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Sarasota Loves Bird Watching and The Forest Is The Place

A recent story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune had some very surprising news about tourism in Sarasota and Florida. Visitors are attracted to the state for many obvious reasons including the weather, beaches and of course golf.  Most people would think golf ranks higher than bird watching. But in a recent interview with the Tribune, County Commissioner Christine Robinson said that the opposite is actually true.

She learned bird watching was a higher tourist attraction then golfing in a briefing by the Tourist Development Council. The tribune article went on to quote Erin Duggan, Visit Sarasota’s Director of Brand, who said, “Golfing is still incredibly important, but more people say they're coming for birding." While the beaches and dining out ranked far higher than both golfing and bird watching, this is still great news for resident of The Forest!

Caracara Mexican Eagle The Forest Hihat Ranch

As residents know, there are many good golf courses within just a few miles of The Forest. The community also has some of the best bird watching in the region on its 270+ acres of abundant natural beauty, much like nearby Myakka State Park. Tall pines shadow an understory of scrub palmetto while stately oaks shelter open fields, natural wetlands and lakes. And most importantly this environmental gem attracts a wide variety of songbirds, egrets, osprey and wild turkeys with its many natural ponds and bird habitats. Jim turner, a family member who helps manage The Forest and Hi Hat Ranch, says there are other bird attractions as well. “The Forest is quite a haven for all kinds of birds including some relatively rare ones like the Caracara, better know as the Mexican Eagle, and a variety of owl and woodpecker species. The lakes also attract may species of wading birds.”

With the abundant wildlife at The Forest and nearby Myakka State Park residents may never need their putters again. The Myakka State Park is one of Florida’s largest and most diverse natural parks in the state. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches over the Upper Myakka Lake, and then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway. The Myakka State Park Bird List features hundreds of birds that can be spotted. This list is also very applicable to the birds that can be found right in The Forest.

Check our Blog regularly for more exciting updates for resident of The Forest!