Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary eNewsletter
A bear in the swamp.
Spotted! A Florida Black Bear
“Bears not only make the habitat rich, but they also enrich us just by being.” — Linda Jo Hunter, author

Last week, Corkscrew member William Blanton was walking down the boardwalk and heard a big splash. He turned to see this juvenile black bear romping in the water. Once the bear realized it was not alone, it scampered back into the swamp.
This Florida black bear was spotted by several visitors last week. Photo: William Blanton
A collage of photos showing a conference room with people seated, a table with merchandise, and a person giving a presentation.
That’s a Wrap – Audubon Assembly 2023 a Success
More than two hundred conservation professionals, volunteers, and other stakeholders convened at the Tampa Sheraton Brandon on October 26-28 for this year’s Audubon Assembly. With the theme of Conservation in a Changing Landscape, the event included field trips, learning sessions, and many opportunities to network with Audubon members and staff. Learning session topics included perspectives from the next generation of conservationists, moving from birding to conservation, meeting the challenges of conservation, and creating habitat in unconventional ways, which featured Sanctuary Director Keith Laakkonen’s presentation of the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary marsh and prairie restoration. As an added bonus, participants even got a head start on their holiday shopping at the Corkscrew Nature Store table.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Audubon Assembly in Daytona Beach on November 7 – 9, 2024!
Assembly includes learning sessions, field trips, networking opportunities, and more!
Camera trap photo showing a bobcat and kitten.
Monitoring Mammals for Conservation
Audubon staff used camera traps to conduct a mammal monitoring study from 2013 to 2019 to establish baseline data on mammals living within the Sanctuary. Over the course of six years, the cameras collected more than 930,000 photos, providing information on 18 species and their habitat preferences over time.

Which species were recorded the most frequently and why does this matter? 
Camera trap photo showing a bobcat and kitten.
Photo of a boardwalk in the swamp.
Year-end Giving
As we approach the calendar year-end giving season, we hope you will consider making a donation to support Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. While memberships and admissions are critical income sources, philanthropy supports more than half of our annual operations budget. Your donation supports boardwalk maintenance, public and youth education programming, stewardship of our 13,000-plus acres of wildlife habitat, and our Western Everglades Research program.

As development continues throughout the region, now, more than ever, protecting the beating heart of the Western Everglades is critically important for wildlife and people, too. Tax-deductible donations can be made online, by check, or we happily accept gifts of stock, IRA distributions, and others.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk. Photo: R J Wiley

Scroll past the news for more information and events!

in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Born from Fire, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is Now Slowly Drying Out and a Solution is Proving Elusive
Audubon Florida’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary contains the largest virgin old-growth bald cypress forest in the world, with some trees 25 feet around.

Wood Storks: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Given the birds’ role as an indicator species for the health of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, we’re taking a closer look at wood storks in a conversation with Director of Conservation and the National Audubon Society’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Shawn Clem, Ph.D.

Florida Swamp Holds Rare Flower. But Can the Ghost Orchid Survive?
Twenty-five years later, the ghost orchid remains a star attraction during its summer bloom at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, one of the few places where everyday nature-goers can see one without slogging through muck and chest-high water. But what lies ahead for the flower is less certain than ever.

Flora, Fauna Reign at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Southeastern Sunflower fields, a rare ghost orchid and even rarer panther sightings — that’s what’s going on at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples.

Restore Conservation Collier Funding
Julie Wraithmell is executive director of Audubon Florida. Andy Wells-Bean is executive director of Audubon Western Everglades.

13 Most Scenic Florida Towns
The only US State bordering the Gulf of Mexico and the mighty Atlantic Ocean, Florida, in the American Southeast, is celebrated for its sun-kissed sandy beaches, sparkling waters, beautiful nature preserves, and expansive urban landscapes. Nature lovers are especially drawn to the many land reserves in the Naples area, including the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Southeastern Sunflowers Lighting Up Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Other Parts of SWFL
A bee is documented on a Southeastern sunflower bloom at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. The native wildflowers are blooming in large pockets along the boardwalk.

Autumn Birdwatching: 5 U.S. Bird Migration Hotspots
During the fall bird migration season, Corkscrew Swamp in Florida is Nirvana for bird enthusiasts. The swamp offers you a chance to witness the spectacle of numerous bird species — including the majestic wood stork, osprey, hummingbirds, and colorful painted buntings — as they make their way to wintering grounds.

Florida's Corkscrew Swamp, Home to Rare Cypress Forest, Grapples with Dropping Water Levels
Peppered throughout the article were mentions of Florida's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The Audubon-owned preserve northeast of Naples contains one of the last untouched bald cypress forests in the U.S.

Bird That Frequented Corkscrew Swamp Now Considered Extinct

Who knows what you’ll find if you head to the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp and Sanctuary? A red-headed woodpecker, a gallinule, a raccoon? What you won’t find: a Bachman’s warbler.
A turtle on a log
Rainfall and Water Level Update
The rain gauge at the Sanctuary recorded 2.4 inches of rain in October 2023, which is below the average of 3.8 inches typically recorded. From June through October this year, rainfall amounts are 11 inches below average however, water levels are still within “normal” modern range. Prey species have spread out in our wetlands and are showing up in our sampling events.
Eastern mud turtle. Photo: Donald Sawin
Events and Other News
Photo of two white birds in flight overhead.
We're Hiring! Join Our Flock
Have you ever considered how nice it would be to work at the Sanctuary? We are currently looking to fill two positions.

We are hiring a Seasonal Outdoor Educator to support nature interpretation programs onsite for Sanctuary visitors of all ages.

We are also hiring an Education Manager who will be responsible for all aspects of planning, developing, delivering, and managing all environmental education activities, programs, events, and promotion at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Click here for details and application.
White Ibises. Photo: Arnold Collens
Illustrated book cover with people and Earth.
Story Time and Book Signing November 24
Join us on Black Friday, Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for story time and book signing with local author Anya Beltsina. Anya’s book, Smiley, Happy, Planet Earth, is an educational book that teaches children the basics about the solar system with a focus on our planet. It introduces fundamental facts about planet Earth, its seasons, and their differences, inspiring children to further explore the subject. Copies of Smiley, Happy, Planet Earth, as well as Anya’s other book, Water and a Tree, Busy as Can Be, are available for purchase at the Nature Store. Story time is included with regular admission and takes place at noon.
Smiley, Happy Planet Earth book by Anya Beltsina.
Graphic of painted buntings and a palm frond promoting Christmas Bird Count
Community Scientists Needed!
Community Scientists Needed for Annual Christmas Bird Count The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023. This year marks the 124th CBC, the longest-running community science project in the world. It is not necessary to be an expert birder to participate. The CBC is a great way for beginning birders to gain knowledge about birds and their habitats. It’s also a great way to meet new people, contribute to a massive data collection, and feel good knowing you’re helping to build a brighter future for birds! Learn more about the count and sign up (free).
A yellow and black butterfly nectaring on a white flower.
Upcoming Events
Check out these upcoming tours and events!

Cypress Café Reopening | Nov. 13
Corkscrew Night Tour | Nov. 13
Early Birding Tour | Nov. 14
Pine Flatwoods Tour | Nov. 16
Beginner Swamp Walk | Nov. 18
Family Night Tour | Nov. 20
Early Birding Tour | Nov. 21
Family Sunset Stroll | Nov. 28
Forest Bathing Meditation | Dec. 1
Beginner Swamp Walk | Dec. 2 View our Calendar of Events.
Eastern tiger swallowtail on buttonbush. Photo: Donald Sawin
Donations and memberships provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary. The Blair Audubon Center and boardwalk are open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  with the last admission at 1 p.m. From December 15 through April 30, hours are extended 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.