October is the first real Fall month in Florida, and along with breaking out the blankets (for those chilly 60 degree nights), we get to see a whole new batch of animals and wildlife activity.
Here are some interesting things to look for in October:
- Vultures return to the Miami Courthouse and other areas in South Florida (Turkey Vultures, that is).
- Northeast Florida: Look for migrating Peregrine falcons in natural areas, especially along the coast as they follow shorebird prey.
- Warbler migration peaks early this month.
- Peak in chimney swift migrations in South Florida
- Sandhill cranes that nested in more northern latitudes begin to move down to join our resident birds.
- Ducks begin to arrive for the winter
- Grosbeaks, warblers, tanagers, orioles, and thrushes begin migrating south for the winter
- Flying squirrels will be moving into pecan groves as the nuts ripen.
- Black bears feeding heavily in preparation for winter
- Flatwoods salamanders breed with the first rains of the October.
- Monarch butterfly migration nears its peak along Florida's Gulf coast. Many can be seen at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.
- Redfish and trout move up creeks and rivers in north Florida
- Fall spawning of redear sunfish
- Largemouth bass activein cooler waters
Plants and Trees
- Plant trees and shrubs, like holly and dogwood, that produce berries to feed wildlife.
- Blazing star, summer farewell and other wildflowers bloom in pine uplands
October also gets us thinking about Halloween, ghouls, vampires and their fascinating mascots: bats. If you want to learn the real skinny about these beneficial little insect eaters, you should check out our
special Halloween edition on Florida's Bats.