Bird Watching in Siesta Key: The Top 20 Birds You’ll See

Wildlife and animal lovers enjoy flocking to Siesta Key to get a glimpse of some incredible creatures, particularly the countless species of birds that call the area home. Bird watching is called birding in Siesta Key, and this spot is among the best in the country for finding unique varieties. Here is our guide to the top 20 birds you’re likely to spot while birding in Sarasota and the surrounding area.

Brown Pelican Siesta Key

Brown Pelican

One of the most recognizable birds in the area, the Brown Pelican lives in Siesta Key all year long. Watch in awe as they dive toward the water to gather food for themselves and their young.

Great Blue Heron Siesta Key

Great Blue Heron

The grayish-blue coat of the Great Blue Heron helps this bird stand out from the crowd, and you’re likely to find them wading in more shallow waters to find their lunch.

Roseate Spoonbill Siesta Key

Roseate Spoonbill

Flamingos aren’t the only pink birds you can find in Florida! The Roseate Spoonbill “fishes” for its food in shallow, muddy waters and can be found in local preserves like Robinson Preserve and Emerson Point.

Snowy Egret Siesta Key

Snowy Egret

The snowy egret gets its name thanks to its stark white features and can be identified by its bright yellow feet and black legs. Their sharp beaks help them to stab their prey.

Laughing Gull Siesta Key

Laughing Gull

If you hear a laugh on the beach, you may be near some laughing gulls, spotted by their signature red bill. Try not to feed them, though they may swoop down and take some of your food!

Royal Tern Siesta Key

Royal Tern

The bright orange bill of the royal tern makes them easy to spot, and you’re likely to see them in Florida all year. They are a social bird, often colonizing with others, and both parents collect food for the young.

Osprey Siesta Key


Another staple species in Florida, the osprey is a majestic sight when snatching fish from the water with its talons. Their population is thankfully becoming more stable after becoming endangered due to pesticides in the mid-20th century.

Bald Eagle Siesta Key

Bald Eagle

The magnificent Bald Eagle can be found high in the trees or wading in shallow waters. Often, they will take fish from other birds, so it’s not uncommon to see them fighting with species like osprey.

Sandhill Crane Siesta Key

Sandhill Crane

Find Sandhill Cranes here in the winter months feeding on aquatic plants, insects, and more. Young leave the nest just a day after hatching, so use caution if you spot one!

White Ibis Siesta Key

White Ibis

The White Ibis is a trademark wading bird in this area, likely to be seen from our Gulfside condos. Their diet is varied, but fish is a staple, so you can spot them in low-level waters or short grass.

Wood Stork Siesta Key

Wood Stork

Florida’s Wood Stork population has declined in recent years, but you may see them in swamp areas. While the young birds are loud, the adults tend to stay silent, so you’ll definitely need your bird watching equipment to spot them.

Double crested cormorant Siesta Key

Double-crested Cormorant

This species is common around the United States and can be spotted year-round both on Florida’s shores and inland areas.

Night Heron Siesta Key

Night Heron

Find the Black-crowned Night-heron with your bird watching binoculars high in the sky around dusk, or look out for the Yellow-crowned variety during both day and night.

Monk Parakeet Siesta Key

Monk Parakeet

This tiny bird can be seen in stick nests high in the trees, unlike other parakeet species that often take residence in holes in a tree’s trunk.

Green Heron Siesta Key

Green Heron

While you’ll see Green Herons all year long, you likely won’t see them in groups. They tend to avoid the Siesta Key beaches and stick to more secretive locations.

Mockingbird Siesta Key


The Northern Mockingbird is common all around the U.S., but you may also be lucky enough to spot a Bahama variety. They’re told apart by the white patch on the Northern species’s wings.

Sandpiper Siesta Key


A winter staple is the Least Sandpiper, which often flock in groups and gather on small marshes or riverbanks.

Hummingbird Siesta Key


Look for multiple hummingbird species throughout the year, like the Ruby-throated during the summer or the Black-chinned in the winter.

Snowy Plover Siesta Key

Snowy Plover

These tiny creatures can be spotted all year long, and they tend to stick around the dunes in the springtime. They are a protected species, so be sure to take care if you spot them in the wild.

Ruddy Turnstone Siesta Key

Ruddy Turnstone

Find this species in the winter by looking for dark brown feathers. They look for food under shells, so you may spot them from one of our beachfront condos!

Staying in one of our monthly condos gives you a great chance to spot any one of these incredible birds. If someone in your group isn’t much of a bird watcher, there are plenty of other things to do in Siesta Key! For more information about where to go birding and our full selection of Siesta Key beachfront vacation rentals, contact us today!

Contact Us

Peppertree Bay Realty Inc
6056 Midnight Pass Road
Sarasota, Florida USA 34242

T 941.349.7777
F 941.346.0371


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