Last year during the World Digiscopers Meeting, there was an outing to a local birding hotspot in Titusville called Blue Heron Wetlands. We spent a few hours in the afternoon sun and wind, which produced very little. Needless to say, I wasn’t too impressed. That was until I revisited the site last week. In this post, I’ll give tips and suggestions for birding Blue Heron Wetlands. Let us know in the comments if you enjoy and benefit from these posts and what other hotspots you would like to see covered!
Site: Blue Heron Wetlands (aka Blue Heron Water Reclamation Facility and Wetland Area)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 3:30 PM and weekends by appointment
Phone Number: (321) 383-5642
Location: Titusville, Florida (Brevard County) off Rt. 50; within walking distance of most, if not all hotels off I-95 Exit 215.
Habitat: Mostly freshwater marsh and impoundments, which are surrounded by scrub habitat. There is a ~3 mile loop that you can walk, ride, or drive around (see map below).
When to Go: Birding is the most popular in Florida during the winter months, mainly due to the mild weather. If you are planning on walking or biking, winter would be best. Conditions for driving should be fine any time of the year, since you can hang out in the air conditioning and view fauna from the comfort of your car.
Access: You can access Blue Heron Wetlands by foot, bike, or car. Tip: You will likely see more birds if you walk!
Birds: I have only birded Blue Heron Wetlands in January, so I have to rely on eBird reports for the rest of the year. Since the first eBird checklist was submitted, 149 species have been recorded. For the duration of “winter,” one can find waders, ducks (mainly teal), and other waterbirds in abundance. Winter is where species richness is at its max at Blue Heron Wetlands. American Coot, Common Gallinule, Anhinga, Great and Little Blue, Tricolored, and Green Heron offer close looks as well as Great, Snowy, and Cattle Egret. Summer birding is slower, but you never know what will show up unless you’re out looking! Check out the link for the eBird Hotspot for a complete list of species seen and the bar charts for when they occur.