Find out about the work of the Bird Lady to rehabilitate injured wild birds in the Florida Keys in this fascinating sanctuary by the bay.
The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is an impressive sanctuary that looks after more than 100 non-releasable birds. Its enclosures contain all types of majestic species, from hawks and vultures to pelicans and owls. Learn about the mission to rescue, rehabilitate and, when possible, release injured birds back into the wild after they’ve recovered.
Go on a guided tour and chat with a docent about the conditions of the various birds and humans’ relationship with their fragile ecosystem. Many of the individual native or migratory birds here have been displaced or harmed in some way and are being nursed back to health.
Stroll along the wooden boardwalk and study some of about 40 different species of birdlife. Among the best activities is the pelican feeding, which takes place twice daily. See how the injured birds are able to live again and snap photos of your family beside your favorite feathered friends.
Come to the natural tidal salt pond to study tricolored herons, reddish egrets and great blue herons. You’ll also spot roseate spoonbills and wood storks among other birds here. On a self-guided tour, read the informative plaques along the trail, before reaching the bay at the end in time to marvel at the sunset.
Hear about the fondly remembered Bird Lady, Laura Quinn, who founded the complex. She passed away in 2010, having opened the rehabilitation center in 1991
Find the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center between Key Largo and Plantation Key in the center of the Florida Keys stretch of islets. Drive northeast from Islamorada for 13 miles (21 kilometers) to get to the complex in roughly 20 minutes. Admission to the site, which opens daily from sunrise to sunset, is free. Donations are accepted.
Explore the surroundings for other gems such as Harry Harris Beach and Park, the Mangrove Marina and Sunset Point Park.