Regardless if you’re on the sand, on the road, at home or out and about, there is no denying that birds are everywhere in Southwest Florida. During our tours, we are likely to come across a variety of winged friends as we travel across Estero Bay. Birdwatching enthusiasts come to Fort Myers Beach and her surrounding areas for some of the best birdwatching in the country. From pelicans to roseate spoonbills, our area plays host to a number of shoreline wandering, non-predatory birds that make for good bird watching and great photos!
One of the most recognizable and beloved birds in the Fort Myers Beach area is the pelican. Though there are a total of six species of pelicans in the world, our brown pelican is the smallest of them all. These birds live their entire lives by the shoreline and unlike other species of pelicans, uniquely dive headfirst into the water to catch their prey versus working with a flock to capture prey. Keep your eyes open, we see pelicans doing this all the time!
One of the more rare birds in our area is the roseate spoonbill. These birds are known for their unique long and flat spoon shaped bill and their cotton candy pink plumage. The roseate spoonbill feeds by straining it’s dinner through its spoon-like bill. Though their population has crept close to elimination, this bird has rebounded slowly but surely and thrives in many of our area’s preserves without any disruption.
Another pink bird, even more rarely sighted is the flamingo. Yes! We do have wild flamingos roaming the coastal waters of Southwest Florida. A sighting in January caused quite a stir in our community, everyone wanted to get out to see the pink bird. Fun flamingo fact: an adult can reach up to 4.6 feet tall and weigh as much as 9 pounds. Ever wonder why a flamingo is bright pink? Their feathers become colored as a result of their diets. The food they ingest, including shrimps, algae and crustaceans contain carotenoids that result in the pink coloring.
All we can say is don’t forget to bring a camera! You never know what may fly by!