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Pelican Island Audubon Society

Field Trip: Wakodahatchee Wetlands & Green Cay Nature Center & Wetlands

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2023

Location: Wakodahatchee and Green Cay Wetlands, Delray Beach

Leader Names: Bill and Becky Loftus  

Wakodahatchee Wetlands (13026 Jog Road, Delray Beach) – A created wetland serving to clean wastewater from Palm Beach County Water Utilities treatment facilities, it is one of the best birding spots in Florida at which to observe and photograph wetland birds. The ponds host a wonderful variety of wildlife including fishes, turtles, alligators and many birds species (>180 bird species of birds have been recorded). Springtime is the best time to see and photograph at close range wading birds and waterbirds, including Wood Storks, Great Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Anhingas and Double-crested Cormorants should be on nests caring for eggs and feeding nestlings.

During winter, the limited parking area fills quickly so we will arrive early. 

Click to visit the Wakodahatchee Wetlands website.

Green Cay Wetlands (12800 Hagen Ranch Road, Boynton Beach) – This Palm Beach County Park is also a constructed wetland system to clean wastewater of nutrients before release. The park has 100 acres of treatment marshes, ponds and cypress wetlands, along with hardwood hammock and pine uplands. A boardwalk is sprinkled with interpretive signs explaining the birds, turtles and the habitats of the park. The marshes and shallow ponds are great places to observe Soras, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Storks and most herons and egrets, Purple Gallinules, and many others. Birds in the hammocks and cypress forests include warblers, woodpeckers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Screech Owls, and others. Several Purple Martin houses over the open ponds are active with dozens of martins in late winter through spring.

Green Cay Nature Center is located at the beginning of the boardwalk. The air-conditioned center has interpretive exhibits, a gift shop and restrooms. Bird feeders in the hammock outside the center attract a variety of upland birds, including Painted Buntings. There is also a butterfly garden nearby.

Click to visit the Green Cay website.

Duration of trip in hours: Full day field trip from Vero Beach. 

Walking distance: The three-quarter mile, handicapped-accessible boardwalk provides easy viewing of birds at Wakodahatchee.  The wetlands and uplands at Green Cay are reached by 1.5 miles of elevated, handicapped-accessible boardwalk that offers close-up viewing of the wetland and waterbirds. 

Degree of difficulty, and any special instructions: Easy walking but the afternoon may be hot so water, hats and sunscreen are advised. Lunch will be at a restaurant near the wetlands.

Where to meet: Meet at the IHOP parking lot at 8800 20th St. in Vero Beach at 6:00 am for the 1.5 hour drive to Delray Beach. 

Time of meeting: 6:00 am, returning at any time you wish.

Date: 03/23/2023 (Thu.)

Time: 6:00am - 5:00pm EST

Location: Wakodahatchee Wetlands
13270 Jog Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33484

Created by:   Bob Montanaro
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Field Trip: Wakodahatchee Wetlands & Green Cay (20)

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Susan R Drew Drew (2)
Hugh Stevenson (2)
Pamela Hennig
Ann Esmas
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Margie Wagner (2)
Melissa McSulla (2)
Patty Brower
Stacey Wood (2)
Steve Palmquist
Diane Dilling
Dale Bird
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