Last Updated on February 22, 2021 by JaimeSays
I’ll be honest: when my mom asked me to join her on a trip to Naples, Florida, I wasn’t all that keen to do so. It comes across a bit spoiled, but truly, I have always been a girl who loves the mountains and doesn’t really care about beaches. In the winter, all I want to do is ice skate, ski, and trek around in the snow. Laying at the beach or the pool has never been of interest to me, but luckily, the Naples area is more than just sunning and octogenarians. In fact, it has one of the best birding sanctuaries in the country less than an hour away. That’s where I discovered one of the best attractions in Southwest Florida: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
Before You Visit Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary…
|Location||Approximately 50 Mins from Naples, Florida in Corkscrew, Florida|
|Hours||Currently, Only 5 Entrance Times Starting at 8 AM and Ending at 1 PM. Advance Reservation Required|
|Admission Fee||While the website states a price increase up to $17, Currently Checkout Prices Remain $14|
|Things to Bring||Sun hat, Birding ID Book or Merlin ID App with Birds of Florida Pack Downloaded on your Phone, Binoculars, Sunscreen, Water, Snack, Zoom Lens for Camera if you have one|
Corkscrew is Great for Novice Birdwatchers and Experts Alike
When my mom and I went to Corkscrew, we didn’t know what to expect. For example, when we went to Northern Idaho in late August expecting to see lots of birds at Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, we were sorely disappointed. Being so late in the summer, and in the midst of a drought, there was no water on the reserve and thus, no birds. With the swamplands of Florida, Florida is always chock full of birds, although the types may depend on the season.
When we arrived, it was around 9AM and we were some of the first guests of the day to arrive. It was a hot spell for Florida in January, around 85ºF, so not too many locals were around. There were, however, a group of around 25 Audubon members and writers on a guided birding expedition. We couldn’t believe our luck! We occasionally crossed paths and were able to hear exciting bird facts as well as spot some birds we may not have normally noticed.
So, what’d we see? In just about two hours, we ended up seeing 18 different bird species! Many we saw more than once, so the excitement was not limited to just 18 different times. Please note: the drawings of these birds all come from the Corkscrew Sanctuary website.
If you are looking for a good socially distant activity for your family, or perhaps alone, consider spending a few hours at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. It is one of the most interesting and special attractions of Southwest Florida.
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