THINGS TO DO IN JUPITER – Birdwatching spots
THINGS TO DO – 5 Bird Watching Spots in Jupiter for the Great Backyard Bird Count
If you want to get outdoors, social distance, nurture with nature – be a census taker for birds.
Between Feb. 12 -15, volunteers take a worldwide snapshot for the 24th annual bird count sponsored by the National Audubon Society.
Here in Jupiter, expect to see scrub-jays, roseate spoonbills, pelicans, wood storks, limpkins, sandhill cranes, snail kites, herons, egrets — maybe a bald eagle or two.
Bird watching isn’t just fun. It’s a powerful economic engine.
Bird supply companies – bird houses, bird food, bird-watching equipment, travel — are one of the lucky few businesses to boom during the pandemic.
Studies show birdwatchers spend nearly $41 million annually on trips, bird food, equipment, lodging and transportation.
5 TOP LOCATIONS FOR BIRD WATCHING IN & NEAR JUPITER
Birds abound here at one of the truly wild slices of Jupiter.
TheJupiter Ridge Natural Are, a 270-acre swath of land stretching from US 1 to the Intracoastal, incorporates five native Florida ecosystems (scrub, scrubby flatwoods, mesic flatwoods, depression marsh and mangrove swamp), great hangouts for birds.
For more information, visit Jupiter Ridge Natural Area.
Birders exploring the 569-acre Juno Dunes Natural Area can travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
The ocean-front tract has a great view of the surrounding area atop an ancient sand dune. The west tract has several miles of trails and floating docks to allow boaters access to the site.
There’s a boardwalk through the sawgrass wetland. Bring your binoculars to look from the observation tower. Take a kayak or canoe on the tidal channels.
The natural area is part the Great Florida Bird and Wildlife Trail.
For information, visit Juno Beach Natural Area.
If you enjoy watching woodpeckers, this site is for you; hairy and red-headed ones breed in the park. There’s miles of trails through flatwoods and scrub (ask at the ranger station when you enter the park for Florida scrub-jay locations).
Take a guided motorboat tour on the Loxahatchee River, or rent a canoe. Look for little blue herons, least bitterns and wintering northern waterthrushes. Watch for bald eagles and common nighthawks and wild turkeys.
In 2015 a Smooth-billed Ani was present in the park.
For information, visit Jonathan Dickinson State Park.
Birds love to hang out on these wetlands and streams. There’s a blackwater stream that buffers the northwest fork of the federally-designated Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River.
Spanning both sides of Indiantown Road, the more than 2,000 acres of mesic flatwoods, wet flatwoods, hydric hammock, wet prairie, depression marsh, dome swamp, and blackwater stream provide a breeding spot for birds.
For information, visit Cypress Creek Natural Area.
Sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, limpkins and numerous warblers in migration are regulars.
The one-square-mile park on Indiantown Road also has miles of shaded, crushed shell bicycle paths in Riverbend Park..
Lots of gazebos and maps line the route to make your bird-counting trip a pleasant one.
Kayaks, canoes and bicycles are for rent at Jupiter Outdoor Center. Check out JOC’s guided tours!
For information, visit Riverbend Park.
Check out the Local Leader in Outdoor Activities: Contact Jupiter Outdoor Center at jupiteroutdoorcenter.com