Visitors who enjoy Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park for the first time are enthralled by the abundant wildlife they encounter, particularly by the winged creatures who make this beautiful habitat their permanent or migratory home such as snowbirds. Some visitors even take up a new interest in bird watching after just one visit.
It so happens that Naples is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, and thus one of the best spots for bird watching in North America. Wiggins State Park is also part of the Atlantic Flyway, which means that many bird species come here when the weather in their native habitats turns too cold for comfort.
When temperatures drop and snow starts falling on the Atlantic Seaboard, dozens of species choose to make Naples and Wiggins State Park their winter habitats. Some of them stay here for months while other make it a migration stop on their way to Central America and the Caribbean. For this reason, many visitors to Wiggins State Park in January are bird watchers, who happen to be the some of the nicest guests any natural attraction can hope to welcome.
It is estimated that four billion birds migrate across the Americas each year; they fly away in search of warmth and food. This is not an easy journey; entire flocks can be decimated by predators and adverse weather conditions. Sadly, a good portion of their habitats has been decimated by urban development; this is not the case with Wiggins State Park, which is protected by Florida’s conservation laws. The conditions in this park are perfect for many migratory species, and visitors can enjoy their winter visits.
Here are a few of the interesting snowbirds that can be spotted in Naples during the winter:
This small perching bird has a long tail and orange-to-pink belly plumage. It is native to Texas and Oklahoma but likes to fly down to Costa Rica and stop in Southwest Florida when temperatures drop.
The sight of one of these colorful birds is truly a gift from Nature. Male buntings can sport red, blue, yellow, and green feathers while the females are mostly indigo. This bird mostly stays in Florida until the weather improves in New England.
This is a medium-sized raptor bird that competes against ospreys and hawks. This lovely black and white bird actually flies from the Amazon to Florida in the spring; it actually seeks warmer climates and stays for the summer due to the abundance of small reptiles.
This large fishing bird can probably survive any season; however, it enjoys Florida during the winter. Smaller flocks are known to overstay their visit if the Gulf of Mexico gives them abundant fish.
This all-American bird is a noisy early riser that eats just about anything. A neat characteristic of this resilient bird is that enjoys feeding on Brazilian pepper trees, which are invasive but abundant in Southwest Florida. Many robins fly to the Caribbean, but quite a few choose to stay in Florida before going back to their northern habitats.
Photo source: Animalia-life
Naples Beach Adventures
11135 GulfShore Drive
Naples, FL 34108
Parking Lot #4