See St. George Island’s Wildlife

Twenty yards from shore, a school of baitfish moves through the shallows. Not far behind, spotted sea trout swirl as they pick off stray fingerlings one by one. Then, without warning, the water explodes as an osprey pounces on an unsuspecting trout. As this raptor flies off with the fish firmly grasped in its talons, a second bird of prey, an eagle, swoops in from above and tries to steal the osprey’s catch.

The eagle and osprey dance above the water for a minute. Then, a second osprey arrives and chases off the eagle. The birds fly off. Down below, the trout kept feeding. And I sit back in my beach chair and feel for a moment like the luckiest man on earth.

But that is the beauty of this state park, officially called the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park. It is located at the east end of an island that many folks know only as a quiet weekend retreat on the Gulf of Mexico. The 2,023 acres of undeveloped land offer nine miles of deserted beaches just waiting to be explored. It is nature so special that it attracts wildlife watchers from all across the country, and abroad.

 

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