Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Tortugan Crocodile Smiles & A Disgusting Mystery Bird



I did not expect to find a crocodile on the Dry Tortugas. The Tortugas are a long swim away from any other islands, and lack any kind of mangrove or otherwise swampy habitat, but I guess that didn't deter this beast. Booby Brittany and I watched it for over a half hour as it bashed, thrashed, and half-swallowed its way through this big bird. It was a bit distant, so the tourists swimming around Garden Key were completely oblivious. A few Key West locals were really impressed I managed to photograph the Tortugan crocodile, as it seems to have a kind of Loch Ness Monster mystique about it. Well, here it is, documented killing the hell out of something.

By the way, much respect given to anyone who can identify the bird that lies between the crocodile's teeth.


This Great Blue Heron stood captivated for the whole grisly affair. It showed no fear of the crocodile.








A Peregrine Falcon was also watching the gory action the entire time. When you have the eyes of a falcon you don't need to be up close.


The Great Blue Heron had the best front row seat though.

8 comments:

  1. Big Wow! It almost looks like the great blue wanted to steal the meal. I guess he figured the croc was full for now.
    I don't know what that could be but I'm sure to the croc, it tasted like chicken.

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  2. Wow, I didn't know there were any crocs on the Tortugas! I wish the second image was bigger so I could see more detail in the bird the croc is eating.

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    1. Mia I put a few crops on the BB&B Facebook page, link is on the above left.

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  3. Pretty bad ass. Whatever the bird it looks like it was a wader or something that will sit on the water. I doubt the Croc ambushed it just on shore, but possible. Must be a tough life for an ambush predator to hunt in such crystal clear water where your prey might see you from 50 ft away. Much easier hunting in the murky swamp with inches of visibility.

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    1. I didn't think about the water visibility issue...yeah that has to be a huge handicap during the day.

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  4. Holy cow, I have no words! I'd be slack-jawed if I saw this. I initially thought cormorant or anhinga, but then I saw those possibilities had already been explored in your FB comments.

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  5. Wow, awesome photos! Nice to know there are crocs on the beach there...yikes! I've watched several gators tear up some prey; its gory but I can't help watching:)

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