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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Monthly eNewsletter
right side: a woman holding a stick. left side: a colorful bird perched on foliage
Bird Feeders Are Back!
Did you know that watching birds reduces stress, calms our minds, and reinvigorates our energy?

Last month we restored the feeders behind the Blair Audubon Center. While migratory birds are able to find the food resources they need in the Sanctuary’s habitats, feeders provide a great opportunity for visitors to see these long-distance travelers up close.

Through simple observation, people can learn a lot about bird behaviors and characteristics, and how the variety of bird species changes from season to season. Studies have shown that observing visual details, noticing patterns in animal behavior, and even listening closely to bird songs can ease anxiety. Birding is a great way to engage the brain and enhance mental alertness.

The bird seed we use was carefully selected and includes a blend of millet, sunflower hearts, and thistle, which provides a nutritious supplement to the native plants on the Sanctuary grounds and is perfect for Painted Buntings. These feeders are installed at a height that makes it difficult for bears to take advantage of this resource. 
Volunteer Amy Swanson at the feeder | Painted Bunting. Photo: Jean Hall
Collage image with a map on one side and a person holding a bird on the right
Motus Station Provides Data on Migrating Birds
Back in June, we shared news about a new Motus wildlife tracking station installed at the Sanctuary. This station joined hundreds of others in the Audubon network and beyond, designed to collect information about migratory birds and their habitats. Each antenna picks up radio signals emitted from birds outfitted with tracking devices and enables researchers to “see” when tagged birds pass within a certain distance of the antenna.

Also in June, a team at the University of Delaware busily banded dozens of pint-sized Purple Martins. By early September, three of those Purple Martins became the first birds detected by our station! Shortly thereafter, one of those Purple Martins flew by another Motus station in Costa Rica, showing us the way they connect the dots between our habitats.

Luckily, the hurricane did not damage the Sanctuary’s station, and it continues to record this valuable data. What else has passed by? A Bobolink tagged in Nebraska, an American Kestrel tagged in Massachusetts, and a Swainson’s Thrush banded in Montana!
Left: Map showing the birds' flight path from Delaware through the Sanctuary to Costa Rica. Right: University of Delaware Master's student Katie Bird with a nanotagged Purple Martin. Photo: Matt Sarver.
A moth in flight with flowers
Another Mac Stone Photo from Corkscrew Sanctuary Honored
Readers may recognize this photo by National Geographic Explorer Mac Stone of a giant sphinx moth feeding at the “Super” ghost orchid. It garnered international recognition in 2019 for debunking the mystery of ghost orchid pollination and is in the spotlight once again. It was one of thousands of entries, submitted by professional and amateur photographers from 93 countries, chosen by the Natural History Museum in London for their 58th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year award exhibition. These awards are considered to be the Oscars of the wildlife photography world.

“We are so fortunate to get to see and study this remnant stand of ancient subtropical swamp in the heart of the Everglades and on the edge of Naples,” said Stone.

The photo will be on display at the museum until July 2023.
Mac Stone's photograph of the giant sphinx moth (Cocytius antaeus) visiting the ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) to feed but not necessarily functioning as a pollinator.
A person on a wheelchair on a boardwalk looking at nature with a guide
Special Events Aim to Relax Your Body, Mind, and Soul
This Veteran’s Day (Friday, Nov. 11) we’re inviting our brave military members and veterans for a free day at the Sanctuary to immerse in nature while exploring the 2.25-mile boardwalk. Our Military Outdoors Day event visitors can take advantage of resting spots along the shady boardwalk, guided "Forest Bathing Meditation," “Nature Heals” tours, and an interpretive table at the visitor center. The event is free for Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary members, active members of the U.S. military and veterans, and discounted for other visitors.
Boardwalk naturalists engage visitors of all abilities on the boardwalk. Photo: David Korte
A raccoon reaching into the water.
Discoveries After Dusk – December 8
Discover the magic of the swamp after dusk! This special event invites visitors of all ages to learn about the nighttime activities of wildlife including raccoons, bats, moths, owls, and more. From 5 to 7 p.m. enjoy live music with Tad and the Tadpoles (bluegrass/folk music) in the visitor center, as well as bat and moth interpretive stations on the boardwalk, spotting scopes, stargazing, and holiday shopping. Members will enjoy a 20% discount on any purchases made in our Nature Store.

Admission is $8 for adults, $3 for kids 6-14, and free for members
One of the Sanctuary's many resident raccoons. Photo: Donald Sawin
Hands with a net and aquatic life.
NEW: Dip-netting and Alligator Stations
Would you like to learn more about the amazing animals and habitats at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary? We're excited to announce that staff and volunteers are again offering weekly guided experiences for visitors.

Over the next few weeks, between 9 a.m. and noon, they plan to:
• Take you on a guided tour (Nov. 7, 10, 17, 23, and December 9). Space is limited on the guided tour.
• Host a dip-netting station (Nov. 10)
• Introduce you to our Alligator Ambassador (Nov. 9 and 16)

These programs are great for all ages and are included in regular admission. Members get in free!
Dip-netting. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon
Scroll past the news for more information and events!
in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Swamp Series Taps Kids' Inner Sleuth
We couldn't resist one for the kids because the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary class series sounds like so much fun. The only problem is there's not an adult version of the intriguing "Swamp Survivor" class, in which the "lost" group must survive while trying to find its way out of the massive Everglades. In the meantime, you'll have to ask your kids how to do it after the Jan. 13 program, one of four "School's Out" full-day programs at Corkscrew. They're timed to Collier County Public Schools holidays. 

An Ode to Bald Cypress, Unsung Hero of Autumn
It’s nearly that time of year, when leaf peepers from Washington state to the rocky coast of Maine zip up their fleeces and head for the hills. For a uniquely Southern panorama, though, consider traveling to the lower altitudes, where the boughs of bald cypress quietly signal the changing season.Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, Florida. This western Everglades Audubon sanctuary shows off the largest virgin bald cypress forest in the world via a two-mile boardwalk.

Corkscrew SIGHTINGS: Meet Ruddy Daggerwing, a South Florida character
Deep in the swamp and surrounded by green, an orange-and-black beauty seems to float on air. Dipping high and low, it lights on a buttonbush blossom for a drink of nectar, wings opening and closing slowly. Ruddy daggerwings can sip nectar from a variety of flowers, but at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, their favorites are buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and Virginia willow (Itea virginica). 

Florida Wilderness Pros Offer Their Four Favorite Shaded Hikes for a Great Weekend Getaway
With South Florida still in the throes of summer heat, hiking might seem like a bonkers idea. But there are some beautiful shaded treks to be had in the region. Hike #1: Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to the world’s largest remaining old-growth bald cypress forest. These towering trees provide a view of what South Florida once looked like before human disturbance and logging. Corkscrew and the adjacent protected areas also play a critical role in protecting wildlands for the endangered Florida panther. 

Corkscrew SIGHTINGS: High Water Levels at the Sanctuary Mean the Swamp is Doing its Job
By Shawn Clem, Director of Research - Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: Hurricane Ian broke rainfall records across Florida and resulted in surface waters reaching nearly historic levels at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The sanctuary received 5.8 inches of rainfall over the four days of the storm, making 2022 the second rainiest September in the sanctuary’s 63-year rainfall record.

A fox on a boardwalk
The Magic of Corkscrew
Because our members can visit as often as they’d like, they enjoy special experiences on our iconic boardwalk. In late September, photographer (and member) Jean Hall was on a mission to see a Worm-eating Warbler when she spotted an equally amazing critter. With her telephoto lens, she captured an image of a gray fox, right on the boardwalk! It was a first-time sighting for Hall, who worked hard to get this shot while respecting its space – not an easy feat on our narrow boardwalk! She was ultimately able to get her shot of a Worm-eating Warbler.
A gray fox on the boardwalk. Photo: Jean Hall
Morning view of boardwalk.
Membership Has its Privileges
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary membership brings you closer to the natural world. Enjoy year-long general admission to the Sanctuary’s iconic boardwalk, special member-only programs, free and discounted admission to special events, guest passes, and more. Membership starts as low as $75 for an individual and $100 for a family. Become a Member today!
Morning view of the boardwalk.
People on the boardwalk
Upcoming Events
Check out these upcoming tours and events!
Nov. 11 Military Outdoors Day
Nov. 15 Early Birding Walk
Nov. 17 Morning Boardwalk Tour
Nov. 22 Early Birding Walk
Nov. 30 Sunset Stroll
Dec. 1 Ancient Forest Tour
Dec. 8 Discoveries After Dusk Guided tour details and registration.
People enjoying the boardwalk. Photo: David Korte
The Audubon Blair Visitor Center.
We're Hiring!
We're hiring! We have positions available for Conservation Director, Outdoor Educator, Seasonal Center Assistant, Campus Host, and Facilities Assistant. Check out our careers page for details if you'd like to join our flock. More information and application.
The Audubon Blair Visitor Center. Photo: David Korte
view of merchandise and the store interior
The Nature Store Has Your Holiday Shopping Needs
The Nature Store is full of merchandise, ready for your holiday shopping! Stop in anytime from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to take a look around for that unique gift. Find toys, clothing, housewares, and jewelry, including many items that are locally made or Fair Trade. All proceeds benefit the protection and restoration of the Sanctuary and our educational programs.  Shop online
The Nature Store.
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.