Field Guides

  BIRDING


Felts Audubon Preserve - Palmetto

A 30 acre parcel owned and managed by the Manatee County Audubon Society. Footpaths, bird blind and small pond with open fields attract migratory and nesting birds. Over 100 species have been recorded...See Bird List
4600 24th Ave E., Palmetto  Corner of 24th Avenue E. & Experimental Farm Rd.


Emerson Point Preserve - Palmetto

In addition to excellent birding there are several miles of hiking and biking trails with a 60 foot tall observation tower and a 20 foot tall Indian Temple Mound site. More than 70 species of birds are reported annually.
5801 17th Street West, Palmetto  Call for Information: 941-721-6885


Robinson Preserve - Bradenton

The preserve is not only beneficial to wildlife, the park offers waterways to canoe or kayak with hiking/biking trails, and boardwalks. There is a 40-foot observation tower with views of the Sunshine Skyway to the north and Sarasota County to the south. 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton
Call for Info: 941-748-4501 ext. 4602


Rye Preserve - Parrish

Four distinctive ecosystems, sand pine scrub, oak scrub, oak hammocks and the river community. The endangered Florida Scrub Jay and several species of woodpeckers have been noted in the dry upland portions of the park.
905 Rye Wilderness Trail, Parrish
Call for Information: 941-776-0900


Duette Preserve - Duette

22,000 acres with 16 trails crossing the Manatee river in various locations. Some known species sited are the Belted Kingfisher, Florida Scrub-Jay Burrowing Owl and Sandhill Cranes.
2649 Rawls Road, Duette


Joan M. Durante Park - Longboat Key

A 32 acre restoration project providing a wetland and coastal dune forest overlooking the Sarasota Bay. Birds to look for are Brown Pelicans, ibises, Ospreys, Belted Kingfishers, gulls, terns Bald Eagles, Anhingas, ducks, warblers shorebirds and several species of herons and egrets.
5550 Gulf of Mexico Drive., Longboat Key


Quick Point Nature Preserve - Longboat Key

Located at the South end of Longboat Key. Park in the lot on the west side of Gulf of Mexico Drive then walk underneath the bridge into the preserve. The trails and boardwalks offer an excellent vantage point to see a variety of wading and shore birds. You'll see oyster catchers and ibis on the mud flats and sand bars if you go at low tide.


Celery Fields - Sarasota

A former flood-control project, the Celery Fields, located at Fruitville Road and I-75, has deep lakes and is truly for the birds. This exceptional birding habitat and wildlife haven attracts hundreds of species - bald eagles, wild turkeys, ruby-throated hummingbirds, snow geese and peregrine falcons year 'round. Click for Map
Coburn Road, off Fruitville Rd., Sarasota


Crowley Museum & Nature Center

A 2,000-foot boardwalk cuts through the heart of a mixed-hardwood swamp. The swallow-tailed kite is part of the Crowley logo because the birds have been spotted in the area since the pioneer days. Keep an eye out for barred owls and sandhill cranes as well.
16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota
Call for Information: 941-322-1000


Oscar Scherer State Park

A large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida.
1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
Call for Information: 941-483-5956


Old Miakka Preserve - Sarasota

The 129-acre preserve is named after Old Miakka, the historic rural community where the preserve is located. It has more than four miles of hiking trails where ruby crowned Kinglets, Pine Warblers, Eastern Towhees, Barred Owls, White-eyed Vireos and Sharp-shinned Hawks have been sited.
251 Myakka Road, Sarasota
Call for Information: 941-861-5000


Myakka River State Park

The park is host to about 200 different bird species as well as White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkey, Sandhill Cranes and Black River Otter. Located just south of Sarasota, the park is on one of the major bird migration routes. Even though birding is great all year, the best times are from late fall through spring. Audubon volunteers help visitors locate and identify birds at the popular boardwalk area.
Call for Information: 831-361-6511


Audubon Rookery - Venice

The Venice Rookery, on U.S. 41 just before you get to Jacaranda Boulevard, is a small island in the middle of a lake providing a safe nesting place for many water and wading birds. Early mornings and late afternoons from November to June, black-crowned night herons, great egrets, great blue herons and anhinga are most active on the island, and visitors can get some stunning views... Nesting takes place from February through April with plenty of loud calls, showy feathers and awkward, sometimes graceful, courting.

Directions: Heading south on US 41 (just north of Jacaranda Boulevard), take a right on Annex Road between the Venice Administration Building (at 4000 S. Tamiami Trail) and the State Highway Patrol. Head to the welcome center followed by parking, pavilion, picnic tables, and viewing area.
South Tamiami Trail, Venice
Call for Information: 941-496-8984


Lemon Bay Preserve - Venice

The 215 acre site is primarily scrubby flatwoods as well as mesic pine flatwoods, tidal marshes and tidal swamps. Six family groups of Florida Scrub-Jays have been recorded as well as Brown Thrashers, warblers and various wading birds.
Call for Information: 941-861-5000


Manasota Scrub Preserve - Englewood

Pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, a hardwood swamp and a depression marsh are part of the 145 acre site with a well-marked trail. There is a resident Merlin with woodpeckers, warblers, blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Blue Jays Hermit Thrushes and hawks.
2695 Bridge St., Englewood
Call for Information: 941-861-5000


Jelks Preserve - Venice

There are several trails that traverse through a variety of habitats covering 600 acres of land. Trails tend to be flooded in rainy season (June through September). Viewing bobcats, gopher tortoise, armadillo, feral pigs and a variety of snakes is quite possible. The Audubon Society recorded 84 species of birds with two active Osprey nests. Trail brochures and bird checklists are available at the entrance kiosk.
2300 N. River Road, Venice
Call for Information: 941-861-5000


Carlton Reserve - Venice

A series of interconnection trails run through the various habitats of this 24,000 acre reserve. The natural undisturbed habitats include wet prairies, hammock, pine flatwoods and forested wetlands. Wood Ducks are in residence all year as well as Wild Turkey, Barred Owls and six species of woodpeckers. 140 species have been recorded along with White-tailed Deer, Raccoon, Feral Pigs, River Otter, Bobcat, Florida Panther and a long list of snakes and reptiles.
1800 Mabry Carlton Way, Venice
Call for Information: 941-861-5000


Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park

Located in North Port, this 130 acre park features a 0.5 mile trail following a creek that continues outside the park through a hardwood hammock to a marsh. Yellow-Billed Cuckoo and many migrants may be seen in season.
6968 Reiserstown Road, North Port
Call for Information: 941-861-5000


Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Bailey Trail

One of the lesser-known trails of Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, this separate tract is closer to the Gulf of Mexico and includes a series of impoundments that make for excellent early morning birding. The entrance is off Tarpon Bay Road.
Sanibel Island



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