Programs, Tours and Events in February at Rookery Bay Reserve


Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center Hosts Science Saturdays Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center welcomes the entire family on Science Saturdays, 9 am to 4 pm, through April.
Kids and grown-ups alike can explore and discover the plants, fish and wildlife that call Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s 110,000 acres home. Science Saturdays are a fun way to learn about environmental science and the natural world through actual hands-on experience with marine life touch tanks, exhibits and scientific displays.

Rookery Bay Naturalist Guided Boat and Kayak Tours

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.

Birding Basics

February 8, 2019 • 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

February 9, 2019 • 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.

Essentials of Digital Photography

February 11, 2019 • 9:30 am – 12:30 pm • $55 Registration is required

If you want to get the best pictures possible, and truly understanding your camera’s features, this camera workshop is for you. 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.

Darwin Day

February 12, 2019 • BOGO Admission No registration necessary.

Visit the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center for buy one get one free entrance on February 12, 2019 to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809. Darwin Day is used to highlight Darwin’s contributions to science and to promote science in general. Darwin Day is celebrated around the world.

Annual Members’ Night February 13, 2019

• Free to members of the Friends of Rookery Bay Registration is required

Annual Members’ Night is a free open house for the Friends of Rookery Bay Members. It is an opportunity for members to learn how the Friends of Rookery Bay are meeting their mission in supporting Rookery Bay Research Reserve.

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

February 26, 2019 • 12 – 1 pm •$15, includes lunch Registration is required

Please join us for the fourth 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 Staff. Renee Wilson, Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s Communications Coordinator, will give a multimedia presentation from a staff member’s perspective on human and natural resources, important events, special visitors and memorable moments in the Reserve’s history 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

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