Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alligators and birds at Gatorland


The big gators were bellowing when I walked into the bird rookery.


A big one standing in the water.


You can feed hot dogs to the gators in the lake but I think the birds eat more of them than the gators do. I once saw a kid throw the hot dog on the gator's head and a bird picked it off his head. I have also seen a gator catch and eat an egret so it happens.


Wood storks close to the boardwalk. I think they were walking around looking for lost hot dogs.


Big smile!


It always seems funny to see the birds use the gator tails as logs to stand on.


This snowy egret was stepping over the gator.

video

A loud video of the gator bellowing. Birds are calling in the begining. Towards the end you can hear the bellow.

I got to Gatorland right when they opened at 9am and headed straight for the bird rookery. When I got there I heard the strangest noise. I have been to Gatorland several times in the spring for the last 2 years and had never heard that sound before. All of the alligators were bellowing. It sounded like a sick dog groaning. It was very loud. Creepy but interesting. I was just glad I was on the boardwalk and not in some swamp with that sound. The weather was cool when I got there which I think is why the gators were so active that early. It warmed up pretty quick though. It's interesting the relationship with these birds and the gators. They are both just looking for food in the same places. The alligators in the lake provide a safe place for the birds to build their nest over to keep raccoons out (until one of the babies falls out of the nest).  I posted this picture last year on Flickr of an alligator with a great egret - flickr picture. Sad but I know everyone has to eat.

2 comments:

  1. I love the snowy egret shot with the reflection off of that dangerous log! What a unique relationship. I always thought the cow egrets running along under my horses' hooves was dangerous enough...

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  2. Great photos,very interesting post! Do gators ever attempt to prey on the adult birds that so fearlessly step on them?

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