Friday, February 27, 2009
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a preserve owned and operated by the Audubon Society and is considered by many to be their best site. The Society first became involved with the site when in 1912 it dispatched wardens to protect egrets and other water fowl from the commercial plume hunters who were slaughtering the birds for their feathers to adorn the hats of wealthy women. This was a dangerous job and several of the wardens were killed by the hunters.
Since then the Audubon Society has made the site in to a remarkable wildlife refuge west of Naples and near the Everglades. The swampy area contains the largest forest of ancient bald cypress in North America. There is a excellent 2.25 mile boardwalk that allows you to walk thru several different environments of the refuge from swamp to meadows and also allows you to see the river that quietly flows thru the area that helps support the abundant wildlife including several hundred species of birds, alligators, deer, black bear, Florida Panthers and numerous other reptiles.
We saw many of the birds but found the elusive owls and large hawks the most interesting. The alligators at one of the “lettuce pools” became very active during the time we were watching and were apparently approaching the mating season and enjoying chasing the birds around.