Birders Flock to Corkscrew Swamp to Watch Florida Spring Migration

Less than an hour southeast of Fort Myers, Florida’s Corkscrew Swamp provides a mecca for bird-watchers year-round and one of the best places to watch the annual Florida spring migration. Named one of the Top 200 North American Birding Hot Spots by, the 13,000-acre nature preserve in southwest Florida serves as a quiet oasis for wildlife, birds and unusual plants. Get the scoop.

Corkscrew Swamp Florida Spring Migration

An extensive boardwalk — which is wheelchair accessible — allows visitors to traverse portions of the swamp and get closer to residents. Frequent observation decks offer a place to sit and enjoy nature. While observing, train binoculars on distant tree limbs in search of new discoveries to add to birding lists.

Explanatory signs point out wildlife habitats and alert visitors to birds frequently found at the swamp. The preserve houses the largest nesting colony of endangered wood storks in the U.S. Blue herons, barred owls, white ibis and other bird species also inhabit the swamp, which also hosts alligators, black bears, red-bellied turtles and the elusive Florida black panther.

Plants, Tours

However, conservation efforts aren’t limited to wildlife. The nature preserve also protects the largest remaining stand of virgin bald cypress trees in the world and cares for rare and unusual plants. Cabbage palms, 500-year-old cypress trees, ghost orchids, swamp lilies, saw grass and ferns offer refuge to the swamp’s many migrating flocks.

One-hour guided walking tours offered at the Blair Audubon Visitors Center are well worth the time. The center also hosts special events throughout the year that highlight swaps, snakes, panthers and local art.

Whether searching for a day-trip idea or watching part of the Florida spring migration, Corkscrew Swamp gives visitors a chance to view wildlife and learn about important conservation efforts. Plan to explore the everglades with CorkScrew. Find more Fort Myers outdoor activities.