Nature

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Owls – Florida’s remarkable nocturnal birds of prey

According to the Florida Audubon Society, Florida is the year-round home to six (6) species of owls and four (4*) occasional visitors such as the striking Snowy Owl. These owls are listed in the Audubon of Florida Checklist of Florida Birds and are the: Barn Owl Barred Owl Burrowing Owl Eastern Screech-Owl Great Horned Owl Short-eared Owl (*exceedingly rare) Flammulated Owl * Long-eared Owl * Northern Saw-whet Owl * Snowy Owl * Each of the species links above will take...

Washington County resident raises alligators in Orange Hill

When one transitions into retirement, typically it’s to enjoy relaxation time. Not so for Washington County resident Chris Ellis. After a career as a Florida Highway patrolman, Ellis took a leap of faith and made an unusual second career choice – raising alligators. For the last 20 years, Ellis’ Orange Hill Gator Farm has been raising alligators for exhibition across the Panhandle for locations such as Gulf World, Zoo World, and Alvin’s Island. With up to a few hundred gators...

Sandhill cranes winter in north Walton County

Winter visitors a welcome sight for local bird lovers For the last several years, migrating sandhill cranes have been spending the winter months in north Walton County in Paxton. Foraging in a wetland area and private pasture near Lake Jackson, more than 24 sandhill cranes spend several months in the area every year. Typically migrating in mid-December and staying until mid-March, the cranes are a welcome sight. With a wingspan of 73 inches and standing more than 41 inches tall,...

Guided kayak tour at Camp Helen State Park Aug. 9

Join Camp Helen State Park on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 9 – 11 a.m. for a leisurely 90-minute paddle on Lake Powell, one of the world’s largest Coastal Dune Lakes. Learn about the history, natural communities and wildlife that make this Outstanding Florida Water so unique and important. This guided kayak tour will be enjoyable for individuals, families and groups. All levels of experience are welcome. Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by...

E.O. Wilson Biophilia Nature Center open to public this summer

The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center will be open on Thursdays and Fridays in June and July. The hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. General admission pricing: $8.00 for an Adult, $5.00 for a Child (3-12) FREE for anyone 2 and under. The Center will also be open for summer day and week camps. For schedule of events available online, go to www.eowilsoncenter.org E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center 4956 State Hwy 20 East Freeport, Florida 32459 850-835-1824...