Birding on Marco Island

Marco Island is renowned for its pristine beaches and world-class accommodations. The birding can be first-class, as well. This is an interesting time of year to visit the Southwest Florida spot looking for birds. It’s not peak migration time, but many nesting colonies of birds have taken over much of Tigertail Beach on North Marco Island. Areas are marked off to protect the flocks of black skimmer, least terns, American oystercatchers, and Wilson’s plovers that call Marco Island home.

Black skimmers are easy to spot because of their bright orange beaks and the unique way they catch their food. The skimmers quickly fly over the water with their beaks just underneath the surface to “skim” the water for sustenance.

The lest terns are small, yellow-beaked birds that are also numerous on the beaches of Marco Island.

Tigertail Beach and neighboring (state-run) Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area are home to many other types of Florida water  birds. Osprey dive for food just of the beach, and other birds this time of year include egrets, herons, and ibises. This spot is noted in the Great Florida Birding trail as one of the top spots in the state.

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