The Wildlife of Anna Maria Island

| May 4, 2022

Your stay in one of our luxury vacation homes could involve a lot of different things. It could be nightlife and live music or it could be upscale dining. There is also a good chance that while you are exploring the island, you will see wildlife. Some of it may seem familiar to you and some may not. Here are a few things you might see while staying on the island.


Let’s get this one out there right away. Everyone loves dolphins. Whether they are playing in the wake of a boat or just slipping through the water, they just always seem to be having fun. Even their beak looks like a perpetual little smile. If you are out on the water, using the paddleboard or kayak that comes with your vacation home, there is a good chance you will see one of these mammals. There are several kinds that live in the Gulf of Mexico, but the most common is the bottlenose dolphin. As fun and playful as they are, it’s important that you don’t try to feed them.


Many visitors come to Florida and expect to see alligators. That’s not unreasonable because they are quite common in the state, but not on Anna Maria Island. Alligators prefer freshwater, and the island isn’t conducive to their lifestyle. However, if you do want to see alligators, you can take a quick trip to nearby Myakka River State Park. Between the boardwalks and river tours, you’re very likely to see some of these living dinosaurs.


There is a good chance you will see raccoons during your trip. There are few predators on the island that they need to fear. These sometimes playful-looking creatures are curious, but they are not something to be played with. They can be aggressive and can carry diseases. Like all wildlife, it’s best to not try to feed them and just watch at a distance. Mostly nocturnal, raccoons are omnivores, meaning they eat pretty much anything from plant to animal, and are quite intelligent. It’s not uncommon to see them around trash cans and dumpsters, lending to their nickname of “trash pandas”.

Pelicans and seagulls

Pelicans and seagulls are common sights on the island. Often you can find pelicans around piers and boat docks, hoping for a free meal from fishermen and boaters. You can also see them diving into the Gulf as they fish for dinner. Seagulls will be found anywhere there might be food. The beach, docks, outdoor restaurants. They’re rarely afraid of people and can be pretty assertive about going after food, sometimes even off your table if you don’t pay attention. As entertaining as you may find seagulls, it’s best not to feed them because it will bring more. A lot more. You may quickly find yourself moving to a different spot on the beach.

Sea turtles

Depending on the time of year, it is possible to see sea turtles on the beach. Florida has five species of sea turtles in her waters, including leatherbacks. Florida is the only place in the continental United States where they nest. Turtles are protected and endangered. Please be careful to never touch or interact with them. Just watch at a distance and enjoy the visit from them. You can find out more information about them here.

If you’d like to learn about the hundreds of different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles found in Florida, many of them unique or endangered, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.

We hope you see some wonderful sights during your stay. Contact us at Serendipity and we can help make your visit to our island a memorable one.

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