Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Lack of Pronounced Eye Ridges, The Umbrella Move, A Calming Calm

American Crocodile. In the United States, crocs are only found in extreme southern Florida...probably the easiest place to see them is in the marina area and Buttonwood Canal at Flamingo in Everglades National Park. Crocs can be told from gators by their pointed snout, lack of pronounced eye ridges, obvious teeth sticking out, and their preference for salt (and sometimes brackish) water.

How do you like that? Starting off a post with a nonavian organism? Yeah, we get pretty crazy around here, no question.

Now that we know exactly what a birder is, here's another slough of photos from the Everglades for your enjoyment.

I somehow managed to not photograph an alligator while in the Everglades this time, although we saw (and heard!) a few. Crocodiles are listed as "Threatened" in the U.S.

I did not expect Mrazek Pond to be particularly birdy, but there was a lot going on. This Tricolored Heron was feeding hyperactively right next to the road.

Yup, it even busted out the classic umbrella move. Reddish Egrets aren't the only waders that can dance. Nice primaries eh?

Showing off it's tricoloredness while Blue-winged Teal lurk in the shadows.

I really like how the water appears in this picture, even though the heron is a bit backlit. They really are striking birds.

Red-shouldered Hawk is another South Florida even has it's own subspecies (extimus). They are common and unwary in a lot of places. 

The hawk scans its sawgrassy domain.

The top end of the Buttonwood Canal, nicely framed by mangroves. You need a craft of water to get here...the calm water is indeed calming. Also worth mentioning are the hundreds of White-crowned Pigeons that flew over on the way to this spot.

I think this is some kind of Needlefish (Belonidae). They seem to be everywhere in South Florida and the keys, often right on the water's surface.

White-eyed Vireos are hard to miss in Florida, as with much of the southeast. Their songs are fun to hear, they seem to be gifted with a larger repertoire than other vireos. Whoever named them should get an award for common sense.


  1. That needle fish thing is crazy. Do they sting or impale or anything? Tricolored Herons are awesome. I dream of seeing one someday, without crocs and gators nipping at my toes preferably.

    1. They just lounge at the surface looking good.

      You will see Tricolored someday, they are hard to miss within their normal range. Don't worry about the gators, they are like kitties.

  2. Nicely done! I don't mind spending time near gators, but Crocs, they are just creepy...

    1. As far as I know no one has ever been attacked by a croc in the U.S. That said, I wouldn't want to take a swim with one either.

  3. These make me a little homesick for Florida. Maybe it is the 16+ inches of snow we got over the weekend though. :-)

    1. Wow...that is a lot of snow. Makes for some cool photos at least, no?