What Birds Will You See at Bird Key Park?

Stretching along the causeway joining downtown Sarasota with the bay islands, Bird Key Park is one of the best birding spots near Siesta Key. This small gem is an accessible lookout with a ton of other great facilities. It’s just a few miles from your lavish Siesta Key Gulf-front condo and can easily be reached by car, bike, or boat!

Bird Key gets its name from Davie Lindsey Worcester, who first visited in the early 1900s. She was struck by the pristine beauty of the island and the abundance of exotic birds. Her husband Thomas built the first mansion in the area and named it New Edzell Castle, after her family’s home in Scotland. He dedicated it to her memory as she passed away before it was complete. It’s a tale of romance that stuck with Bird Key ever since.

American white pelican on the waters of Florida

Common Waterbirds of Florida

Bird watching is one of the most fascinating things to do in Sarasota. Over 300 unique species of birds call Florida home for part or all the year. This diversity means that no matter when you arrive, you’ll never have the same birding experience twice! 

On Bird Key, you can easily pass the whole day bird watching from the comfort of the white sand beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Many types of ducks, herons, gulls, and pelicans frequent the area. 

You may catch glimpse of an American White Pelican. It’s hard to miss with its shapely white body, black-tipped wings, and long, sharp beak. Osprey, also known as sea hawks, make their homes at the tops of the tallest trees. These birds roam the skies and plunge fast into the water for unsuspecting prey. Both birds are large and majestic in flight.

Next, the Double-Crested Cormorant and Anhinga are distinct, tall and slender birds. You can spot them by their long necks and beaks. Also, keep an eye out for the Green Heron: its plumage is coated in metallic hues of green or teal with red around its neck. It’s smaller than many other herons and likes to keep to vegetation rather than wandering the shoreline.

Besides these waterbirds, you may also find blackbirds, blue jays, cardinals, parakeets, doves, and even bald eagles. These are all harder to find in other parts of the country but make their home in sunny Florida year-round. 

If you’re not sure where to get started, the Sarasota Audubon Society has resources both online and in print about the local birds. They also encourage people to share pictures on their social media as a way of helping each other identity what they saw.

Kayaking in siesta key, girl looking out over the water

Things to Do at Bird Key Park

Of course, birdwatching is not the only draw to Bird Key. The park is packed with amenities, including some of the most exciting things to do in Siesta Key.

Nearby Sarasota and Siesta Key beaches are watersports hot spots with rentals for kayaks, canoes and other water vehicles. There are several launch points right in the park. The bay is protected by coastline on all sides. The water is calm and you won’t have to worry about straying too far into the Gulf.

Fishing on the pier is a common activity and is easy to get into. You won’t need a boat or any large equipment. Just bring or rent a rod, get some bait, and enjoy! You’ll find a healthy population of trout, Spanish mackerel, redfish and bluefish in the shallow bay waters.

Trails for walking, running, or cycling span the park as well. A playground and picnic tables are there for some fun in the sun with family and friends. These areas are all pet-friendly for leashed animals.

Because all these things are all close together, everyone in a group can each do their preferred activity without losing sight of the others nearby. To top it all off, the pavilions on Sarasota Bay are a great place to see the sunset. Watch the colorful sky with a stunning, panoramic view of the beaches and city skyline on all sides.

The best part: explore these parks and beaches at your own pace knowing you’ll come back home to one of our gorgeous Siesta Key beachside villas!


Our Location

Crystal Sands Condominiums
6300 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Toll-Free: 888-419-1446
Local: 941-349-7007

Fax: 941-346-1963

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