New trail offers peek at birds

News

New trail offers peek at birds

Posted on 2006-02-06 by Craig H. Anderson

Genesis was hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to locate placement for Great Birding Trail signs throughout the North, West and East counties of Florida as well as work with the counties for the maintenance of the signs.

Quoted from:

February 6, 2006, The Miami Herald
"New trail offers peek at birds"
Local and State section
By Curtis Morgan

New trail offers peek at birds

Rare hummingbirds dip and dart at Castellow Hammock in the Redland. Endangered wood storks forage at Corkscrew Swamp near Naples. Adorably cute burrowing owls pop from holes sprinkled among soccer fields and skater ramps at Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City.

Those are only a few of the hundreds of species of birds found along what ranks as the biggest - certainly, longest - Florida tourist attraction that the fewest people have heard of. It's the 2000-mile, 446-stop Great Florida Birding Trail.

The trail, a five-year effort to pinpoint and promote the best bird-watching areas in one of the best states to do it, was completed this month with the completion of the final segment across South Florida - 116 sites in 12 counties, with more than a quarter of the spots in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.

State wildlife managers and bird enthusiasts hope the trail will offer unspoiled alternatives to the high-tech, high-volume tourist factories of Orlando and help encourage preservation of wild lands where birds thrive.

Bird-watchers may not buy many mouse-eared beanies, but the state estimates they spend $477 million a year to pursue Florida's plumage. Birders flock from as far away as California, Germany and Japan.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission championed the creation of the trail, modeling it after one that had proved popular in Texas, said Julie Wraithmell, the state's trail coordinator for three years and now a policy analyst with Audubon of Florida.