Wildlife

We have so much wonderful wildlife. Come learn and discover!

We have some wonderful wildlife on Anna Maria. Simply exploring our island, is a great way to see most, but we all have a number of organised tours you can book, education programs, as well as Marine museums to really learn more about the beautiful animals you can see and that call our little island home.

Our County mascot, is of course the beautiful Manatee. You will often see manatees meandering in the canals and in the ocean. These animals are truly incredible and can grow to enormous and heavy sizes. But they really are gentle giants, who can easily get disorientated if they come into close contact with humans. So please respect their space if you do happen to come across, and do not try and touch them.

 

We are also very proud to be home to the most significant proportion of Loggerhead Turtles in Florida, alongside another 4 different species. We have an incredible charitable organisation that works tirelessly, protecting our turtles, with nesting season between May and October. These creatures are fascinating and in effort to educate and help look after them, the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring, offer education programs, and even nest excavation groups that you can volunteer with!

It is also really important to remember that turtles follow the moonlight to get back to the water once they are hatched. Therefore, if you have a rental on the beach, you must be understanding of this and recognise how lighting in your rental can disorientate. Lights that shine onto a nesting beach at night can draw turtle hatchlings away from the ocean and off the beach, where they have a slim chance of survival. Beach lights can also scare away females crawling ashore to nest. So please we ask you to pull the shade, lower the lighting, certainly do not leave lights on if you are out and follow the instruction that will be left in your rental home.

Both common and rare birds make Anna Maria Island a nesting habitat, and many more migrate to and from the island.

Beach nesters that are common include: American Oystercatchers, Black Skimmers, Snowy Plovers, Spoonbills, Sandpipers, and Herons. You’re also going to see plenty of osprey, eagles, cranes, pelicans, seagulls, storks, hawks, egrets and crows. We even have an osprey nest at the top of the very large tree that sits alongside the balcony in the master suite. An incredible sight as they swoop home.

Coquina Beach Baywalk to the south and Bean Point on the northern part of the island are two of the best places for bird watching on Anna Maria Island, but you’ll have the opportunity to see many of these birds on the beaches and elsewhere.

There are also plenty of pre-orgaized tours you can book while you’re here. Dolphin-watching tours are the best way to the manatees, dolphins and wildlife up close. Your boat captain will know exactly where to go to find them, and you’ll learn plenty about these incredible creatures along the way.

You can also take a kayak tour through the Robinson Preserve with Beach Bums. You may be lucky enough to find dolphins and manatees. Birds you will see include Roseate Spoonbills, Blue Herons and White Egrets and you will also discover more of our marine life, such as hermit crabs and an oyster shoal. For more information and to book, click here.