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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary eNewsletter
Sunset view of a wetland.
Above-average Winter Rainfall Results in High Water Levels
Above-average rainfall this winter has kept water levels at the swamp high and closer to our historic levels, extending the hydroperiod. Since the mid-2000s, we have usually experienced shorter hydroperiods and a much more drastic drydown in the spring. However, water levels have been fairly consistent this winter thanks to the rain. While rain is usually good news, too much water during nesting season can make it difficult for wading birds to find fish. See graphs for rainfall and water levels.
Photographer in residence RJ Wiley captured this image at the restoration site earlier this week.
Aerial view of trees with white birds in them surrounded by water.
Wood Storks are Nesting, Just Not at Corkscrew Swamp
The fourth Wood Stork survey flight of the 2024 nesting season was conducted on Tuesday, March 5. Lenore Island (in the Caloosahatchee River) and BC-29 (west of State Road 29, north of Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge) exhibited the only Wood Stork nesting activity out of the three colony sites in Southwest Florida that have been active in recent years. While Wood Stork nesting was observed at both colonies, most of the wading birds at BC-29 were Great Egrets and Cattle Egrets, with some Roseate Spoonbills. No wading bird nesting activity was observed at the historic Corkscrew colony.

Due to the unusually rainy dry season, water levels are high throughout the system so aquatic prey densities remain low. As El Niño weather patterns weaken and water levels begin to fall, foraging conditions should improve for Wood Storks and other wading birds and we expect nesting numbers may increase.

The next survey flight is scheduled for early April.
View from above Lenore Island in the Caloosahatchee River (03/05/2024). Photo: Jacob Zetzer/Audubon Florida
Photo of a low fire on the ground with orange clouds in the background.
Prescribed Fire Update – Focus on the Future
It has been exciting to see so much interest and enthusiasm from visitors who have been at the Sanctuary during our prescribed burns, and we’re grateful for everyone’s patience with intermittent smoke and the lingering ‘campfire’ smell. Staff on the boardwalk have spoken with visitors who were captivated by Red-shouldered Hawks and Swallow-tailed Kites hunting within and on the edge of burn units, and we’re already seeing fresh, green native plant growth and increased wildlife activity in these areas.
Prescribed fire. Photo: Scott Svec/Audubon Florida

Scroll past the news for more information and events!

in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Corkscrew SIGHTINGS: Migratory birds rely on sanctuary for winter habitat
Visitors spotted several long-distance bird migrants at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in February, including black-throated green warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, and palm warbler.

Federal judge halts developments where panthers remain in the western Everglades
One of the residential developments held up by a federal judge concerned that state and federal environmental agencies are violating the Endangered Species Act is Kingston, which will be located near this land by the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Portrait of a woman standing outdoors
Happiness Workshop in Nature - April 22
Embark on a joyful exploration of happiness at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary with renowned speaker and author of Live Your Happy, Maria Felipe. Join us for an enchanting event filled with wisdom, connection, and uplifting energy in celebration of Earth Day! This workshop is offered for only $10 per person ($7 for members) and includes admission to the Sanctuary. 
Maria Felipe, author of "Live Your Happy."
Birdathon promo graphic with birds in flight
Participate in Audubon Florida's Birdathon at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
The Birdathon will be open for an entire week. Pick any 24-hour period within the week of April 20 - 26. By joining us, you’ll help raise much-needed funds to protect birds and the places they need, while taking part in one of America’s most popular—and growing—pastimes. As part of Birdathon and Earth Day festivities, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is holding a series of special events, including a morning bird walk! Plus, win cool prizes by spotting our seven focal species. 
A special Birdathon event takes place at Corkscrew Swamp on Earth Day.
Events and Other News
Summer campers looking through binoculars.
Registration is Open for Wild Florida Summer Camp
Join us for an exciting, nature-based summer camp for children ages 6-12 years old. Each week features a different theme with fun, interactive, hands-on activities for campers to explore the natural wonders of the Sanctuary. See the schedule and register.
Summer campers engaged in outdoor activities.
Photo of a giant cypress tree.
Join Us for Earth Day, April 22!
Join us for an Earth Day celebration! Enjoy the scheduled programming or simply stop by to relax in a hammock and listen to the ukulele band throughout the day. Discounted admission for all! $8 for adults, $4 for children, and free for members. Find the entire schedule here.
Ancient bald cypress tree. Photo: Sally Stein/Audubon Florida
Photo of a songbird in a tree.
Upcoming Events
March 13 | Family Night Tour
March 14 | National Learn About Butterflies Day
March 16 | Backcountry BYO Bike Tour
March 18 | Corkscrew Night Tour
March 19 | Early Birding Tour
March 20 | Member Event: “Chasing Ghosts” SOLD OUT
March 20 | Sunset Stroll
March 26 | Early Birding Tour
April 3 | Sunset Stroll
April 5 | Guided Forest Meditation
April 6 | Backcountry BYO Bike Tour
April 18 | Ancient Forest Tour
April 20 – 26 | Birdathon
April 22 | SPECIAL EVENT: Earth Day
April 22 Happiness Workshop with Maria Felipe
April 22 | Swamp Buggy Tour
Registration is required for all programs.  Find all events details here!
Yellow-rumped Warbler. Photo: Donald Sawin
Chasing Ghosts promo graphic
"Chasing Ghosts" Film Screening (Member Exclusive Event) SOLD OUT
Corkscrew members will enjoy an exclusive film screening event with revered National Geographic Explorer and contributor, Mac Stone and Sanctuary Director of Conservation Shawn Clem, PhD. Tickets for this members-only event are sold out. Not a member? Join today.
Mac Stone setting the camera trap for pollination research. Photo: Peter Houlihan
Donations and memberships provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary. From December 15 through April 30, the Blair Audubon Center and boardwalk are open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the last admission at 3 p.m. Online tickets are recommended at
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd., Naples, FL 34120 USA
(239) 348-9151 |

© 2024 National Audubon Society, Inc.