The Sounds of Anna Maria Island

After living here for ten years, I’ve come to recognize certain sounds that are common on Anna Maria Island, but might not be easily recognized by a visitor.

For those who live in canal-front homes, the sound of a boatlift in operation becomes familiar. Yet it is a haunting and penetrating sound at times, suggesting the wail of a supernatural creature. Although the boatlift sound is the product of a purely mechanical movement, it has come to be one more of the many voices that are raised during everyday life along a canal.

Great Blue Heron

Another canal voice is that of the startled night heron. Often these reclusive birds fish at the base of a canal seawall, where they are not noticed by anyone on the property above. But if you happen to walk close to the where the night heron stands, below, it is likely to suddenly squawk a very loud and distressing call, as it quickly flies away, startling you more than you startled it.


Wildlife Rescue on Anna Maria

Wildlife Inc. can be reached at 941-778-6324

Wildlife rescue is a whole incredible world of its own on Anna Maria Island. While locals and visitors go about their business every day, several dedicated and generous people devote their time to saving the unfortunate wild animals that encounter problems in bad weather, or when they interact with the plastics, fishing line and hooks that people carelessly leave about.

One of the most amazing booths at recent art fairs on Anna Maria Island has been that of Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center, Inc. What is amazing is WHO works the booth: owls. There are some good people there, too. But the owl ambassadors who sit all day on their perches are always extremely inspiring to see. They are beautiful creatures, and it’s sometimes hard to believe they are real. It’s also hard to believe that our environment still supports them. This is a treasure for all who live and visit Anna Maria Island, and nobody works harder to protect this treasure of wildlife than Ed and Gail Straight, Beth Weir, and others who volunteer at Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation, Inc.

Heron rescued from entangled fish line From time to time, during the last ten years on Anna Maria Island, I have contacted wildlife rescue people to come help injured birds in our neighborhood. It seems there is no job too big or too small for them. They have even come to help a tiny warbler that flew into our window. On that particular day, I remember seeing two baby foxes in the wildlife rescuer’s truck.