Animal Refuge On Sanibel Island

The people of Sanibel Island love their wildlife, and for good reason. The island is renowned for its extensive bird population and is a popular birdwatching destination as a result.

The massive J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge sees about 250 different bird species annually, along with many other native Florida critters.

Sanibel Island and the surrounding areas are an essential migratory spot. A wide range of local and visiting species coexist peacefully (and protected) all year long, from the sandy beaches to the interior wetlands. What makes all this so exciting is the respect that island residents show to the community wildlife. It’s a big part of the DNA of Sanibel Island.

You’ll find wildlife knickknacks in shops, informative signs in parks, and advertisements for social campaigns promoting wildlife preservation and rehabilitation. You can even find small refuges in the most interesting of places.

One of these peculiar wildlife refuges is at Periwinkle Park. It’s a fun (and free!) time for the family to come out, see some animals, and enjoy the community culture around Sanibel wildlife.

What is Periwinkle Park?

Periwinkle Park is a trailer park and campground on Sanibel Island. It has sites for mobile homes, trailers, and even tents. Many residents stay year-round, while others stay for a single night in a tent or pop-up camper space.

There are on-site facilities, including restrooms, laundry, picnic tables, and laundry for guests. Overall, the campground is in a separate area from the long-term residents.

One thing that makes Periwinkle Park special is its dedicated wildlife refuge, featuring some adorable and friendly animals.

Animal Refuge in the Trailer Park on Sanibel. 10 a.m. Show Every Morning — Free and Fun

The birds are back! The Periwinkle Park animal refuge is perhaps most famous for its birds. Thankfully, they are back after a short hiatus. Visitors can find toucans and macaws, usually in pairs. Guests are encouraged to get up close, though slowly, and make new friends with the neighborhood birds. They may even chat with you!

Furry Guests

You may even be lucky enough to come on by when the brown and ringtail lemurs are out. These cuddly critters love to play and are always a little hungry.

When Can We See the Birds?

The birds are not always out. But you can stop by to pet and hang out with the animals on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Things Visitors Should Know

So what should you know about this little attraction? Most importantly, you do not need to be a resident of the park, in any capacity, to stop by for a visit. While many guests staying on Sanibel Island come on down, you are more than welcome to drive from elsewhere and visit absolutely free. For guests from outside Periwinkle Park, parking is available on the grass outside the gate. You can just walk right on in. You are bound to hear the birds chattering and the kids laughing, as the display is right up by the front entrance.

Please be respectful of the residents. Excessively loud noise is discouraged, to protect the peace of the residents as well as the animals. You can stay for the full hour. Just be sure to respect other guests, giving everyone the proper time to see, play, and pet the birds. The park has a small stand open with goodies for sale. This may include take-home souvenirs and snacks. The funds go towards treats and toys for the birds and lemurs.

Reserve Your Sanibel Vacation Today

This is a fun little side activity, great for a quick late-morning stop. It is just another one of those small events that build the local community. There’s laughing, there’s playing, and there’s, of course, plenty of animals to see. Contact us when you are ready to come on down to Sanibel & Captiva Islands for your next beach vacation.