Birding With Alligators

10,000 Birds

I am, of course, referring to Alligator mississippiensis , more commonly known as the American Alligator , or, colloquially, as gators. Though alligator attacks are rare they do happen. According to Wikipedia : Alligators are capable of killing humans, but are generally wary enough not to see them as a potential prey. Alligator bites are serious injuries due to the reptile’s sheer bite force and risk of infection.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Black Bears

10,000 Birds

When I was reading up on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and realized that it is supposed to be the easiest place on the east coast to see Black Bears I was pretty excited. After my predawn encounter with the four bears I spent the next two-and-a-half hours birding in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge proper without seeing a single bear. … Mammals Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge bears Black Bear North Carolina

Everglades Long-Legged Birds Feed Their Young To Alligators, Everything is Good.

10,000 Birds

Long-legged wading birds (Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes) actively choose nesting sites above resident American alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ), apparently to take advantage of the protection from mammalian nest predators that alligator presence offers. Previous research has shown that wading bird nesting colonies could provide substantial food for alligators in the form of dropped chicks. Morphometric body condition for colony and non-colony alligators.

Waderfest!

10,000 Birds

No, this is not Florida, but we have American Alligators in the Carolinas as well. I can’t imagine alligators are capable of expressing anything but hunger through those vertical reptilian slits though. Modern humans may have little to fear from alligators, but deep in our conscious we remember. Birding American Alligator herons and egrets South Carolina storks

2011 55

Five-Year Old Shoots 35-Year Old in Head

Animal Person

It saddens me, and I find it extremely disturbing, that a five-year old child is giddy, and his parents (and the journalists on this program) are so pleased that he killed a 35-40-year old alligator. Let's deconstruct a few details: The young boy shot the alligator, who had been trapped , in the head and killed him. The father tells us that the alligator was born and raised on the property. Here's what this young boy has learned: Alligators do not deserve to live.

Returning to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

10,000 Birds

A giant alligator lolled near a pond, herons and egrets stalked the shallow mudflats for prey, Black Skimmers flew low over the surface of the water to scoop up tiny fish. And I never forget to look for alligators. The summer of 2019 will forever be defined by my move to Tallahassee. Though only three hours from my previous hometown, this relocation was still characterized by the endless sifting through things (do I take this? do I leave that?),

2019 56

A Single Purple Gallinule

10,000 Birds

Mom became especially enraptured with the baby alligators we spotted – less than a foot long, they basked in the grass next to their mothers, or crawled atop her back and tail for extra protection. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every critter we observed, from the alligators to gar to turtles, but I remained on the look-out for one species in particular: the Purple Gallinule. . Baby alligators. All birders love the Everglades.

2018 43

On Teaching Children

Animal Person

Are the kids cooking monkey, cat, dog, alligator or turtle? It just so happens that after I read Bea's comment from yesterday about reaching kids with our message I saw a New York Times article from today called " Where Little Chefs Learn the Art of Slicing and Dicing ," by Ann Farmer. Farmer writes about the Creative Cooks Culinary Center in Brooklyn, where kids 5 to 11-years old are taught cooking in a place "that treats the culinary arts as an anthropological adventure."

2009 100

Five Famous First Pets

4 The Love Of Animals

And the most unusual pets (alligator and silkworms) belonged to John Quincy Adams. Today is George Washington’s birthday! So in celebration, here is a fun list of Five Famous First Pets. Socks the cat. First Cat from 1993-2001): Socks was a black and white “tuxedo” American Shorthair cat belonging to Bill Clinton. He often visited schools and hospitals. Later, Socks was “voted out of office” because he didn’t get along with the White House dog, Buddy. Millie the Springer Spaniel.

2010 122

Fighting Limpkins

10,000 Birds

I guess when you live with alligators, humans just don’t seem like that big of a deal. Phil McGrew is a nuclear engineer turned currency trader. He moved from Florida to California 3 years ago and in the process, gave up flying small planes for photography. “I I mistakenly thought it would be a cheaper hobby.” jokes Phil. This terrific Limpkin battle is Phil’s first contribution to 10,000 Birds: The only state in the US where Limpkins can be found is Florida.

2013 63

How The Bird Got Its Beak

10,000 Birds

The second thing they did was to interfere with the genetic pathways in some chickens, which produced a chicken with beaky bits that were more like snouty bits found in, for example, a Alligator. The genetic pathway found in Alligators and birds and everything within the containing family tree of Alligators and birds was messed with, and the result was the loss of bird-osity and thus reversion to alligatorness. However, both birds and Alligators actually use this pathway.

2015 83

Why Go to the 16th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival?

10,000 Birds

American Alligators ! American Alligator 3. The end of January is a cold time for those of us who live in the northeastern United States. This past January I had the great pleasure of temporarily escaping winter by going to the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I had a great time and hoped to be back again in 2013 but life gets in the way sometimes and we don’t always get what we want.

2012 83

Graduation Birds

10,000 Birds

The University of Florida’s mascot is an alligator, but a Red-tailed Hawk is a good emblem for any transition from one phase of life to the next. Graduation ceremonies are quite long, and one weekend in December I attended my 5th such ceremony celebrating my husband’s bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. Graduation is a time to reflect, celebrate achievement, look towards the future… But there’s also a lot of empty wait time.

2018 43

New Haunts: Wakulla Springs State Park

10,000 Birds

Alligators may have drawn the loudest cheers on the boat – especially from the two elementary school boys on the bench behind me – but we remained drawn to the small Pied-billed Grebes and Common Gallinules. Moving means finding your new birding haunts. We all have them: our favorite places to take friends and family when they visit, the bird-friendly areas we pop in on when we have the chance, the landscapes that entrance us.

2019 50

Florida Walking Around Birds

10,000 Birds

And aside from the birds, there are arguably the most imposing herps in North America, American Alligators. The signs along all the ponds in this development warn of alligators and snakes which are, interestingly, precisely the sort of thing I’m interested in coming across. The birding in Florida is so easy that a kid can do it. Or so I planned to find out.

So I went to the beach

10,000 Birds

The first attracts lots of local tourists, because of the many alligators that live in its waters. My wife hates heat. And, alas, heat is one thing Mexico’s Pacific coast has in excess. Which explains why this birder, who lives only four hours from that coast, had only twice searched there for the region’s tropical and coastal species — both times on ministry trips I made without my wife. But this past week, my wife travelled to the U.S. to visit her elderly father.

2019 58

The Limpkin and the Snail

10,000 Birds

And while finding snails is not difficult for a long legged bird that is not afraid to wade into alligator-infested marshes it is difficult to extract the yummy snail meat from its protective shell. Limpkins are Apple Snail specialists. That is, they eat snails of the genus Pomacea to the exclusion of all else, provided the snails are available.

Miami Mega Mall vs. Everglades National Park

10,000 Birds

Alligator on nest. Merchandising folly 1 – Conservation 0. The Miami-Dade County Commission approved development of ‘the largest shopping mall in North America’ with a vote of 9-1 last week. While there’s nothing inherently noteworthy about another super complex, this one will sit in uncomfortable proximity to the Everglades National Park. It has been my privilege to bird in the ‘Glades – the largest US wilderness east of the Mississippi River.

Miami 63

Exploring East Bay and the Yellow River

10,000 Birds

Brown water limits visibility, but I know that a ton of fish species call this river home, not to mention the alligators. It was odd to realize that with a temperature of 85 degrees F and a breeze, I felt like “fall” had begun in Northwest Florida. My husband and I decided to take advantage of the “cooler” weather and embark on an afternoon boat ride from East Bay up the Yellow River.

2016 54

Only Nine Days Until the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival!

10,000 Birds

Herons and raptors and rails and gulls and ducks and cranes and jays and owls and alligators are all awaiting me – and you – at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I can’t wait until Space Coast! You are going, right? This time, instead of going into the details of what specific trips I will be on I thought I would instead share five of my goals for the festival. After all, you have to have goals, right? Here are mine… 5.

2014 69

Sunshine State Birding at Colt Creek

10,000 Birds

While I enjoyed the view of alligators and Double-crested Cormorants from the nearby fishing pier, I quickly walked away to distance myself from the blasting country music. Colt Creek was my 99th Florida State Park. What started as a general interest morphed into a freelance job, then evolved into a passion (er, obsession?) for Florida’s State Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites that hit a crescendo for me when I pulled through the gates of the park.

2017 40

The Emotional Lives of Animals

4 The Love Of Animals

Elephants, whales, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and alligators use low-frequency sounds to communicate over long distances, often miles; and bats, dolphins, whales, frogs, and various rodents use high-frequency sounds to find food, communicate with others, and navigate. Grief, friendship, gratitude, wonder, and other things we animals experience. by Marc Bekoff. Scientific research shows that many animals are very intelligent and have sensory and motor abilities that dwarf ours.

Birding Orlando

10,000 Birds

My best wild bird of Legoland had to be some kind of heron hunting among the turtles and young alligators in a cypress swamp. In early May, I reluctantly accepted my parental obligation to bring my children to Orlando, Florida. The Disney mystique hasn’t entranced my brood the way it seems to insidiously seize so many others, but various factors conspired to drive us to notorious attractions like Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Sea World, and Legoland.

2012 69

I’m Back from Space Coast

10,000 Birds

I just made sure not to stand too close to any alligators when my back was to Jeff by the time I was done going through the many virtues that Green Herons possess. This will be a brief post. I write this shortly after getting home from Florida, my four-year old just fell asleep, and I am soon to follow him to dream-land.

2014 55

Minks and more on the Outer Banks

10,000 Birds

The Golden Eagles at Alligator River NWR were soaring elsewhere. A couple weekends ago I headed out to the Carolina Bird Club’s winter meeting in Nags Head, North Carolina, on the cusp of the Outer Banks. The CBC is great for holding their meetings at some of the Carolinas’ best birding locations, but there’s something special about the Outer Banks that makes the rotation to the NC coast something that birders don’t want to miss.

2015 67

Looking Forward to Space Coast!

10,000 Birds

I want to see Limpkins and Snail Kites and American Alligators and Yellow-throated Warblers and Painted Buntings and this list could go on for quite some time. In under a month I will looking at lots of great birds at the 17th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I can’t wait – two years between visits is too long.

2013 72

A Great Day Out West – Bobcats, Birds and Boardwalks

10,000 Birds

An alligator makes an aggressive but half-hearted lunge for a group of dabbling Blue-winged and Green-winged Teals. “Out West” to most Floridians might mean California or Arizona or might even refer to the Gulf Coast of Florida. But to us locals from the El Dub (Lake Worth, FL) it refers to anywhere east of the Everglades and west of Congress Avenue. And this is where magic happens from time to time.

2013 80

Florida’s Mysterious Wintering Brown-crested Flycatchers

10,000 Birds

in a tiny stretch of semi-continuous tropical hardwood hammock and scrub stretching from the Alligator Farm just south of Florida City west to Mosier Hammock in the Long Pine Key area of Everglades National Park — an area that only encompasses a few square miles.

Upcoming Potential ABA-countable Exotics from Florida

10,000 Birds

Having evolved alongside such incredible predators in Africa such as Nile Crocodile, various big cats, large snakes, and monitor lizards, this goose would seem well equipped to handle the relatively few large predators of southeast Florida such as the American Alligator and the Bobcat.

The Outer Banks after a Tropical Storm

10,000 Birds

Turns out, Monday brought more than a little rain, and we got soaked as we explored the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge along the ocean. Tropical Storm Ana is the second earliest tropical storm to ever hit the Outer Banks. That’s interesting from a weather point of view, but not so good when it coincided with my graduation birding trip.

2015 70

Anhinga Trail at Dawn — a Wildlife Spectacle

10,000 Birds

Well known to tourists who visit the trail by the thousands every year to see their first wild alligators, the site is generally passed off by the serious birder as having little potential of seeing something truly special — just close views of herons, egrets, and ibis.

2013 60

Lost on the Space Coast

10,000 Birds

I mean come on, it’s not like it’s an Alligator or anything. There are a handful of sites in North America that can justifiably be considered must visits for birders. It’s only a small surprise that a significant proportion of those sites are in Florida.

2011 54

Getting out of line

10,000 Birds

By building nests out over the swamp, the birds benefit from the protection offered by the alligators in deterring predators such as raccoons and snakes. Occasionally a chick will fall and be released back into the food chain by the alligators, but on the whole, the birds get a good deal providing that they build their nests beyond the jumping capability (as much as 5 feet as demonstrated in the “Jumperoo Show&# ) of the reptiles.

2011 48

Into the Florida Woods for the Holiday Weekend

10,000 Birds

Anhinga sat on exposed logs, near slowly swimming alligators. During the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend, thousands of people headed to the coast – at least to the beaches that were still open during covid-19. Yet, because of the pandemic, the idea of hitting the crowded sand with a gazillion of other people was frankly terrifying. In contrast, my husband, baby, and I made a bee-line to Talquin State Forest.

2020 55

Combined Beat list for 2016

10,000 Birds

Alligator River NWR–Milltail Rd. Alligator River NWR–Milltail Rd. It is a dream, nay, a mission statement of 10,000 Birds to see as many of the World’s birds as possible. A Strickerian task for an individual, but the combined eyes and optics of beat writers around the globe might be able to make a fair fist of it. Thus, a combined list of current beat writers will be compiled to see how many birds, weird and wonderful, common or unusual we can find between us.

2016 59

Cairns Esplanade

10,000 Birds

These guys could eat alligators for lunch. The city of Cairns is a gateway for a lot of the top end of Queensland, both for those seeking the delights to be found in the Great barrier Reef and those looking to explore the patchwork of forest and savana that is tropical Australia. But for those seeking wildlife there is plenty to see without ever leaving the city, and most itineries at least allow one day of birdwatching within and immediately around this coastal resort city.

2012 63

Combined Beats’ List – September

10,000 Birds

Alligator River NWR–Milltail Rd. Duncan has been in Africa, sweeping all before him like a brush fire. Through Botswana during the first week of September, then into Ethiopia with a late flourish, he has carried the list to 2191 as at September 30t h. Redgannet missed an opportunity to contribute when he was completely washed out at Lekki Conservation Centre in Nigeria. Electric storms closed the new walkway there and he amassed a total list of just 3 birds!

2016 54

The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

As a birder, I’ve seen the sounds of guns scare off geese and ducks I was trying to observe in New Jersey waters, and shuddered over the skins of Northern Pintails and American Wigeons seen in boats along Alligator Alley, Florida. There is no mistaking a Crossley ID Guide.

2017 57

Combined Beats’ List – August

10,000 Birds

Alligator River NWR–Milltail Rd. Big up for Corey. Our very own “Mr July” piled on the pelagics during August. In so doing, he has helped to push us through the 1900 milestone. But our pin-up for August and worthy of a double-page-spread, is Duncan who is currently sharing from South Africa. Duncan has contributed to break through the unspoken target of 2000 birds for 10,000 Birds and on to a running total of 2011 as at August 31st.

2016 42

A great week for Wood-Warblers

10,000 Birds

I then had a year in Florida – beware the alligators and hurricanes! It really has been great to see such beautiful pictures of wood-warblers all week, especially when it has been so long since we saw any in the USA. It made us reach for our field guide for North America, but that really does not compare to the real thing.

2011 57

Combined Beats’ list

10,000 Birds

Alligator River NWR–Milltail Rd. April was a good month for the list with a couple of our big–hitters weighing in to boost the numbers and The Management engaged in a beat recruitment drive in a cynical attempt to swell the catalogue. During last month, beat lists have been shared from Mexico, Australia, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Russia, UK, Canada and USA. As at May 7th, the total stands at 1661 with the main thrust of the migration still to come.

2016 40

Combined Beats’ List – July 2016

10,000 Birds

Alligator River NWR–Milltail Rd. The list was in danger of diminishing during July as an input error threatened to cut the Beats’ hard-won sightings. Luckily, Redgannet managed to redeem himself with a well-placed trip to Brazil in time to see the Olympic torch stumble through Ubatuba.

2016 40

Combined Beats List – June 2016

10,000 Birds

The law of diminishing returns brings the inevitability of repeat sightings and has checked the momentum of the combined beats’ list for June. Despite recording 370 species during the month, the list total has advanced by just 45. As at June 30 th , it stands at 1796. Just to confuse things a little, only 14 new species were recorded since June 1 st. A late submission from May boosted last month’s total after publication and life is just too short to issue a correction.

2016 40