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Manatee County’s Robinson Preserve is now part of the Great Florida Birding Trail

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When you want to know where to go in Florida to see native birds, butterflies and more, head for the Trail. Sites listed on the official Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail are selected for inclusion based on their unique wildlife viewing opportunities and ecological significance, educational opportunities, access for the public and resilience to recreational use. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has proudly selected 14 new sites to receive this distinction.

The Trail is a network of more than 500 premier wildlife viewing sites across the state. Every year, millions of people, residents and visitors alike, participate in wildlife viewing activities, contributing billions of dollars to Florida’s economy but the ultimate goal of the Trail is to encourage conservation of Florida’s native habitats and species.

Located in coastal northwest Bradenton, Robinson Preserve stretches from Lower Tampa Bay over to Palma Sola Bay. Numerous wading birds, shore birds, and migratory songbirds are routinely observed at the site. Watch for Wood Storks, White Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Clapper Rails, Southeastern American Kestrels, Great Horned Owls, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Double-crested Cormorants and a variety of ducks, herons, egrets, sandpipers, plovers, gulls and terns. Find them while exploring over 13 miles of pedestrian and multi-use trails, several boardwalks and water overlooks and a 40-foot observation tower offering panoramic views of lower Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Island Egmont Key and more. Habitats represented include extensive mangrove swamps, high marsh, salt tern, coastal grasslands and developing hammocks. Two kayak launches provide access to extensive sheltered bayous with paddle access to Tampa Bay and Palma Sola Bay. The preserve is open nearly 365 days a year, closed only for high winds and a handful of special events.