Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island is considered one of the best wildlife viewing  areas in Florida. More than 300 bird species and 15 federally listed endangered or threatened species occur in the refuge. Several ecosystem types are found on the refuge, including marshes, saltwater lagoons fringed by red mangroves, uplands with palmetto and oak hammocks, and the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon. There are several trails and the Black Point Wildlife Drive, which covers seven miles of the dike surrounding many impoundments and salt marsh and provides excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. There is also an observation tower and a photo blind.

Watchable wildlife:
November brings large numbers of waterfowl, including northern shoveler, American wigeon, northern pintail, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, lesser scaup, ruddy duck, and ring-necked duck. November also begins nesting season for bald eagles on the refuge. Red-tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, ospreys, merlins, and American kestrels hunt the marshes. Wading birds court and ne st in spring, and crowd the flats to fish year-round. Roseate spoonbills and black-necked stilts are summer residents. Look for scrub jays on their perches along Highway 3.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

(321) 861-0667

From Titusville, take Florida Highway 406.

Related Sites:
Other East Central Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks

FWC Facts:
Black bears originated in North America, and have been here at least 1.5 million years.

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