If you are coming to Florida to do some birding this winter, check out the Florida Birding Trail website. It will tell you what you will see and where to find it.
Lee County Conservation 20/20 is steward to 47 preserves that are great birding areas. Check out their website that includes a description of each preserve, maps, directions and a calendar of events. Several preserves have free guided walks.
A trip to Sanibel would not be complete without a visit to the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Website includes an overview of the Refuge and visitor information on times and directions. NOTE: Wildlife Drive is closed on Fridays.
Visit our Facebook page for birding photos and tips.
This private group's purpose is: to facilitate the enjoyment and study of birds in their natural environment on Sanibel and Captiva and at other nearby parks and nature preserves. (Our 2021 bird walks were all conducted virtually; photos can be found on our Facebook page.)
Burrowing owls are some of the smallest owls in the world. They stand 8 to 11 inches tall and have a wingspan of about 20-24 inches. They weigh just 6 to 7.5 ounces – less than a can of soda.
Their burrows have a saucer-sized entrance and a tunnel leading to a nesting cavity as deep as 8 feet underground. For obvious reasons, they prefer land that drains well.
The owls often take over holes abandoned by squirrels and other small animals. Sometimes, they set themselves up in man-made pipes and plastic tubing in the ground.
Florida burrowing owls can be found throughout the state, but they’re more concentrated in Cape Coral than anywhere else in Florida. It’s one of the largest populations of burrowing owls in the world.
"Several species of shorebirds and seabirds nest along the beaches of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Habitat loss and degradation associated with coastal development has largely restricted many of these species to stretches of beach within parks and preserves. This group of birds is particularly sensitive to human disturbance since environmental conditions on beaches are already harsh and unpredictable. For example, one dog passing near a colony of nesting seabirds can cause all the birds to panic and subsequently leave their nests dangerously exposed to the hot boiling sun."
Please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website for more information on how you can help and on their new guidelines, currently being drafted, to help protect threatened, nesting shorebirds like the Black Skimmer, Least Tern, and Snowy Plover.
This short video highlights the threats Sanibel shorebirds face everyday on the beach and showcases simple ways beachgoers can be good neighbors to shorebirds and other coastal wildlife. This video was created by the City of Sanibel in partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society, SCCF, and the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society.
San Cap Audubon is proud to have helped support the Avian Research and Conservation Institute's effort to deploy GPS-equipped cell-phone transmitters on two breeding adult Swallow-tailed Kites on Sanibel. The 2021 Sanibel GPS-tracked Kites are called “Bailey’s Homestead” and “Sanibel Botanical”.
Read the whole story here.