Manatees: Fort Myers’ Sea Cow & Other Wildlife in the Caloosahatchee

The wildlife in the Caloosahatchee River is rather extraordinary! Some of the most exciting animals to see in Fort Myers are Manatees. These creatures, also known as the “Sea Cow” or “Sea Elephant” are not indigenous to these waters however. Like their human counterparts, they came, liked what they saw, and stayed. They can weigh up to 1,200 pounds and are around 10 feet long on average. They eat vegetation and as mammals must surface often for air. Preferring warmer water, they will migrate up to an area called Manatee Park by the Fort Myers Power Plant in the winter months.

Our other friends in the river are Atlantic Bluenose Dolphins. They often can be seen in their pods with a baby as the center of attention. We usually see them fishing but they always seem to put on a show for us by jumping waves and playing in the wash of the boat. No matter how many times we see dolphins, we never tire of these aquatic friends of ours.

The land based wildlife that you may encounter include:

  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Gopher tortoises
  • Eastern indigo snakes
  • Blacksnakes
  • Bobcats
  • Fox squirrels

In the mangroves that line the river rabbits, raccoons and bobcats are often found.

Fish in the area are the tarpon, snook, snapper, killifish, mullet and crustaceans such as crab, oysters, shrimp and snails.The variety of bird life is exciting and as you pass the Rookery Islands it is a wondrous sight to see the numbers of different birds resting there. You will find a variety of herons, brown pelican white ibis, egret roseate spoonbill, great white heron, frigate birds, anhinga the cormorant to name a few.

It is always a dramatic sight to watch a comorat from way up in the sky dive straight into the water to catch a meal. The Woodstork is also one to look out for. An endangered species, it is beginning to make a comeback to the area. Keep a good eye out for the Bald Eagle too. They like to roost in the tops of the Australian Pines. The Tidal flats will have such birds as sandpipers, gulls,terns, skimmers and the American Oyster catcher and falcons.

Pure Fort Myers offers you this exciting experience to observe and to be right within what is truly raw nature at its best. Learn how each of these creatures affect the ecology and this habitat that is their home. Call Pure Fort Myers at 239-919-2965 or go on line to our website at – where you can book on line!

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