There are over 500 bird species in the state of Florida and Anna Maria Island is a bird sanctuary! From pelicans to egrets to wild peacocks to countless varieties of shorebirds even the non-bird lover will be impressed by the winged sites AMI has to offer.
On the island, you’ll find an amazingly diverse selection of bird species, including ibis, heron, sandpiper, skimmer and spoonbill. You’ll also find hawks, vultures, seagulls and crows, but, the brown pelican is the most common site. Did you know that in adulthood, a brown pelican can reach a length of up to four feet and have a wingspan between 6.5 to 7.5 feet? That’ a big bird, and not the kind that lives on Sesame Street!
Be sure to take a leisurely stroll along the island’s shores at different times of the day since shorebirds like to feed at different times — some at high tide while others feed at low tide. One of the best places to view birds is at the Coquina Beach Baywalk at Leffis Key Preserve near Bradenton Beach on the island’s south end.
If you find yourself becoming increasingly more interested in bird watching, check out the Wings over Florida program — a free award program open to resident and non-resident Florida birdwatchers.