Birds & Alligators

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All images © John Wise. All Rights Reserved








John Wise

Ospreys

Ospreys

All images © John Wise. All Rights Reserved

Ospreys search for fish by hovering above the water or by means of a perch on a well placed tree branch above a lake. They watch for fish below the surface and then dive steeply with talons outspread. They splash into the water and quickly resurface. If successful they adjust the fish in their claws to face forward to ensure a smooth flight.

Alligators

Alligators

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An adult American Alligator can easily weigh 800 lbs and be 13 feet long and live for up to 50 years.
Large male alligators are solitary and territorial although smaller alligators can be found in close proximity to others of similar size. Although they appear to be slow and ungainly they are capable of short bursts of speed.

Herons

Herons

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Great Blue Herons emit a harsh squawk on takeoff and can intimidate most birds with their size. Found by lakes, marshes and rivers they eat mainly fish and frogs. Other herons commonly seen in Florida are the green heron, little blue heron, tricolored heron and night heron.

Egrets

Egrets

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The Great egret is a common sight in Florida and is a member of the heron family. They nest in colonies, often alongside other species of heron. Other commonly seen egrets in Florida are the Snowy egret and the Cattle egret. Egrets eat fish, frogs and snakes.

Ibises

Ibises

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The White ibis is a distinctive bird with its bright red and down curved bill. In the breeding season its legs turn from slate gray to bright red. Ibises live mainly in swamps and marshy areas and lakes and eat crabs and crayfish. Also often seen in Florida is the Glossy Ibis with its rich chestnut colored plumage in the breeding season.

Storks

Storks

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Another huge bird is the Wood Stork. It's bill is long and stout and slightly curved, black in adults and dull yellow in immatures. Storks fly with thier necks extended and can make a dull croaking noise but usually remain silent. Experts at soaring they can often be seen circling high into the air on rising currents of hot air.

Spoonbills

Spoonbills

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The Roseate Spoonbill has, as the name suggests, a unique flat spoon shaped bill and a mainly white body with brilliant pink wings and flanks and rich crimson shoulders. Immatures are pale pink and white. they can make a low croak and clucking sound. Spoonbills live in mangrove swamps and lagoons and eat small fish,snails and aquatic insects.

Limpkins

Limpkins

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The limpkin is a long legged, long necked, goose sized bird. greyish brown with white spots and streaks and a long slender down curved bill. Limpkins live mainly in wooded swamps and marshes and are mainly active at night. They make a long, strident, distinctive wailing call. Their preferred diet is of apple snails but they also eat frogs, tadpoles and aquatic insects.

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