Tag Archives: animals

Think Pink: Florida Flamingo

An unexpected visitor drew big crowds to San Carlos Bay Preserve/Bunche Beach this week. Birders from around Florida flocked to Fort Myers to catch a glimpse of an American Flamingo in the wild.

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Flsmingo 1
An American Flamingo wades in choppy water off Bunche Beach with the Sanibel Island bridge in the background.

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Land and Sea: Turtles, Terrapins, and Tortoises

Florida is home to many types of shelled reptiles – turtles, terrapins, and tortoises. While they look similar, these three animals lead very different lives. How can you tell the difference?

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Florida, Know Your Birds: Black Skimmer

The black skimmer is one of the most recognizable Florida birds. With dark black wings and a bright orange beak its look is almost as unique as its foraging style.

Black skimmers aer nesting in Florida.
Black skimmers are nesting in Florida.

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The Sunset We Deserve

Summer in Florida is always stormy. There’s a reason the state is known as the “lightning capital of the United States.” Every summer brings intense storms, but this year feels … more intense. We were in the car yesterday and pulled over into the parking lot of a driving range on Daniels Parkway due to heavy rain. After about 5 minutes of waiting – CRACK – a lightning bolt hit the driving range about 200 yards away. After that harrowing experience we figured it would be better to be on the road. Later we found out there had been 1,300 lightning strikes around 3 p.m. in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area.

But as the thunderclouds drifted away we drove out to Bunche Beach – San Carlos Bay Preserve to get the sunset that we earned – the sunset we deserved. We were handsomely rewarded.

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Best of the Six Mile Cypress Slough

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers remains closed for renovations, but when it reopens it will remain one of the best places to find wildlife in Southwest Florida. What can you find there? Read on to find out.

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Conservation Season is in High Gear

As tourism season ends, something else is flocking to Florida’s beaches. It’s the time of year where coastal birds come home to roost and sea turtles begin to lay their eggs in the sand. There are some simple ways you can help Florida’s wildlife flourish.

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Feeding Frenzy at the Six Mile Slough

Even though some impressive thunderstorms rocked Southwest Florida this week, the Six Mile Slough Cypress Preserve in Fort Myers is a dry, dry place. This might sound like a bad thing, but it’s a natural part of life in Florida for the slough’s wildlife. Around this time of year the ponds get very shallow and there’s no place for the fish, crabs, and other water creatures to hide from the birds and alligators. This creates a “feeding frenzy” where dozens of birds gather in small ponds to feast. (Read on for a photo gallery from the feeding frenzy!)

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Scenes from a Sanibel Beach

Even on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with highs touching 90 degrees and bathwater blue-green water, there were maybe 100 people on Bowman’s Beach. The birds and dolphins took advantage to enjoy their day at the beach.

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The Story of this Photo II

A wood stork wades in a Florida pond.
A wood stork wades in a Florida pond.

This started with a walk around the pond at our former apartment in Fort Myers. The water often teemed with life – turtles, fish, and the occasional ibis. There was a small gator once. This particular walk was obviously more prosperous than others. I saw the wood stork, a large threatened wading bird, from across the pond. This particular stork was walking through the shallow water. As I crept closer, I thought the stork would fly away. But as I walked closer, the wood stork waited, even as ibises pecked around it in the water. This photo was taken from about 15 feet away as the stork peered over the pond. After about 10 more minutes of walking though the water, the stork tired of that spot and flew off – but not before posing for a great picture.