BIRDS and OTHER WILDLIFE IN SOUTH WEST FLORIDA
Mourning Doves April 2006 We had three broods of two babies each, in a hanging basket by our condo door. We watched them all fledge. Courtship begins with a noisy flight by the male, followed by a graceful, circular glide with outstretched wings and head down. After landing, the male will approach the female with a puffed-out breast, bobbing head, and loud calls. The male then leads the female to potential nest sites, and the female will choose one. The female dove builds the nest. The male will fly about, gather material, and bring it to her. The Mourning Dove is the most widespread and abundant game bird in North America. Every year hunters harvest more than 20 million.
White Ibis Immature White Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill Sandhill Cranes
Anhinga Cormorant Red Shouldered Hawk
For hawk parasailing, see www.youtube.com/v/pd5BMP_41bI%26rel%3d0%26hl%3den_US%26feature%3dplayer_embedded%26version%3d3
For great bird pictures, go to: http://floridabirdingtrail.com/bird-sort-page/
For terrific wildlife pictures in the Everglades go to Brian Hampton's website www.brianhamptonphotography.com
Black Vulture Turkey Vulture
Osprey on Airport Road Osprey on Gordon River
Read about the Bald Eagles in Ft Myers. Also, go to http://www.ustream.tv/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam for live video and www.DickPritchettRealEstate.com for pictures. And watch the super terrific film clip on the movie "the Eagle Huntress" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qlqEo1mGns
Muscovy Duck at Oyster Catcher Bald Eagle on Airport Road
Barred Owl Red Shouldered Hawk
American Swallow Tailed Kite Pileated Woodpecker
Great White Heron is a Blue Heron Morph Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron Little Blue Heron (Is white the first year)
Yellow Crowned Night Heron Swallowed Tailed Kite Red Headed & Red Bellied
Hairy Downy Pilleated
Painted Bunting Royal Tern Mockingbird (FL State Bird)
Moorhen (or Gallinule) Sanderling Kingfisher
Limpkin Bittern Dowitcher
Pink Flamingo creator, Don Featherstone, died. See http://www.ardastra.com/Nat%20Geo%20Article%201957.pdf and at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/business/don-featherstone-inventor-of-the-pink-flamingo-in-plastic-dies-at-79.html?_r=0 and at www.uselessinformation.org/pink_flamingo/index.html and at birding.about.com/od/Bird-Trivia/a/20-Fun-Facts-About-Flamingos.htm
These official flamingos were sold in pairs, with one standing upright and the other with its head low to the ground, "feeding". There are more plastic ones than the real ones.
DOLPHINS and MANATEES
We have both in SW Florida. You can often see dolphins from the Naples Pier. Drive to Manatee Park on the Orange River in Ft Myers and rent a canoe or a kayak to see manatees. Read more here.
South Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild.
Everglade Anhinga Trail In February 2013 we went with Amy, Tom and Aleksey to snorkel in Key Largo. We stopped in Everglades National Park near Flamingo and walked the Anhinga Trail and saw many birds and alligators. See slide show.
Eastern Diamond Rattlesnake on Turner River Road
Compared to a Burmese python, like the one on the wrapped around Michael
Cole’s arm below it,
Florida is turning to cold hard cash to lure adventure seekers into the
Everglades to bag a Burmese
Come to Florida and learn TREADMILLING!
We saw this cute Water Moccasin at the corner of Rt 41 and Turner River Road on February 28, 2016.
We have Florida SEA TURTLES in Naples.
Below is an Armadillo on Bald Eagle Drive near our condo in Naples in 1996.
Red Fox Deer
Otters at Corkscrew Swamp
EVERGLADES CITY, BARON COLLIER and COPELAND
Read about Everglades City at www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everglades_City,_Florida
Read about Baron Collier at www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barron_Collier
Read about Baron Collier's Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City.
Read about the Tamiami Trail.
Read about Copeland, a suburb of Everglades City.
Read about 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge ... 35,000 acres.
Read about Fakahatchee Strand and go to www.floridastateparks.org/park/Fakahatchee-Strand and www.florida-everglades.com/mapfaka.htm ...74,000 acres. Plants found in the park include royal palm, bald cypress, bromeliads, ferns, and orchids.
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE
Forty years ago, on October 11, 1974, President Gerald Ford signed the bill establishing the 729,000 acre area as the first national preserve in the National Park System east and south of Naples. The Welcome Center is on Route 41, about 17 miles east of Route 29 that goes to Everglades City. We drive to Turner River Road in the Big Cypress, about 5 miles east of Route 29, at least once a month to view birds and alligators. See a detailed map of the Big Cypress Preserve.
AUDUBON'S CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY (West Naples, FL)
At one time, the sanctuary's bald cypress forest supported an estimated 100,000 Wood Storks. Be sure to walk the 2.25 mile boardwalk loop. In flight ... Wood Storks are very beautiful. Read about its History and also about its Aquisition.
DING DARLING NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Read about the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island near Ft Myers at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/jn_ding_darling/ . Also read about the Ding Darling Society at http://dingdarlingsociety.org/ additional information on wildlife in SW Florida is at XXXXX.
Bobbin Hollow Equestrian Center 3375 Vanderbilt Beach Road 239-592-1033
Coming Soon: Horse Barn Off Goodlette-Frank Road in North Naples
Be sure to visit the Naples Botanical Garden. www.naplesgarden.org
Invasive Plants: Australian Melaleuca tree https://lflank.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/floridas-invaders-melaleuca/ and South American Brazilian pepper tree https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/schinus-terebinthifolia/ have spread into and on South Florida's conservation lands. The Australian Pine is another not wanted exotic. http://fnpsblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/australian-pine-one-of-floridas-least.html
Read about the Myrtle Oak in Naples at Naples Preserve. It is among "Big Trees" the biggest Myrtle Oak in Florida and in the 50 States. It apparently only grows in the five southeastern states,
Sabal palmetto grows up to 65 ft (20 m) in height (with
exceptional individuals up to 92 ft (28 m) in height,
flowers are yellowish-white, .20 in (5 mm)
across, produced in large compound panicles up to 8.2 ft
For a palm tree, Sabal palmetto is very
cold-hardy—it is commonly accepted that
Sabal palmetto is able
MARIE SELBY BOTANICAL GARDEN
Visit it in Sarasota See https://selby.org/the-gardens/
SERENITY WALK STATE PARK
Serenity Walk Park in East Naples reopens; wildfire, Hurricane Irma had damaged it
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Saylor Trail at Barefoot Beach Preserve will take you through some of Florida’s ecosystem. Along the beach, visitors may see shells, dolphins and crabs. Lauren Kummer via Wochit
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VIDEOS: NATURE TRAILS IN SWFL Gordon River Greenway welcomes nature lovers | 0:35
Run along the Gordon River on a 1-1/2 mile paved loop trail. This trail has water access along the way as you spend time enjoying some of the scenery. Lauren Kummer via Wochit
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VIDEOS: NATURE TRAILS IN SWFL Take a walk at Rich King Memorial Greenway | 0:36
At the Rich King Memorial Greenway visitors can bike, walk and even inline skate. The length of this trail is 3 miles and extends from north to south along the east side of Naples. Lauren Kummer via Wochit
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John Yarbrough Linear Park is a 6-mile paved trail that runs north to south. The trail is a multi-use trail that can be used for biking, running, walking, hiking and rollerblading. Lauren Kummer via Wochit
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Serenity Walk Park in East Naples had some not so serene days in 2017.
It's open again, after being closed since last March when a wildfire and then Hurricane Irma in September ripped through the heavily wooded park and mile-long walking trail.
The one-two punch wreaked havoc at the park, the result of an environmental restoration project, and prompted another restoration all over again.
Serenity Walk Park is the last of 28 county parks and preserves to reopen after being closed because of Irma.
The 99-acre preserve along the western edge of Collier Boulevard north of Rattlesnake Hammock Road originally was built as a mitigation project to make up for destruction of 44 acres of wetlands for a huge county drainage project.
The county bought the land for the park in 2002 for $2.75 million and received a $1.1 million grant from the Florida Communities Trust through the Florida Forever land acquisition program. The park cost $150,000 to build.
Crews restored most of the site by removing nonnative trees and plants and regrading the land to restore wetland functions.
The county planted 2,800 pine and cypress trees and more than 64,000 ground cover plants as part of the restoration.
It opened in 2011 as the Lely Area Stormwater Improvement Project Mitigation Park. It was renamed the next year, sitting serenely until last March.
First, a wildfire that scorched thousands of acres on the edge of Golden Gate Estates jumped Collier Boulevard and torched the park.
Fire crews had to remove sections of fencing to get firefighting equipment into the park, which lost picnic tables, plastic matting, and signs and markers along the trail.
When rainy season arrived, the heavy equipment being used to clear the trail couldn't work in the wet soil.
Then, on the cusp of dry season, Hurricane Irma came through in September, felling more trees and requiring cleanup to start anew.
On a recent afternoon, walkers wended through a forest of scorched trunks and toppled trees, reminders of Serenity Walk Park's rough year.
This site was last updated 01/15/18