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Florida's central Gulf coast is teeming with wildlife, and birds are particularly plentiful. Whether you're just a casual observer who wants to know more about Florida wildlife, or a diehard birdwatcher on the lookout for elusive species, you'll enjoy observing the feathered friends of Florida.

Keep your eye out for the mockingbird, Florida's state bird. These birds can be found throughout the state, and they make their homes even along the coast. Once you spot a mockingbird, take a few minutes to listen; they often mimic the sounds of other birds, or even manmade sounds like sirens and alarms.

Aquatic birds reside in the mangroves and on the islands of the Gulf of Mexico. You'll see herons, gulls, and pelicans on the prowl for a meal. In some locations, these birds have become relatively comfortable with human contact, and they may get relatively close to you. But resist the urge to feed them--especially seagulls.

Nearby Anclote Key State Park has a dedicated bird sanctuary, where almost 100 species of birds can be spotted over the course of the year. Several species use this tiny island for nesting, and the park offers a slice of natural, untouched Florida beach. The island is accessible only by boat, and our staff can help you navigate there in one of our rental boats or in your own craft.

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