Protect and Preserve

Bumper Crop

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie It is common knowledge on Marco Island that Florida Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are present, popular and so abundant that they are found in almost every neighborhood on the island. Not only do our residents enjoy these charismatic birds of prey, but people travel from all over the world to see them. Professional photographers charge ... Read More »

Far From Home

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Something is going on. Razorbills, an alcid bird or a web-footed, diving seabird, have been seen all over Florida by avid birders and beach goers. A few have been reported on Marco Island’s Tigertail Beach as well as in Caxambas Pass. Being a peninsula with one of the longest coastlines in the country, Florida has ... Read More »

THE PINES OF MARCO ISLAND, Not traditional christmas trees

PROTECTING & PRESERVING  Nancy Richie  Did you attend the City’s Christmas Tree Lighting last weekend? Have you gone by Veterans’ Park to see this beautifully trimmed tree? If not yet, take a look and Merry Christmas! On our semi-tropical barrier island, there are predominantly three species of pine-like trees. None would make for a hearty Christmas tree, but all have ... Read More »

The White Pelican

PROTECTING & PRESERVING  Nancy Richie  One the largest and oldest known birds in our nation, named by a German naturalist in 1789, is the White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos. It migrates from the north to winter in south Florida, particularly Sarasota to south of Marco Island, giving the moniker, “snow bird,” real meaning. Once hunted as sport, the White Pelican is ... Read More »

Talking Trash: the toxic type

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Monthly, different local groups and residents make the effort to organize and pick up trash on Marco Island’s beach. Weekly, we all make the effort to throw trash in the appropriate receptacle; the regular trash bin which goes to our overflowing county landfill or the recycling bin which keeps excess trash out of the landfill ... Read More »

Snowy Egrets: One of the coolest birds on our beach

PROTECTING & PRESERVING  Nancy Richie One of several larger shorebirds that are spectacular to watch while walking the beach, especially along the Tigertail Lagoon and Sand Dollar beach peninsula area, is the Snowy Egret (Egretta thula). Just saying the name can cool one off on a hot Florida day at the beach. When walking the beach, one notices that there ... Read More »

Sentinel of the Bridge

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Who hasn’t noticed when crossing the Jolley Bridge leaving the island, the lone American Osprey sitting on the hand rail, the light pole or sign, usually looking to the south, and sometimes, it seems, looking right into your eyes through the windshield? This American Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) has been observed on our bridge for years. ... Read More »

Panther or Bobcat?

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie If you are fortunate to see an elusive Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryii), the first thing you will remember and describe is the long, long, large tail! Many people may think they have spotted a Panther, but it is a probability that a Bobcat (Felis rufus) was the big cat that ran by, especially if ... Read More »

WATCHABLE WILDLIFE: Let’s respect what we have

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Located on the edge of the Everglades and surrounded by Rookery Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands’ unique mangrove and estuarine environment, Marco Island’s subtropical climate and diverse habitat allows many wildlife species encounters. In abundance and not found in many places, wildlife such as, Bottled-nosed Dolphins, West Indian Manatees, Loggerhead, Green, and Kemp-Ridley Sea ... Read More »


PROTECTING & PRESERVING  Nancy Richie The City of Marco Island is part of the Florida Shorebird Alliance, a partnership that includes Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), City of Naples, Collier County Government and Sheriff’s Office, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR), Sea Grant, the Conservancy of SW FL, Inc., Friends of Tigertail and Collier Audubon Society. The ... Read More »

National Audubon’s 112th Annual Christmas Bird Count

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie On Wednesday, January 4th, 2012, volunteers ranging from professional scientists to amateur birders canvassed Collier County for an approximate twelve hour period counting species and numbers of all birds observed. This is the 112th year for this national bird count, having occurred between December 14th through January 5th each year since 1900. It is the ... Read More »

Red Tide – Marco’s in bloom

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Marco Island is currently experiencing a red tide event caused by a harmful algae bloom (HAB) of the algae species, Karenia brevis. Karenia brevis is a microscopic algae species that naturally occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Atlantic Ocean waters. The “bloom”, or a higher than normal amount or concentration of this ... Read More »

Nine nearby natural worlds

Nancy Richie Marco Island is surrounded by a richness of unique natural worlds to explore and enjoy with family and friends. All are a relatively short drive off the Island and can be experienced in any degree – from a day trip to an overnight to many days of camping. By foot or watercraft, get to know the “real” ... Read More »

reSustainable yards equate to wildlife habitat and cost savings

Nancy Richie For a developed, man-made island, Marco Island is fortunate to have a large diversity of wildlife. Once made up of approximately 6,000 acres of mangroves, this island was developed into over 100 miles of dredged “finger” canals that are fortified with seawalls. As the largest of the 10,000 Islands and surrounded by the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research ... Read More »

Changes in the season are for the (shore) birds

Nancy Richie  Have you noticed? There is a change in the way the morning and afternoon light hits Marco Island and in the way the air feels lighter on your skin. It must be fall in southwest Florida. To many, it means time for the first “snow birds” to arrive with the Island roads, restaurants and shops getting pleasantly busier. ... Read More »


Nancy Richie As fellow coastal and island residents, there aren’t many places one can go along the Florida coast without seeing a Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). There are seven species of pelicans in the world. Two inhabit North America – the White Pelican and the Brown Pelican. Standing two to four feet tall, with wingspans up to six to seven ... Read More »

Do your part! Let’s keep our beaches healthy and beautiful!

Nancy Richie It’s mid August and that means we are 2/3 through the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting and Hatching Season. Beachfront property managers have been doing a great job with lighting compliance for our sea turtles by shading or turning off lights that shine on the beach by 9 PM nightly and giving constant reminders to their residents and visitors ... Read More »

Amazing Manatees

By Nancy Richie Love them or hate them, the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a subspecies of the West Indian Manatee, is in our waters and has been for millions of years. Love them?  Most people do love them and seek them out to view for their unique characteristics – large, gray, sausage-shaped marine mammals with big flippers and a ... Read More »

What’s lighting up the canals?

By Nancy Richie Bioluminescent. A big word for tiny organisms. Each summer, a few locations in the Marco Island canals glimmer and twinkle in the night. Boat wakes, fish movement and jelly fish paths sparkle as the bioluminescent organisms are agitated in the water. Not just the fireworks were lighting up our Island on the 4th of July, but there ... Read More »