Fisheating Creek meanders for 40 miles through this wildlife-rich area, long valued for its scenic beauty, unmarred by houses and other human intrusions.
Fisheating Creek is an excellent place to view wildlife year-round. Wading birds of all types — ibis, herons, egrets, wood storks, roseate spoonbills — as well as hawks, osprey and owls are common. Several bald eagle nests are located in the area. Warblers are abundant during fall and spring migrations. River otters are common, and alligators are ubiquitous. One American crocodile was confirmed on the area.
Fisheating Creek is an important staging area for swallow-tailed kites before their migration to South America in August. In April and May they nest and raise young all along the creek. The communal roosting area in the vicinity of Cowbone Marsh may at times be used by half of the U.S. population of swallow-tailed kites. Crested caracara and Florida sandhill cranes may be seen on the prairies, depression marshes and unimproved pasture on adjacent conservation easement land.
Wildlife Spotlight: Florida Panther
In 1973, working for the World Wildlife Fund, Roy McBride and his hounds treed an aged Florida panther female in the vicinity of Fisheating Creek, confirming that panthers did indeed still exist in Florida. At the time, the Florida panther was among the most endangered animals in the world. Since then several young males have been documented dispersing from the core population area to the south through Fisheating Creek. The area may become even more important to the Florida panther as its population continues to expand.