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Getting Help

Join a tour. Many wildlife-viewing sites offer field trips or education programs that acquaint visitors with the animals and habitats located there. To observe sea turtles, for example, join a permitted public turtle walk during the nesting season (May - August).  Organizations such as Audubon offer birding trips around the state. Check with the local chapters for schedule information or inquire about privately run tours offered by other groups.

Ask a professional. Most sites employ a biologist or manager who can direct you to productive viewing locations and can tell you what animals you' re likely to see. Pick up animal checklists when possible and read recent entries in the site logbook if available. If you see something interesting, don' t forget to record your sightings before you leave.

Check out the resources at libraries, bookstores, nature centers and on the Web. There are many excellent field guides, tapes and CDs available to help you fine-tune your identification skills. If you have access to a computer, you may want to visit an area' s Web site before you travel and study its checklists and other descriptive materials.