Loggerhead Turtles visit Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Loggerhead Turtles are the most common found nesting on our shores from May through October every year. There are five different species of Sea Turtles that can be found swimming in the waters around Anna Maria Island.

Loggerhead Turtles and More

Among Loggerheads the Gulf of Mexico is also home to Hawksbill, Leatherback, Kemp Ridley and Green Sea Turtles. Occasionally on Anna Maria Island we have had Green Sea Turtles nest, but most nests are from Loggerheads.

According to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring the 2015 Sea Turtle nesting season brought Anna Maria Island 356 nests with 441 false crawls, or crawls not resulting in eggs, and a total of 12,571 hatchlings sent off to the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay.

Loggerhead turtles have a large head and powerful jaw suited for eating the hard shelled organisms that make up most of their diet. In addition to eating mollusks, whelks and conchs, and sea urchins Loggerheads feast on Jellyfish and are predominantly carnivores. After hatching, baby turtles make their way to the safety of sargassum, or large patches of floating sea grass, to feed on tiny floating organisms and invertebrates.

Loggerhead turtles
A loggerhead Sea Turtle released from a rehabilitation facility.

Loggerheads aren’t just found in Florida waters, but have a very large range including the sub-tropic and tropic regions of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Occasionally Loggerheads have even been seen off the coast of Oregon, but do not nest on those coasts. These turtles can be found hundreds of miles off shore in open water, around coral reefs, as well as inshore lagoons, bays, salt marshes and large rivers.

About Loggerheads

Loggerhead turtles, also know by the scientific term as Caretta caretta, have almost heart shaped shells with a red tinged top and yellow underside. Males have a longer tail with their carpace, or top shell, narrowing towards their back end. Baby Caretta caretta have a dark grey or brownish carpace with a pale yellow underside, and their flippers are dark brown with white edges. This species of turtle is typically in the 200 pound range as adults, but can grow to 400 or more pounds in weight. The adult Caretta caretta has an average length of 36-38 inches with babies hatching at just a couple of inches.

Turtles and Ecosystem

Sea Turtles play an important role in their ecosystem, with their biggest threat coming from development of habitat. It is important to be mindful when visiting the beach during nesting season. Turtles need to navigate the coastline uninterrupted. Female Loggerheads usually come up on to the shore after nightfall to nest. Often they visit the same beaches where they were hatched. Caretta caretta nests can hold around 100 eggs, but are susceptible to predation from animals foraging on the coast.

When visiting gulf beaches between May and October it is important to flatten sandcastles, fill in sand holes and remove beach equipment and garbage. This is to ensure turtles and hatchlings don’t become entangled or trapped. For tips on sharing the beach during turtle season read our “Rules to Live by during Turtle Season“. If you see a turtle or hatchlings stay back, give the animal space so they don’t become stressed.

Loggerhead turtle hatchlings
Baby Loggerhead Turtles make their way to the Gulf.

If you see an injured sea turtle or unmarked nest please contact the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch at 941-778-5638. Also contact Florida Fish and Wildlife at 888-404-3922. If you find any type of injured wildlife contact Wildlife Inc. at 941-778-6324.


Anna Maria Island Beach Front Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers a large selection of beach front vacation rentals to choose from, so plan your stay today!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
La Casa LaMar offers direct beach front accommodations for up to 5 guests! Click on the image to learn more about this beautiful home.

Anna Maria Island 2 Minute Beach Clean

Anna Maria Island – Across the shores of the world on every continent people have been participating in a fun, not so new, environmental movement called the two minute beach clean. From Russia to Australia, Ireland to Florida, and even Antarctica; when people head to the coast they are participating in the two minute beach clean.

In 2009 Martin Dorey of Cornwall England started a non profit organization called the beach clean network to support the two minute beach clean campaign. An avid lover of the beach and long time beach cleaner, Martin Dorey became discouraged when he felt his efforts weren’t enough to keep up with the constant stream of trash found on the shoreline. Martin Dorey though if he could get more people to pitch in the problem could be minimized, so he turned to social media. Martin Dorey began by tweeting out pictures of his findings from his trips to the shore, and eventually others started to catch on sharing their own pictures.

Now, six years after it began, the two minute beach clean has become a global campaign. Martin Dorey’s Beach Clean Network is completely run by volunteer efforts with the exception of a small grant from the organization Sea Changers  to assist in building the Beach Clean Network website.


Anna Maria Island two minute beach clean
Trash found on Anna Maria Island by local beach clean organization Heart the Sea

What is the two minute beach clean?

The two minute beach clean is exactly what is sounds like. When you get to the beach take two minutes and pick up as much trash as you can carry. When picking up trash be sure to always keep safety in mind. Gloves are a good idea during your beach clean, but not totally necessary. Always supervise children, and use caution when handling sharp objects. Buckets are a better container to hold trash as bags tear, and are less environmentally sound. When cleaning the beach if you come across dead or injured animals be sure not to touch it and contact the proper wildlife organization such as the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissions Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Why participate in the two minute beach clean?

You may think two minutes isn’t enough time to make a difference, but if everyone participates the impact is effective. Ridding beaches of litter is important to the health and economy of the world. Trash doesn’t only affect ocean life, but the health and well being of the human population. Plastics are of particular harm to the environment as they break down into pieces so tiny even plankton and other small forms of life mistake it as food. Plastic takes thousands of years to biodegrade, and leach toxins and chemicals in the process. All marine life is threatened by plastic; In fact, a new study conducted by the PNAS estimates that by 2050 up to 99% of Seabirds will be eating plastics.

The Take Away.

Next time you make a trip to the gorgeous shores of Anna Maria Island ask yourself if you have two minutes of time to spare. Chances are, since you are spending leisure time soaking up sun, splashing in clear gulf waters and relaxing on powder sand beaches, you probably have two minutes of your day to spare. Spending the day in tropical island paradise peppered with litter isn’t the ideal way to enjoy a day at the beach, so do your part, and join the two minute beach clean campaign today!


Anna Maria Island Beach Clean
When you participate in a beach clean post images of your finds to social media using #BeachCleanAMI or #AnnaMariaIsland to let locals know about your efforts. Use #2minutebeachclean to share your finds with the global Beach Clean Network.

Halloween's Top 5 Beach Costumes

Halloween is a fun time of year where we get to play pretend and live out our imaginations.  If you’re imagination is full of thoughts of the beach, here are our five favorite beach-inspired Halloween costumes:


5.  THE HULA GIRLhula girl


Luaus and hulas might be a Hawaiian tradition, but we have to respect the beautiful tradition and overall appeal of the hula girl.






No humanistic character has a closer relationship to the sea than the mermaid.  We can’t help but be jealous of life spent in the ocean and love to see the little mermaids who stop by the Island Real Estate office to trick or treat.






lifeguard costuem3. LIFEGUARD

These are some of our heroes.  Lifeguards and other first responders who protect our beaches and keep our loved ones safe are near and dear to our hearts, so grab shorts and tank tops and  represent for the lifeguards this Halloween.






Shark-costume-baby-on-the-beach  2. SHARK BABY

Not everyone can pull this one off.  But if you have the chubby cheeks for it, you can’t go wrong with a shark baby disguise.  It’s both ferocious and irresistible at the same time.







TAMI baby costume No. 1 TAMI SEA TURTLE

Tami the sea turtle is our Island Real Estate mascot and our favorite Halloween costume concept.  Just imagine all of the extra candy you can store in that shell!!



Tami Turtle on Anna Maria Island’s Beaches

Tami Turtle on Anna Maria Island’s Beaches

Tami with Towel and Sunscreen

Why Tami Loves Anna Maria Island!

Hey friends! I’m laying out on the white sugar sand beaches of Anna Maria Island today! The weather here is perfect with a great forecast for the coming week! You can expect perfect beach weather so come join me and work on that tan! What I love most about the beaches on Anna Maria Island is the serenity and secluded feel that is not available at most other beaches of this caliber! That’s why my loggerhead sea turtle friends and I continue to choose this as our favored nesting area! I mean if you think this view is something, just wait until you experience it in person!

Hope to see you soon! Until next time this is Tami Turtle checking out!

Anna Maria Island Beach Activities

Hey friends! Tami Turtle here! Anna Maria Island is full of fun things to do, but all of my favorite activities take place on the beach and in the water! What’s my favorite thing to do? Go for a swim of course! But there’s also surfing, paddle boarding, sun tanning, building sand castles, playing frisbee, snorkeling, playing volleyball, having a picnic and so much more! What is your favorite activity on the beach? Shells and kisses, Tami TurtleTami beach activity

Anna Maria City Pier with Tami

Tami pier

Hiya friends! It’s Tami Turtle here again! Have you been to the Anna Maria City Pier this year? I have! Here are a few fun facts about one of Anna Maria’s most historic sites!

  • The pier is 750 feet long!
  • Located at the end of the pier is the City Pier Restaurant and Gift Shop, a favorite for locals.
  • The pier was originally built as a dock in 1911 for trade and travel.
  • The Anna Maria City Pier is one of the top fishing spots in the entire Bradenton area!
  • The pier has suffered severe hurricane damage four times, yet still stands strong in its (almost) original form.

Tami’s Favorite Anna Maria Island Wildlife

Tami WildlifeHi everybody! I’m Tami Turtle, and I’m hanging out with the wildlife on Anna Maria Island today! AMI has an extremely diverse wildlife community. There are sea turtles (like me), pelicans, cranes, herons, egrets, dolphins, manatees and more! What animal is your favorite to see on Anna Maria Island?

Holmes Beach Tree House

Holmes Beach Tree House

Hi all, Tami Turtle here to share a little of the island’s latest news…

They are calling it something out of Swiss Family Robinson, right here on Anna Maria Island!  The island is a buzz about the fate of the Holmes Beach Tree House.  The creators are Holmes Beach residents, who have been pleading with city officials to save their awesome tree house located directly on the Gulf of Mexico.  Their case was recently featured during a report on NBC’s Today Show.

Continue reading Holmes Beach Tree House

Meet Tami Turtle! The Anna Maria Island Turtle!


Heeeey guys! I’m Tami Turtle and I’m blogging’ to you  from right here, my hometown of Anna Maria Island. I wanted to tell all you ALL about my kind, the loggerhead sea turtle. Since we’re the most common sea turtles here on AMI, I thought you should know a bit about us.  Visit Island Real Estate at Pine Avenue if you want to take a fun photo as seen above.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle swimming
First of all we are pretty important. I mean, we are a big part of the marine food chain. We can live up to 75 years, sometimes longer. We usually get to be about 3 feet tall and weigh 250-300 pounds. We have dark yellow-brown skin with a greenish-brown shell. And guess what! When we lay eggs we always go back to the same beach where we were born. Pretty cool, huh?
Turtle Tip Time!! Don’t keep your lights on at night ’cause we are attracted to them. Don’t leave your trash or beach chairs on the beach either or we’ll think they’re food or get stuck in them. And please, please, PLEASE DO NOT touch us or dig up our nests! It’s breaking the law. Thank you!
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Baby
We live in nearly every ocean (except the Arctic) and in shallow waters. We mainly eat jellyfish, corals, sea anemones, squid and flying fish. Maybe not yummy to you, but delicious to us!

If you wanna come and check us out head over to Mote Marine or the Florida Aquarium and “sea” what we’re up to! ‘Til next time this is Tami Turtle signing off. Turtley, dude!

Anna Maria Island sea turtle tips from TAMI

Hi everyone! My name is Tami the Turtle and I’m a brand new resident of Anna Maria Island.

Of course, I’ve been here before on vacation – everyone knows that Anna Maria is a family friendly spot to get away and during turtle season, up to five species make the trip ashore to hatch their eggs. Loggerheads are the most common, but you’ll also spot the rarer green turtle. From the beginning of May through October, we’re all sharing the beautiful gulf coast beaches.

Our newest member of the IRE family, Tami

But how can we get along and make sure to keep Anna Maria Island the favorite spot to spend family time? Whether it be in a shell or a fabulous vacation rental property? The answer is blissfully simple: education! Know your beach etiquette during turtle season and don’t be afraid to share it with others. After a while, it will become second nature and Anna Maria Island will be a perfect place to come with your family for all of us.

Turtle Tip #1: Don’t Let Us See the Light.

Turtle hatchlings are very sensitive to lighting. They become disoriented from man-made light sources and turned away from the beach, directly towards danger. Please don’t use a flashlight on the beach at night or any flash photography. Anna Maria Island doesn’t permit any driving on the beach, but do be aware of your headlights. Minimize any beachfront lighting at your property. Also please keep in mind that if you’re walking around at night during Turtle Season that baby turtles are easily stepped on in the dark. That’s certainly no way to make friends on the beach.

Turtle Tip #2: Too Adorable to Touch

We know, we know – us turtles have heard it a thousand times before. We’re the cutest things you ever did see. But please be sure to keep your distance if you spot any baby turtles or hatching females. Mama Turtles can have a hard time laying their eggs with people around and only a professional should handle misguided babies. Get in touch with AMI Turtle Watch at (941) 778-5638 should you ever spot a distressed or dead turtle. This includes any unmarked

Turtle Tip #3: Pick Up Your Toys

We know that you would never litter – the beaches around here are famously pristine and that helps keep the sands safe for natives, tourists, and turtles alike. But also be sure to fill in any holes from building sandcastles and double check that you have all the toys you brought down to the shore with you.

To learn more about us, get in touch with our friends over at the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. Or visit a few of the patients in Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. We’re all very lucky to be sharing this seven miles strip of paradise, so let’s work together to keep it the pride of Florida’s gulf coast.

I’m really looking forward to us being friends. Keep an eye out for me around Island Real Estate’s website and blogs.

Shells and kisses, Tami