Florida Wildlife Viewing - Where To See Roseate Spoonbills


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         Roseate Spoonbills
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Where to Find Roseate Spoonbills

After the spring nesting season, some birds will disperse farther north, ranging to St. Augustine on the Atlantic Coast and also the Panhandle along the Gulf Coast (St. Marks NWR is usually a reliable site).

In summer, look for roseate spoonbills at Fort Matanzas National Monument off A-1-A, 15 miles south of St. Augustine . A free ferry takes visitors to the monument daily, from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

At the mouth of the Alafia River are two spoil islands/bird sanctuaries. Access to them is not permitted, but the can be viewed from a boat; roseate spoonbills have nested here frequently.

Fort DeSoto County Park on Mullet Key near St. Petersburg is fairly reliable for spoonbill sightings. Located on Mullet Key, it's reached by traveling west on the Pinellas Bayway, then turn south onto State Road 679; follow signs to the park.

The Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island is one of the more reliable viewing areas in the state since the birds usually appear year after year. Spoonbills also appear in summer on the offshore islands at nearby Carl Johnson State Park, located on State Road 865 south of Ft. Myers.

Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve near Everglades City could have roseate spoonbills at anytime. In Everglades National Park, look for roseates at Paurotis Pond in winter and at Eco Pond in summer.

In the Keys, look for roseates in the flooded area behind the church at Mile Marker 93 during the winter months. At Mile Marker 22, only a short distance from Key West, look for roseate spoonbills on the mangroves surrounding Twenty-Two Mile Pond on Cudjoe Key. The pond is right across from the mile marker. In Key West, the birds sometimes favor the ponds near the airport.

On the Florida east coast, look for spoonbills in the estuary at John D. MacArthur State Park; in North Palm Beach, take U.S. 1 to Ocean Blvd. (A-1-A) and turn east. The entrance is less than two miles away.

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