ of an inch wide. Photo by Becky Basford.
Pair of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) nesting within easy sight of the Boardwalk.  Photo by Leo Reed. A beautiful Julia (<em>Dryas julia</em>) nectaring on a Spanish needle. Photo by Becky Basford. Debbie Owens meets a bear on the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Turkey Vulture in Cypress Tree. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Wading birds feasting south of 41 during the dry-down. Photo by Patrick Higgins. White ibis in cypress tree. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Wood stork. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Roseate spoonbill with snowy egret looking on. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Ibis in red maple at entrance to Janes Scenic Drive. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Glossy Ibis on wet prairie. Photo by Patrick Higgins. A Great Egret hunts in the slough.  Photo by Patrick Higgins. A white pelican from the Western Lakes making a winter visit to the Fakahatchee. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Baby gator. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Immature male Common Yellowthroat. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Limpkin picking through the slough. Photo by Patrick Higgins. Bear on the boardwalk. Photo by Steve Paddon. Bear and tree. Photo by Steve Paddon. Are you my mother? Photo by Rose Flynn Florida Panthers are alive and well in the Fakahatchee, but you must be very persistent, or lucky, to see one. Photo by Stephen Greene. Here's looking at you. Photo by Rose Flynn Also known as Water Moccasin. Photo by Rose Flynn Wary young buck Not a chameleon. Immature Black Crowned Night Heron Fuzzy Wuzzy was an owl. Spread your wings and dry. Stump Snapper
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Florida Panthers are alive and well in the Fakahatchee, but you must be very persistent, or lucky, to see one. Photo by Stephen Greene.