Programs, Tours and Events AT ROOKERY BAY RESERVE

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and offers a two-story visitor center, art gallery, gift shop and nature trail with viewing platform. Themed naturalist programs offered daily on topics such as manatees, sharks, sea  turtles, marine life touch tank and more. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids 6 – 12, and free for kids under six and  Friends of Rookery Bay members. Located at 300 Tower Road, one mile south of the intersection of US41 and Collier Boulevard. Learn  more, or register for events, at

Guided Boat and Kayak Tours

Two-hour guided kayak tours let you explore backwater bays and
mangrove tunnels while learning about your surroundings from an
experienced guide and naturalist. Tours provide opportunities to see
wildlife such as wading birds, osprey, fish and dolphins. Tours include
free admission to the Environmental Learning Center on day of trip and
proceeds support the non-profit Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc. Kayak
and boat tours are offered Tuesdays through Fridays from November
through April.

February 2, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
World Wetlands Day BOGO
In celebration of the birthday of evolutionary biologist Charles
Darwin, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers
“buy one, get one free admission.” Higher price prevails. Cannot be
combined with other offers.

February 2, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Gallery Opening Reception
The Friends of Rookery Bay and the United Arts Council of Collier
County present the Annual Photography Exhibition from January 31
through March 30, with works submitted by artists from Collier and
Lee counties. Following Rookery Bay’s environmental mission, works
will share a central theme of flora and fauna. Most of the works are for
sale. The Opening Reception will feature wine and light hors d’oeuvres.
Admission is $3 for the public and free for participating artists and their
guest as well as members of the United Arts Council and the Friends of
Rookery Bay.

February 9, 6 – 8 p.m.
Tales From The Coast: Ellen Prager
Dr. Ellen Prager is a marine scientist and author
widely recognized for her expertise and ability to
make science entertaining and understandable for
people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance
writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity
Xpedition in the Galapagos Islands. Her lecture will
be held at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, the evenings will
include beer, wine and appetizers. Admission is $25 ($20 for Friends of
Rookery Bay members), registration is required.

February 13, 9 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
Essentials of Digital Photography
If you want to get the best pictures possible, and truly understanding
your camera’s features, the Essentials of Digital Photography: How to get
the most from your digital camera workshop is for you. This class covers
the essentials of your digital camera. You will learn how to use your
camera’s shutter, aperture, ISO control and the drive modes to create
images with impact and creativity. No previous camera or photography
experience is necessary, just a desire to learn. Sonny Saunders has over 35 years of experience in photography and instruction and is renowned
for his ability to communicate to a wide variety of students. Cost is $55,
registration is required.

February 18, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Birds of the Beach
Southwest Florida is a critical stopover site for thousands of migrating
and wintering shorebirds. In this class, Adam DiNuovo of Audubon
Florida will discuss the life history of these birds and the amazing
journeys many of them make annually. Winter shorebirds are notoriously
difficult to ID, so practicing the skills learned in this class is essential.
You will learn how to use plumage, size, and behavior to help with
identification. The classroom session will be followed by a trip to Tigertail
Beach, one of the most important winter shorebird sites in Florida, where
we will see many of the birds discussed. This class is geared toward those
with some birding experience. If you are new to birding, you may want to
try our Birding Basics class first. Cost is $40, registration is required.

February 20 – 24, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Drawing Flowers in Colored Pencil
Learn how to realistically draw flowers in colored pencil. This class is
based on Lee Hammond’s best selling books. In five days, you will learn
everything you need to know to draw proficiently in colored pencil no
experience required. This class will make you a master at various colored
pencil techniques, and capturing things realistically. Hammond has been
a professional artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has
published more than 35 art instruction books. Cost is $395 (supplies are
not included), registration is required.

February 21, 12 – 1 p.m.
Lunch and Learn: Dr. Kevin Boswell, Acoustics and Fisheries Ecology Lab
Learn about an environmental topic, and enjoy a meal, on the third
Tuesday of each month January through April. This year’s series focuses
on research underway by scientists with Florida International University.
The February lecture welcomes Dr. Boswell who is studying the role of
habitat (physical and hydrodynamic) in structuring coastal and marine
communities at various spatial and temporal scales, connectivity among
habitats and ecosystems and interactions across multiple trophic levels.
Lecture is $10 for Friends of Rookery Bay members and $15 for nonmembers,
includes lunch. Registration is required.

February 25, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Birding Basics
Enjoy this fun and informative class designed to help you identify
birds around you. Oriented toward the beginning birder, the classroom
session explores how to use birds’ plumage, shape, behavior and habitat
to recognize various species. It also covers the effective use of binoculars
and field guides. During the second part of the class you will learn more
tricks of the trade during a field trip to a nearby park where you can enjoy
practicing new skills. Cost is $40, registration is required

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