Sanibel Birding & Wildlife

Sanibel Island is one of America’s most popular bird-watching sites. Hosting over 240 species of feathered friends, the island is an ornithological treasure. Located in Southwest Florida, Sanibel is a natural flyway terminus, as well as a stopover or destination for migrating birds.



Due to Sanibel’s ecology-minded population, over half the island has been preserved. In addition to J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll find endless trails and birding spots. Sanibel is only 15 miles long, but boasts freshwater wetlands, mangrove stands, beaches, dune and coastal ridge woodland.

White Pelicans are winter residents in Ding Darling Refuge


Birds are an intricate part of island life. Shorebirds dot the beaches or wheel through the sky. Pelicans and osprey dive for fish. Hawks line the telephone wires, while several varieties of woodpeckers love to make a racket. Traffic stops for egrets to cross the road. Whipporwills and herons call our bayous home, and the giant white pelican resides in Pine Island Sound, all winter long.