Tosohatchee's large acreage, mix of wetlands and uplands, and location on the St. Johns River, create outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. Don't miss the unpaved Power Line Road, which runs east and west, eventually ending at the St. Johns River. This raised roadbed provides excellent views as it passes through sand cordgrass marshes.
A boardwalk view of wildlife
Vultures perch on the powerline stanchions, while herons, egrets, ibises, limpkins, and wood storks regularly congregate in ditches and wetlands. Raptors such as bald eagles, ospreys, red-shouldered hawks, owls, and kestrels, nest and hunt here. Rails, ducks, and purple gallinules frequent the marsh surrounding the St. Johns River.
Flatwoods on the north and south end of the property are good for brown-headed nuthatches, northern bobwhite, and warblers. Miles of rustic trails offer good opportunities to spot migratory songbirds. White-tailed deer and wild turkey prefer woodland edges or are attracted to clearings.
Swallow-tailed kites are a spring and summer specialty usually spotted in flight over open areas. Autumn and spring blooms in wetlands and roadside ditches attract numerous species of butterflies.
You may request a copy or download or print the Tosohatchee Bird List .
Wildlife Spotlight: Wild Turkey
Commanding respect and admiration, this wild ancestor of the domestic turkey is a highly heralded game bird known for its thundering gobbling call and its spectacular eyesight.
An adult male wild turkey is heavy-bodied and larger than the female. The skin on its featherless head is blue and it has red wattles on its throat and neck, a dark beard on its breast, and dark brown or bronze iridescent feathers. The female is slimmer and duller, lacks the red wattles, and usually does not have a beard. During courtship displays, the male struts, fans out its tail and gobbles. After mating the female builds a nest on the ground by scratching out a shallow depression hidden in taller brush or beneath a shrub, and lines it with grass and dead leaves.
Turkeys are not strong fliers and spend much of their time on the ground, hunting for acorns, seeds, fruits, insects, leaves and small vertebrates. They are wary birds and will run to escape danger or fly to a tree. They prefer open forests and forest edges and, except for the Keys, occur throughout Florida in suitable habitat.
By the early 1900s, wild turkeys suffered major population declines from over-hunting and habitat loss. Through habitat restoration and reintroduction into suitable habitat, the population of wild turkeys has increased. Today, the major threats facing the wild turkey population include the loss of wooded habitat and disease transmission from domestic poultry.