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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
People walking between huge trees
Ancient Forest Tours Have Returned!
Corkscrew Swamp's ancient bald cypress forest was protected from logging in 1954 and is the world's largest remaining old-growth bald cypress forest. Learn the secrets of the forest on a three-hour tour along the 2.25-mile boardwalk with highlights on history, ecology, storytelling, and ancient cypress trees.  Learn more about tours offered at the Sanctuary,
People on the boardwalk appear dwarfed by ancient cypress trees. Photo: David Korte
Aerial view of birds in a swamp.
Wood Storks Not Nesting, Yet
The second Wood Stork monitoring survey of the 2022 nesting season was conducted on January 4. Wood Stork nesting activity has not yet begun at any of the five known colony sites in Southwest Florida. It is early enough in the nesting season that Wood Storks still have plenty of time to nest successfully and our team will continue to monitor them monthly.
Aerial view of wading birds in the restoration area.
Graph (cropped) showing rainfall data.
Water Level Update
Rainfall for December was 0.03 inches, which was quite low compared to our monthly average of 1.77 inches. This was the driest December at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary since 1991, and the second driest December since monthly rainfall data collection began in 1959. Despite the dry December, cumulative dry season rainfall (October-December) is within the average range. Click the link to see the entire graph.
Graph (cropped) showing rainfall data for Water Year 2022.
People walking into a building.
Timed Ticketing is Here to Stay!
Prior to COVID-19, we welcomed more than 100,000 visitors each year, with no limit on the number of guests per hour or day. Our new timed ticketing system enables us to welcome no more than 40 guests every 15 minutes, encouraging a safer (and slightly more exclusive) experience for all. While it is possible to purchase tickets on your mobile device from our parking lot, our mid-day, weekend slots do fill quickly and we often turn visitors away. Don’t let that happen to you - get your tickets before you come, or, become a member. Keep in mind: masks are required inside the Blair Center.
Visitors approaching the Blair Audubon Center. Photo: David Korte
Three ducklings at the water's edge.
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks Are On the Move
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are changing their movement patterns. At Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, researchers have recorded higher numbers of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks compared to just fifteen years ago, and are beginning to look into why more waterfowl are choosing the Sanctuary as their winter home. 
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at the Sanctuary.
People on a trail looking for birds.
Christmas Bird Count
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count takes place from December 14 to January 5 every year, from the Aleutian Islands to Brazil. Starting in 1900, the count engaged birders in spotting birds for science, not sport. Here we have summarized two count efforts for 2021, undertaken at Everglades Science Center and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Note: the official results are not yet available.
Participating in the Christmas Bird Count.
promo graphic showing photo of boardwalk and text overlay
Save the Date for Give Where You Live!
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is one of only 40 nonprofits selected to participate in Give Where You Live Collier day on February 9 - 10. This 24-hour online fundraiser, hosted by the Community Foundation of Collier County and the Richard M. Schulze Foundation, offers matching gifts and prize opportunities for participating nonprofits. Donors who use DAFs for their giving are encouraged to participate early!   Learn more.
Save the Date for Give Where You Live
People pointing.
Upcoming Events
Looking for a guided experience? We have several coming up! Registration is required. 

Jan. 13 Family Night Walk
Jan. 18 Early Birding Walk
Jan. 25 Early Birding Walk
Feb. 1 Early Birding Walk
Feb. 2 Sunset Stroll
Feb. 3 Ancient Forest Tour
Feb. 8 Early Birding Walk
   Book a tour.
Membership promo
Members Get In Free
As a reminder, Friends of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary members receive free admission to the boardwalk all year long. Thanks to our online ticketing platform, members and visitors can appreciate shorter wait times at the admissions desk and less crowding on the boardwalk. With our new online system, members no longer need to carry their membership cards!   Read more
Members get free admission.
Colorful hummingbird and dragonfly art.
Shop the Nature Store
Find books, photography, and wares by area artists, logo items like magnets and t-shirts produced by local businesses, there’s even hand-crafted jewelry and holiday ornaments. For some of these vendors, our store is the only place where you can purchase their unique items. Stop in the store on your next visit, or shop online!   Read more
Environmentally-themed souvenirs and gifts.
in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary In the News
Outlet: WGCU Public Media
Headline: National Geographic Explorer Mac Stone wins International Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest with Corkscrew photo
Excerpt: National Geographic photographer Mac Stone’s photo from Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has been honored in the International Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest. Illustrating the challenges faced by wildlife in our dynamic sub-tropical swamp ecosystem is no easy feat, but photographer Mac Stone’s image from Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary does just that.

Outlet: Naples Illustrated
Headline: Walking is the Way at Corkscrew Sanctuary
Excerpt: Experience Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in eastern Collier County at three different points in the day: for an Early Birding Walk on November 12, 16, or 23, a Night Walk on November 10, or the Sunset Stroll on November 17. The birding walks are $30; others are $40. Groups are limited to 10.

Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline: Collier commissioners reconsider mosquito district expansion to exclude sensitive lands
Excerpt: Collier County commissioners voted again to support the expansion of the Collier Mosquito Control District at Tuesday’s board meeting, but amended the resolution to exclude environmentally sensitive public lands. “It is very important for public health and safety to expand the boundary to include new urban boundaries," Cornell said. "Regarding how we deal with public health questions, the alternative we are advocating for… accomplishes public health and safety and also protects the public in urban areas."

Outlet: Fort Myers Florida Weekly
Headline: It’s Not Just For the Birds
Excerpt: THE 122ND ANNUAL Audubon Christmas Bird Count from early December to mid-January is about to begin in each of the nation’s 50 states. Many locations will be surveyed by bird-watching Audubon volunteers who record whatever they can see or hear in a day, usually with two-person teams working in “circles” of 10- to 15-mile diameters, as they have done since the first Christmas of the 20th century... Unfortunately, such birds as snail kites, wood storks, tri-colored herons, roseate spoonbills... sandhill cranes and others are federally endangered or threatened, which means the extinction vortex that finally swallowed the passenger pigeon and the ivory billed woodpecker is now beginning to threaten too many other species, says Sally Stein, public projects director at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the traditional western Everglades. There, straddling the line between Lee and Collier counties, such birds often once thrived. “We typically get 115 to 125 different species in our count circle but we have 220 species that have been documented over the years,” she notes.

Outlet: Naples Daily News
Headline: Naples woman is Audubon Florida Volunteer of the Year (photo album)
Headline: Audubon Florida volunteer of the year is Naples resident Joan Dunn (story, subscription required)
Excerpt: Audubon Florida on Monday announced this year’s Volunteer of the Year: Naples resident Joan Dunn, who spends her volunteer hours at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples won the accolade. Dunn has volunteered at Corkscrew for 14 years now, giving eight hours each Tuesday and Sunday. She uses her vast knowledge of the Florida wilderness to educate guests walking the 2.25-mile boardwalk through three distinct Florida ecosystems preserved within the Sanctuary. Audubon Florida recognized Dunn, a Naples resident, as the organization’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year. “I feel honored, I really do,” she said.

Outlet: ENcompass Magazine
Headline: Allyson Webb of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Wins Burl Long Award
Excerpt: Audubon Florida celebrates Allyson Webb, Senior Resource Manager at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, as the Natural Resources Leadership Institute’s 2021 Burl Long Award winner.“Since the very first NRLI session Allyson has been applying what she has learned to her work here at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Allyson works across teams at the Sanctuary to steward our unique natural resources, and will be a key voice in the Western Everglades as we work with surrounding landowners, agencies, and partner nonprofits to make our region resilient now and into the future,” said Lisa Korte, PhD, Director for Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Outlet: WINK CBS News Ft. Myers
Headline: ‘State of the Slough’ report shows how Everglades fared during summer months
Excerpt: In Audubon Florida’s semi-annual “State of the Slough” report, researchers set their sights on the Taylor Slough wetland and Florida Bay, east of Corkscrew Swamp. The data gives water managers a snapshot of how the ecosystem fares during weather events. “It’s incredibly important to keep track of the Everglades system because the water is so important,” said Lisa Korte, director of Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp sanctuary. 

Outlet: Fort Myers Florida Weekly

Headline:San-Cap Audubon announces 2022 lecture series
Excerpt: A new season of Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society lectures takes flight Thursday, Jan. 6, with Dr. Jerry Jackson, Florida Gulf Coast University professor and host of WGCU’s radio show “With the Wild Things.” The series continues with an array of presenters ranging from biologists, naturalists, conservationists, and photographers to a New York Times bestselling author. Feb 10: “Wetlands, Water and Wood Storks” – Dr. Shawn Clem discusses what Audubon scientists are uncovering about recent hydrological changes in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s wetlands and a possible correlation with declining wood stork nesting.

Outlet: Fort Myers Florida Weekly

Headline: Four full-moon and nighttime activities that explore nature in the dark
Excerpt: Your outdoor play day on the beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. Throughout the high season, you can enjoy a night in the swamp on an Audubon naturalist-guided walk. The Family Night Walk is perfect for families with young children.

Outlet: WGCU Public Media Ft. Myers

Headline: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary finding invasive species at home
Excerpt: Growing ever-closer to the pristine swamp is a forest of extremely thirsty, ecosystem-changing, shape-shifting, pollen-producing Carolina willows that have invaded the wet prairies in the 13,500-acre Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. “We have had a native plant, the Carolina willow, take over many of our wetlands,” said Audubon Florida’s Lisa Korte, who is the director of the sanctuary. “Rather than having these very open wetlands, you’ve got a physical barrier where wading birds are not able to get in.”

Outlet: Naples Daily News

Headline: Wrap it up: Art, nature centers have creative gifts for you
Excerpt: Pandemic, shmandemic. Some of us did not get a free minute to do that early buying the media are claiming is an outgrowth of a quiet summer and autumn. The Nature Store at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary offers every possible avenue for shopping: online, curbside delivery and in-person. The sanctuary itself requires advance reservations right now, and it's always worth it. In the meantime, the store doesn't require reservations, but facemasks are a necessity. The Nature Store there has always been a trove of fun things, and the T-shirt selection this year, in deep lime, grape and blueberry, is at its best for kids ($11.50 to $16.95). Gators will make an appearance on their fronts, but there's a clever one with beneficial bugs swaggering around, too.
Donations and memberships provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary. The Blair Audubon Center and boardwalk are open daily with timed admissions from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Online tickets are required at
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd., Naples, FL 34120 USA
(239) 348-9151 |

© 2024 National Audubon Society, Inc.