Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

300 Tower Rd., Naples, 34113
(239) 417-6310
9am to 4pm; closed on Sunday

skimmer

Start by visiting the Environmental Learning Center at the main entrance to view the interpretive exhibits. Pick up a bird list, and check the upland hammocks around the Center for warblers, woodpeckers and vireos. Shell Island Road, just a few miles from the main entrance, offers an opportunity to drive or bike through pine flatwoods and coastal scrub where you may find reintroduced Florida Scrub-Jays, Eastern Towhees and Pileated Woodpeckers. At the end of the road you enter a mangrove forest, where the Shell Point Canoe Trail begins (bring your own). Much of the reserve itself is accessible only by boat. The estuary offers a host of wading birds such as Reddish Egrets and Roseate Spoonbills, as well as the possibility of spotting Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles and Mangrove Cuckoos.

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