Programs, Tours and Events at Rookery

What’s NEW at Rookery Bay!

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is OPEN on Saturdays from October through April!
Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is open 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday from October through April.
Enjoy the air-conditioned two-story visitor center, marine life touch tanks, art gallery, gift shop, as well as nature trails with
viewing platform and more! Themed naturalist programs are offered daily on topics such as manatees, sharks, sea turtles, marine
life and more. Learn more and register for tours and events at

Rookery Bay Naturalist – Guided Boat and Kayak Tours Begin for the Season!

Experience the nature of Rookery Bay Research Reserve up-close and personal with one of our naturalist-guided kayak or boat
tours. These much anticipated tours run November through April. The relaxed pace and emphasis on learning is designed to help
visitors develop a true sense of place and a deeper connection to this unique coastal wilderness. Several different trips are available,
each with a different theme and location. All tours provide a chance to see a diversity of native wildlife and offer a comfortable
platform for photography. Pre-registration required. Visit for dates, times and themes.

Essentials of Digital Photography
November 5, 2018 • 9:30 am –
12:30 pm • $55

Registration is required The 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. 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.

Birding Basics
November 9, 2018 • 8:30 am – 12:30 pm • $40

Registration is required 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.

Birds of the Beach
November 10, 2018 • 8 am – 12 pm • $40

Registration is required 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 take place at the Rookery Bay Field Station on Shell Island Road. It 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. Be prepared to wade in water up to your knees, with adequate footwear that will protect your feet (no flip flops). Collier County beach parking fee applies ($8, free with sticker). This class is geared toward those with some birding experience. If you are new to birding, we recommend taking the Birding Basics class first.

America Recycles Day
November 15, 2018 • BOGO Admission

No registration necessary. Visit the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center for buy one get one free entrance on November 15 to promote the importance of recycling for our economy and environment. America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Each year, thousands of communities across the country participate by promoting environmental citizenship and taking action to increase and improve recycling in America.

Lunch & Learn Lecture:
Rookery Bay through the Eyes of the Historian

November 27, 2018 • 12 pm – 1 pm • $15, includes lunch

Registration is required Please join us for the first in a series of six lectures in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve – Rookery Bay through the Eyes of the Historian. Steve Bertone, Rookery Bay’s Cultural Resources Specialist, will present a talk on the history of the Rookery Bay area and the many different people who’ve inhabited it, from the Calusas to the post-Civil War pioneers. Lunch will be provided.

The 2018-19 lecture series will focus on the history of the Rookery Bay area and the establishment of the Research Reserve. Lectures by staff and volunteers will describe 3,000 years of use of the estuary, the grassroots movement to save the bay, fisheries research, the establishment of the Research Reserve and Environmental Learning Center, as well as some of the more recent accomplishments and notable events in the Reserve’s timeline.

Painting Annual Exhibition – Art Reception
November 29, 2018 • 5:30 pm – 7 pm • This is a Free Event

Registration is required Join us for the opening reception of our Annual Painting Exhibition presented by of the Friends of Rookery Bay and the United Arts Council of Collier County. Works are submitted by artists from Collier and Lee counties and juried by Morgan Paine, FGCU painting professor. Following along with Rookery Bay’s environmental mission, works will share a central theme of flora and fauna. Most of the paintings are for sale. The opening reception includes wine and light hors d’oeuvres.

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