Egmont Key Bird Sanctuary Boat Tour

Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges held their eighth annual fundraiser hosting two Egmont Key Bird Sanctuary Boat Tours on Friday June 11th and 12th.

Photos coming soon!

Sixty-four members joined us for the two different tours of Egmont Key.  This is first time since 2019 due the pandemic, we conducted the Boat tour.
 
Mark Rachel, Manager, Florida Coastal Island narrated the tour on June 11. Participants saw various bird colonies nesting this time of year on Egmont Key. On June 12, Ann Paul, President of Tampa Audubon with Joyce Kleen, U.S Fish and Wildlife Refuge biologist described the bird colony habitants for the June 12th visitors.
 
Dave Howard and Pat Mundus spoke about the history of Egmont Key as a wildlife refuge. The tour included a stop at the Egmont Key Guardhouse, Ft Dade ruins, and Lighthouse.
 
The Hubbard’s Marina Egmont Key Ferry shuttled our visitors around the south tip of Egmont Key to see where 40,000+ pairs of birds nest. (These areas are not accessible by foot and only seen by visitors with boats). The chicks from Laughing Gulls, Royal Terns, and Sandwich Terns are some of the beach nesting birds on Egmont Key. Colonies of Brown Pelicans, White Ibis, and American Oystercatchers also nest on the refuge.

Hubbard’s Marina once again provided excellent service.

Thank you to all who participated in this year’s tours.