[Learn more about Box-R's wildlife at the Wildlife
With its mixture of uplands and aquatic habitats,
Box-R attracts diverse and abundant resident and migratory
wildlife. Expect rails, shorebirds and wading birds in the tidal
freshwater marshes, while surrounding pine uplands host
brown-headed nuthatches, eastern towhees, pine warblers,
red-bellied, downy and pileated woodpeckers, southeastern American
kestrels, and Bachman's sparrows. Bald eagles, ospreys and
swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites are common in the area.
Northern Parula Warbler
During spring and fall migrations, check for
neo-tropical songbirds in the hammocks and bottomland hardwoods.
Wood ducks (and other waterfowl), red-shouldered hawks, barred
owls, Acadian flycatchers, as well as northern parula and
Swainson's, prothonotary, yellow-throated, and hooded warblers
favor floodplain swamp habitats.
Boaters may spot alligators, otters and a variety
of turtle species. Box-R's uplands are home to white-tailed deer,
wild turkey, feral hog, raccoon and opossum are common.
Wildlife Spotlight: Mourning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Mourning Dove
The mourning dove, the most widespread and abundant
game bird in North America, is found from southern Canada,
throughout the United States to Central America and the Caribbean.
Throughout its range, the mourning dove prefers open habitats, such
as open woods, deserts and forest edges, and has adapted well to
cities and suburbs, pastures, cultivated fields and other altered
landscapes. In Florida, the species is commonly spotted year-round
on backyard bird feeders and in a wide variety of habitat types.
The population increases in the winter with the influx of northern
The mourning dove has a small head, a gray-brown
body, and a long, pointed tail with white outer edges. Overall, it
has a distinctive streamlined silhouette. Its common name refers to
its characteristic mournful hooting song. The mourning dove is a
seed eater and feeds mostly on the ground. When nesting, females
lay two eggs in a flimsy nest built of twigs, pine needles or grass
stems placed on a horizontal branch of a tree or shrub. Several
broods are raised each season. Mourning doves are attentive
parents, incubating the eggs in shifts so that they are rarely
Other members of the pigeon and dove family native
to Florida include the rare white-crowned pigeon and the small and
stocky common ground-dove. The white-winged dove, Eurasian
collared-dove, rock dove (the familiar "city pigeon"), and ringed
turtle-dove are non-natives found in Florida. The Eurasian
collared-dove has spread throughout Florida and is rapidly
colonizing North America. This introduced species is slightly
larger and heavier than the mourning dove and has a distinct black
line, or collar, across the back of its neck.