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.
Myakka River State Park near Sarasota has a good popuilation of spoonbills usually found in the wading marsh .From November through mid April, there is a bird naturalist at the Bird Walk from 9 am until 1pm most days. Call 941-361-6511 to see if there is one on duty when you plan to visit.
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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