A Guide to Bird Watching and Birds on Anna Maria Island, Florida

When you’re looking for things to do in Anna Maria Island, many of the most apparent options have to do with being outside. After all, the weather around here is gorgeous regardless of the season! Of course, you have the option to spend your days on the soft, white sand of the beaches, but there are other ways that you can get outside and enjoy nature. You might enjoy renting bikes for your family to explore the trails or stroll down the streets to see the unique shops and restaurants that grace Anna Maria Island with their presence. 

However, one of the most unique and underrated ways to spend time in nature here is by birdwatching! Anna Maria Island bird watching is quite a popular pastime with the island’s residents, and now, visitors are getting in on the fun, too. Here, we’ll let you know the best places to go bird watching, what species you can expect to see, what to bring with you, and where to return once you’re done for the day. Here’s to making the most of your time in our Anna Maria Island rentals

Where to Go Bird Watching

First things first: where can you see the most stunning birds of Anna Maria Island, Florida? While there are plenty of great options, there are two spots we’d recommend above all others: the Robinson Preserve and the Coquina Baywalk.

Starting with Robinson Preserve, you should first know that this destination isn’t actually on Anna Maria Island itself. Instead, it’s located in the city of Bradenton, just over the bridge on the mainland. (Don’t confuse it with Bradenton Beach, which is on AMI.) Robinson Preserve in Bradenton offers nearly 700 acres of preserved mangroves, former agricultural lands, and tidal marshes for you to discover. As you walk throughout the 2.5k pedestrian-only trail or head to one of the wildlife viewing areas, you’ll be able to spot some of the unique bird species in the area! 

You can enter Robinson Preserve at 1704 99th Street NW or from 10299 9th Avenue NW. The preserve is open 365 days per year from sunrise to sunset. 

You can also see plenty of birds at the Coquina Baywalk. The Baywalk, located at Leffis Key, offers an easy trail system for guests of all ages to explore since it’s less than a mile round-trip. There are all kinds of incredible observation decks throughout the mangroves, so you can look out over the water or gaze up into the trees to see some of the most breathtaking wildlife that Anna Maria Island has to offer. 

Coquina Baywalk is located at 2651 Gulf Drive South in Bradenton Beach. It is open every day from dawn until dusk. 

Birds You Will See

As far as Anna Maria Island wildlife is concerned, birds are some of the most abundant and beautiful animals. But what kind of birds can you expect to see here?

pelican on anna maria island

First, you’re likely to spot some osprey. These birds usually prey on fish and can typically be seen dipping down into the water and trying to get their breakfast first thing in the morning. To spot an osprey, look out for a bird that’s white or grey speckled underneath and dark brown on top. If you don’t see them diving down into the water, you might spot them up in the tops of the Australian pines. 

Another species that many guests report seeing is the great blue heron. It’s pretty hard to miss this bird since it can stand up to four feet tall! These birds are predominantly grey, but you can be sure that it’s a great blue heron you’re seeing by the white crown stripes that extend from behind its beak down its back. 

If you see a distinct pink bird on the shore, you might think you’re looking at a flamingo. That’s not the case, though! These birds are the roseate spoonbills. They tend to hang out in the shallow parts of the water, sifting through the mud to find food. 

Photo from Unsplash

Other common bird species throughout the Anna Maria Island area include the snowy egret, black skimmer, white ibis, least tern, Wilson’s Plover, pelicans, and even the occasional bald eagle! 

What to Bring With You

You can simply show up with just your eyes when you go bird watching to have an incredible time seeing these creatures. However, having a bit of extra equipment with you can be a real benefit to make the most of your time outdoors.

As we mentioned initially, Anna Maria Island weather tends to be quite warm all year long. So, you’ll want to make sure that you dress appropriately. Shorts and short sleeves are safe bets in almost any season, as well as sun protection like a hat and sunglasses. Whatever you wear, be sure comfortable and sturdy walking shoes accompany it! 

Plan Your Next Stay

No matter which of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals you’re staying in, you’ll always have the dedication and passion of our staff. We are always available to answer any questions or concerns you might have, and we’ll stop at nothing to make sure that your trip goes off without a hitch. Want to learn more about all the fantastic attractions that AMI has to offer? Contact us today to learn more!

Another handy thing to have on your bird-watching adventure is a pair of binoculars. You don’t have to spend a ton of money here; even a cheap pair of binoculars will get the job done. You’ll be able to look high into the trees and spot even the most elusive varieties. While you’re at it, bring a birdwatching field guide to help you identify the species you’ve spotted and mark them off your list as you go.

Finally, be sure to take care of yourself while you’re out on the trails! Make sure you wear sunscreen and bug repellant and bring plenty of water and some snacks along with you. 

Book Your Anna Maria Island Rental

Bird watching is one of the most unique and exciting ways to explore the natural beauty of Anna Maria Island. It allows you to leave your worries behind, genuinely reconnect with the stunning environment around you, and spend some quality time with the ones you love most. After a long day of sightseeing and trying to see as many bird species as possible, return to our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals to relax and unwind for the evening. 

There’s truly no more relaxing place to be on your vacation than an AMI rental from Lizzie Lu. We are proud to offer a huge catalog of rentals, big and small, and specialty properties such as our Anna Maria Island rentals with a pool! All of our rentals are equipped with spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, high-speed internet, flat-screen TVs, and more. Plus, you’ll never be more than a few minutes away from all the most popular attractions in the area.