One of the friendliest animals you’ll encounter, the manatee is also one of the Gulf’s most iconic creatures. Most people never forget their first experience with these gentle giants. Drawn to our coastline by the warm waters, keep an eye out when you’re in a kayak in case one surfaces next to – or accidently under – your boat.
Sharing the manatee’s love of warmth, the dolphin has made a positive name for itself in our waters. More common in the Gulf than the Atlantic Ocean, you can often see them playing in Pine Island Sound while on charter cruises like those offered at Adventures in Paradise or Captiva Cruises.
Come springtime, loggerhead turtles make an appearance on our beaches. That’s when females return to fill sand nests with eggs. Throughout the year, chances are you’ll see alligators or iguanas roaming our acres of wetlands, rivers and lakes.
The most sought-after wildlife to photograph is our abundance of migratory birds. If you’re interested in serious bird-watching, pack your camera and head to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. You might even see bobcats, alligators and river otters patrolling the mangroves and other habitats, like nature intended.
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