Quail by Travis Blunden

Opportunities for bird watching abound. Wading birds are especially prevalent along the edges of freshwater marshes and ponds. Migratory warblers are abundant in March and April and also during fall migration.

The interspersion of vegetation types on Half Moon attracts species that use two or more natural communities, resulting in a rich diversity of terrestrial vertebrates.

 

 

 

 

Scrub Jay
Scrub-Jay

Wildlife Spotlight: Scrub-Jays

Half Moon hosts one of the few remaining populations of federally threatened Florida scrub-jays in Sumter County. Distinguished from the blue jay by lack of a crest, these scrub-jays inhabit Half Moon's scrubby flatwoods, using unimproved roads and fire lanes for foraging and acorn caching in place of the patches of bare sand found in the scrub they typically inhabit.

Biologists survey scrub-jays on calm, clear days beginning one hour after sunrise and ending before the heat of midday. Scrub-jays are attracted by playing a tape recording of territorial calls and scolds, including the female "hiccup" call. A baseline survey conducted on Half Moon in 1990 detected an estimated 15 scrub-jay groups, each consisting of 1-6 birds. Since then, the population appears to be declining but more aggressive habitat management and population monitoring efforts are cause for optimism.

 

Half Moon Bird List PDF
Wildlife Viewing Tips



FWC Facts:
Burrowing owls live as single breeding pairs or in loose colonies consisting of two or more families. Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are active during both day and night.

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