Turtle Journal Team Stumbles Across Alligator Momma in Everglades
In early October the Turtle Journal team discovered a recently hatched alligator nest in the Florida Everglades. As we walked through flooded swamplands searching for tiny tree frogs (a topic for a later posting), we literally stumbled across a ferocious mother alligator power-napping at the edge of the trail. She captured our full attention as she menacingly rustled and roared an easily understandable warning. Momma bellowed “the rules of the road” about approaching her pod, rules to which we were most eager to adhere.
Baby Alligator in Florida Everglades
After adrenaline levels and heart rates resumed near normalcy, Sue Wieber Nourse spotted the first baby alligator, fully camouflaged in the swampy vegetation about 20 feet from momma.
Can You Find the Four Baby Alligators Camouflaged in Everglades Swamp?
In all we counted four hatchlings that were at least partially visible in the dense swamp. As evening approached we spotted a red shouldered hawk approach the scene. It made a few attempts at the tasty hatchlings, but momma proved a bit more intimidating than the hawk had anticipated. It quickly flew away.
Momma Alligator and Her Camouflaged Baby in Everglades Swamp
In mid August we had observed alligator nests in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. So, we were surprised to see nests hatching this late in the year in the Everglades. On the other hand, who wants to tell this robust momma that she can’t lay her nests wherever and whenever she wants (smile)?
Turtle nests are great fun to observe and so satisfying to conserve. Alligator nests not only share the same sense of fun and satisfaction, but are spiced with the added ingredient of heart-pounding, adrenaline spiked “awareness” that’s difficult to replicate with any other species.
We love turtles; we respect alligators.