The origin of the word Florida perfectly encapsulates the natural beauty of the state. Meaning “Flowery Easter” or “Flowering Easter” after Spain’s spring celebration, it’s obvious that abundant flora and wildlife have called St. Augustine home since the beginning of time. This natural diversity persists today, and the area is still home to a massive ecosystem of wildlife.
It would be impossible to mention St. Augustine FL wildlife watching without highlighting the eclectic selection of aquatic life that can be found in the surrounding waters. Kayak tours, sailboat tours, motorboat tours, and pontoon tours are all at your disposal in the St. Augustine area, each offering unique looks at the aquatic ecosystem. Keep an eye out for bottle nosed dolphins, jellyfish, turtles and more.
St. Augustine Eco Tours offers a Beachcombing Tour that will allow you witness a wide variety of fish and aquatic wildlife. The two-hour adventure will help you identify fiddler crabs, oysters, sea grasses, marine worms, shells, algae, jellyfish, and more. Various other plants and wildlife will also be sought out and identified. Tours can bring up to six people, and cost $275.
There’s no shortage of bird species to be found in St. Augustine either. The region has grown to become a favorite of birders from all over. It’s not uncommon to spot a bald eagle on one of the aforementioned boating tours. However, there are also St. Augustine FL wildlife watching bird tours specifically tailored to those that have binoculars permanently around their neck.
One such tour is offered for free at Fort Matanzas State Park. The two-hour long birding walk is free of charge, and brings you on a trail to witness the diverse ecosystem living inside the park. The tour begins with an informal session on the ethics of bird watching, and even has extra binoculars for the unprepared. It’s worth the beautiful drive down Highway A1A to witness all of the wildlife at Fort Matanzas.
There’s no shortage of other wildlife in St. Augustine. The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine is one such example of the various other wildlife attractions in the region. The Alligator Farm has over 24 species of crocodilians, and has a variety of other reptiles, mammals and birds. The bird rookery is a popular spot for bird watchers. The Zoological Park is considered one of Florida’s oldest continuously run attractions, having opened in 1893. It only takes one visit to figure out why people have been coming back to the Alligator Park for almost 125 years.