Happy Mother’s Day from Photos from Florida! We hope you enjoy your day. Enjoy these photos of animal moms and babies from around Florida.
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.
(Click “continue reading” for more photos)
Two hours north of Fort Myers lies Dunedin, Florida. It’s a quaint little town and the spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s adjacent to Clearwater, one of the best beach towns in America, and the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The News Press wrote an article about the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary this weekend. The main idea of the article focuses on the boardwalk tours and after hours events planned at the sanctuary over the next few months. There’s an underlying idea as well – go now, before all the tourists come back.
I say, do both.
The snowy egret is ubiquitous to Southwest Florida, but this wasn’t always the case. Like many other egrets and herons, the snowy egret saw its numbers plummet in the late 1800s. Concerted efforts by conservationists helped bring back the small egret and its range is now expanding along the Eastern seaboard and the South.
Green herons forage along the shore. They have long necks, but to get a good picture – especially close up – is pretty rare. My dad and I were walking the boardwalk at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers this winter. It had been a good day already. We saw baby gators as well as an up-close piteated woodpecker searching for grubs.
As we approached Otter Pond we couldn’t see or hear much. It was early in the winter and there was still deep water in the pond that evening. We looked over toward a protruding tree stump. “What’s that,” my dad asked.
“A Muppet?” I replied.
“That” was a green heron, neck fully extended with its crown fully out. Talking to naturalists later, we figure there must have been something in the lake – likely an alligator – that spooked the heron and caused it’s surprised look. Either way, we feel fortunate to have seen it in such a colorful posture.
(See below for what the green heron looks like with its neck tucked in.)
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.
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.
The lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island has a rich history (Detailed in Part 1 here). One of the best spots for Southwest Florida birding can also be found on the beach.
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.