Birding Hot Spot
This is another sanctuary renowned for its birding. A two-mile boardwalk passes through pinelands, wet prairie, freshwater marsh, and an old-growth cypress forest. Native ferns, orchids, and bromeliads are festooned to trees throughout the cypress forest. Profuse displays of wildflowers bloom in spring and fall.
January through April (the dry season), pools in the swamp dry down and concentrate fish, and as a result, several species of wading birds, including little blue herons, white ibis, and green herons. The largest nesting colony of wood storks in the United States goes about the business of raising chicks in late winter within sight of the boardwalk. Alligators, river otters, barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, and red-shouldered hawks are seen year-round. Several hundred American swallow-tailed kites roost during the summer. Look for an influx of migratory warblers in spring and fall, as well as painted buntings near the bird feeders by the visitor center in the winter.
National Audubon Society
Take U.S. Highway 41 9 miles north of Naples, then drive east 21 miles on Florida Highway 846, turn left at sanctuary sign.
Other Southwest Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks