5 Local Birds You'll Spot on the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

A white bird with a beautiful mohawk.

If you’re fascinated with all things feathered, look no further than the skies and shores of Fort Myers & Sanibel. The region’s natural sanctuaries – home to countless species of native and migratory birds – attract flocks of avian aficionados each year in search of local wildlife. So get ready to focus your best pair of binoculars as we examine the types of Florida birds you’re sure to spot here.

The Great Egret

Great Egrets are among Southwest Florida’s most iconic feathered residents. They are a frequent sight in the Sunshine State. Their distinct white plumes and impressive stature – standing at over three feet tall – make them a gorgeous and hard-to-miss staple of Floridian wildlife.

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American White Pelican

Among the world’s heaviest flying birds, the American White Pelican migrates to Florida’s balmy shores, seeking reprieve from harsh northern winters. These massive water birds are easily distinguishable from their cousins—the brown pelicans—due to their snow-white complexion, striking yellow-orange beak and black flight-feathers, which are only visible when their wings expand.

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Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill’s pink coloring often fools folks into thinking they’ve just seen a wild flamingo. But while the two species may look similar at a distance, they are markedly different up close. This beautiful bird uses its flat, spatula-shaped bill to feed in shallow waters on small aquatic creatures – including everything from insects to frogs.

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Anhinga

The Anhinga is named for an ancient Brazilian word meaning “snakebird.” These birds hunt for prey by cruising just below the surface of shallow waters, leaving only their head and slender neck exposed. At first glance, this behavior makes them look very similar to a slithering snake.

A black and grey bird standing on a tree limb over a swamp.

American Peregrine Falcon

Few species cover ground – or air for that matter – quite like the American Peregrine Falcon. Incredibly powerful and fast, these predatory birds soar astonishing distances to hunt and breed. During Florida summers, you’re likely to see them perched on high branches, waiting patiently to swoop in and strike upon unsuspecting shorebirds.


Interested in bird watching while in town? Check out our Nature and Wildlife page to find out where you can see native wildlife in the Fort Myers & Sanibel area. Be sure to stop at one of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel’s parks or schedule a nature tour during your vacation.

A trained hawk a top it's perch.

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