Birds Nesting Anna Maria Island – Spring is Here!

The spring nesting season is upon us here on Anna Maria Island. At the north end of the island, near Bean Point, and also in mid-Anna Maria. Where the beach is extremely wide and covered with small dunes and patches of beach grass, the seabirds are nesting.

Nesting shorebirds

Terns, black skimmers and sanderlings are sitting on their nests. Little scrapes in the sand are shorebird nests. Additionally, nest scrapes are very difficult to see. Often the Audubon Society comes out and ‘ropes off’ the nesting areas with skinny stakes and string to keep curious beach goers out of the area.

It’s very easy to scare a bird off its nest without even noticing that there os a nest. So, if you’re out walking at the north end of Anna Maria Island, please be careful.

The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird monitoring is an excellent Anna Maria Island shorebird resource. This non-profit organization is responsible for turtle monitoring. In addition to their turtle efforts, AMITW tracks shorebird development each spring.

nesting shore birds
Anna Maria Island is home to Black Skimmers during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

For more information on the birds of the island, call John van Zandt, or email .

One thought on “Birds Nesting Anna Maria Island – Spring is Here!”

  1. My family and I are interested in spending the day at Anna Maria Island. We would like to do some bird watching while we are there. (In April) Where should we go? Can we go on our own or do you require guided tours?


    Probably the best spot for bird watching is Robinson Preserve. I don’t have anything on our blog about it YET. I have video tapes and pictures. In addition the Tampa Zoo as well as Jungle gardens in Sarasota has unusual birds if a non nature setting is ok.


    From Mr. van Zandt, a full time Real Estate professional specializing in Anna Maria Island Real Estate. He writes ….

    “Hi, Darcy,

    I happen to be an Audubon member and pretty familiar with the bird life here on Anna Maria Island.

    You can easily access the beach and bay sides of the island for shore birds, like plovers, sandpipers, willets, oystercatchers and such, plus terns, gulls, herons, ibises, storks, egrets and the like. You’re a bit late for migrating warblers, but we usually have a good supply of yellow-rumped, pine, black-and-whites, prairie, etc. in our Austrialian pine trees. Lots of woodpeckers, mostly red-bellied.

    At the south end of the island is Leffis Key, a boardwalk and tall sand-dune-type structure with a variety of ‘land-type’ birds, including some warbs and sparrows, plus the bayside birds.

    In Manatee County, you’ll want to look for the local association’s pet project, the Felts Preserve. Big open house for Earth Day!

    Here’s a link to their site: Manatee Audubon

    And don’t forget to look for Florida Birding Trail

    I really love the black skimmers nesting at the north end of the island.
    They and least terns make tiny scrapes, lay their eggs and raise their young in the most precarious of circumstances.

    Ain’t nature grand!?


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