93600 Overseas Highway
Everglades National Park, FL 33070
tel: (305) 852-4486
Located in a natural Upper Keys setting beside Florida Bay, the center is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating ill, injured and orphaned wild birds and releasing them whenever possible. Some at the center are recuperating, while others that are unable to survive in the wild become lifelong inhabitants.
Visitors can sit front and center among dozens of the pelican "regulars" whose eyes search inquisitively for fish buckets.
The center's goal for its patients is successful rehabilitation — meaning the recovered bird can return to the wild to continue its natural life cycle, including reproducing its species. However, that's not always possible.
The center also houses permanently disabled birds that live out their lives protected at the no-euthanize facility. These "citizens" include three species of owls, six species of hawks and falcons, six species of wading birds and four species of gulls.
A self-guided tour along the boardwalks and nature trails allows a close look at resident hawks, ospreys, spoonbills, egrets and more. The scenic route also features minnows and crabs along with colorful bromeliads enhancing the landscape and water's edge. Highlights at this natural habitat include catching a late afternoon bird feeding.