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Perico Preserve

Perico Preserve

PERICO PRESERVE, located on Perico Island in Bradenton, near Anna Maria Island, has been open to the public only since 2016. The 176-acre preserve sits on the west side of Perico Bayou, creating an important wildlife corridor extending east across the bayou into Robinson Preserve. The property was abandoned farmland in 2007, when it was acquired by Manatee County. With the specific purpose of creating a unique bird sanctuary, the County began a program of extensive renovation that included removal of exotic vegetation and planting of native flora. The site has been transformed into a unique coastal wetlands habitat—with scrub hills, upland regions, and fresh and saltwater marshes—that attracts many animal species and a plethora of birds. The preserve provides a refuge for over 30 once-homeless gopher tortoises which may often be seen near their burrows. No dogs are allowed in the preserve (except service animals). Similarly, bikes will only be allowed on designated trails within the preserve. At key points, we ask that visitors leave their bikes behind to travel forth on foot, allowing the resident wildlife to maintain their natural behavior. A portable restroom, covered picnic pavilion and ample parking are available on site. No admission fees.

A Must-See at the Preserve: 

  • Pond-side bird blind that gives you up close and personal looks at ducks, gallinules, waders, marsh wrens, savannah sparrows and more. 
  • Central rookery island in the middle of a substantial centralized lake where one can spot cormorants, anhingas, & wood storks. 
  • Observation decks provide spectacular views of both the rookery island and Perico Bayou. 

Birds you may encounter while visiting: 

eBird 206 species recorded

  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Hawks
  • Egrets
  • Herons
  • Ibis
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Wood Storks
  • Gulls
  • Terns
  • Killdeer
  • Common Gallinule
  • Brown Pelican
  • Wintering Ducks 
    • Blue-Winged Teal
    • Mergansers
    • Canvasback
    • American Wigeon
    • Ringed-Necked Duck
  • Canada Goose
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Red-bellied, Downy, and Pileated Woodpecker

Hours & Fees

Perico Preserve is open daily, sunrise to sunset.


Address: 11700 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209

GPS Coordinates: 27.496654, -82.677556

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11700 Manatee Ave W Bradenton FL 34209

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