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Our Most Magnificent Migratory Birds

Let’s take a moment to spotlight the beautiful migratory birds that choose to make Southwest Florida their home in the winter months. We’re ready and waiting — binoculars in hand — for when they swoop in to our shores.

White Pelican

We call these the ultimate snowbirds. Their incredible 9-foot wingspan makes white pelicans a truly majestic sight as they fly in formation. It’s a real treat to watch how they work in harmony to herd fish for feeding. Discover more fun facts about white pelicans in Fort Myers.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Late spring is the right time to spot these forked-tail raptors. They tend to prefer swamplands and marshes, and soar gracefully through the air with minimal movement — capturing their food while still in mid-flight.

Black-bellied Plover

All you need to do is walk along the shoreline to catch sight of these highly vocal plovers, which breed in far northern climates and then make their way to our warm shores and wetlands.

Piping Plover

With feathers that match the sand, these little shorebirds can be hard to spot but they’re most noticeable when they scurry along the beach on their orange legs. Take a moment to appreciate the presence of this federally endangered species that find their winter refuge on our shores to feed and rest. 

Marbled Godwit

Coming from their summer abode on the Great Plains to winter on our sandy shores, these cinnamon-colored sandpipers have remarkably long legs and bills. 

American Avocet

Look for this tall shorebird in both saltwater and freshwater habitats. Their long, thin curved bill is especially distinctive, and you’ll notice them swinging their heads from side to side to gather food.

There are plenty of natural spaces to catch sight of migratory birds. From popular attractions like J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island to natural beaches such as San Carlos Bay - Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers, discover some of the best places to go birdwatching in the Fort Myers area.