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Nature Photos from Sanibel - Captiva Island.   While you're on Captiva or Sanibel Island, explore the Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve either by car, on foot, or in a rented kayak or canoe. The aquatic birds are stunning, but other forms of wildlife also abound. The Nature photographs on this page are taken right in our yards on Captiva, and it's certain that you can find plenty of interesting wildlife all around these beautiful islands.

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The osprey (eating a fish, above) is a protected species that is flourishing on Captiva... they seem to be everywhere, along with many species of large aquatic birds. In this photo (right) the great egret waits in the yard of the Aqua View for scraps the osprey seemed to purposely drop for him.

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Heron "helping" at a Beach House

Nature Photographs of Sanibel
and Captiva Island

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Heron Portrait

When there's this much wildlife, there will be interaction with mankind. The great blue heron (right) has learned that fishermen on the beach means fish and bait to steal. When the fisherman casts his bait net, the heron's attention is locked on him (and the results). The normal shyness of these magnificent wild creatures seems to be suppressed by the prospect of an easy snack. Herons are masters of patience, and this one stealthily approached within inches of the fisherman at times. Yet the wary birds do know to move away from toddlers on the beach, who are drawn to Big Bird like magnets.

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Birds at The Bayhouse

(right) Here's a typical early morning at The Bayhouse. Large numbers of aquatic birds fly past in groups, pairs, and individually. In this one scene, we have in flight: four pelicans, two snowy egrets, and one osprey. Wading birds are nearly always in the shallow water at Bayside Tropical Cottages, one reason these are a favorite lodging for EcoTours participants.

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Sunset on the Beach

(left) Herons hanging out on the beach with the fishermen again. It's too tiny to see in this web image, but in the background there are kayaks watching the sunset from the tranquility of the Gulf.

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Dolphins and Moonrise

For a beautiful and unusual ballet performed by a heron looking at fish, view this slide show. It may take a moment to load.

Selected images are available for purchase as fine-art color prints suitable for framing.

The dolphins (photo right) seem to be enjoying their swim as the full moon rises over Pine Island and "the bay" east of Captiva. This photo was made from the pier at Bayside Tropical Cottages, where dolphins are typically seen all during the day. They sometimes swim right under the pier and poke their noses up to see what we're doing, or to say hi.



Pelican

Great Egret

Sunset
These three photos were made by one of our guests, Sissie Turner, in June 2009.
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Updated 2016-02-01   Copyright © 1994 - 2016 American Realty of Captiva. All rights reserved.