Saturday, February 11, 2012

Another visit to Shark Valley…

On our way back from Key West we just had to stop at one of our favorite spots in all of Florida for viewing critters… Shark Valley in Everglades National Park. Since we have already talked about this park in a previous post we offer some more photos… Remember all photos can be enlarged by mouse clicking on them.

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Purple Gallinule – notice the stilt like legs and wide feet designed for walking on lily pads…

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American Alligator amongst the lily pads. Yes they hide well don’t they…

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It must be spring in south Florida. Mama Anhinga on her nest…

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Notice the legs and feet on these two birds as they are some times confused. The bird on left with the yellow feet and black legs is the Snowy Egret whereas the bird on the right with the greenish/yellow legs is an immature Little Blue Heron. Also a tell tale sign of the Little Blue Heron is the black tip on the beak.

Key West and Shark Valley 018Look closely at this Red Eared Turtle and it looks like he/she is trying to say “Man I wish I hadn’t eaten such a large fish.

It appears as if the turtle is trying to push something down its throat…

This month must have been the time when the gator eggs were hatching since there were baby Alligators everywhere…

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Key West and Shark Valley 032The mother gator of some nearby babies took notice when some tourists got a wee bit too close. As the babies began to make grunting sounds to alert their mother that they were in danger she swam towards them very quickly, lifted her head out of the water, made a loud hiss and then opened her mouth and snapped it shut very loudly sending the scared tourists scampering away very fast… I think they may have had to change their shorts after that…

Key West and Shark Valley 035There were lots of birds out sunning including the Anhingas. Some call them snake birds due to the way they swim in the water with just their neck sticking above the surface – very snakelike!

We love their colorful eyes and the way they span their wings to dry them for the next outing...

Key West and Shark Valley 024The wind picked up and the plumes of the egrets were being blown around making for some Key West and Shark Valley 045interesting photos such as this beautiful white Great Egret.

The wind didn’t seem to bother the coot like Common Gallinules with the very showy protrusion of their red beak.

The plumes of the Great Blue Heron and the greyish blue color of this bird made for a striking contrast with the reddish tips of the new growth of the nearby plants.

Key West and Shark Valley 009The last photo we leave is a shot of an American Alligator cruising through the lily pads and cat tails. This unaltered shot provided for an eerie artistic rendition of  a gator in the wild…Key West and Shark Valley 029


  1. Looks like a nice spot to visit along the way and a bonus with all the baby gators as well.

  2. Oh my goodness...I love these pictures. It would be so cool to visit this place. Those baby alligators are so precious. ~wheresweaver

  3. Great shots... but don't think I wanna swim with dem gators!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  4. Great photos and great info. Thanks for taking us there.

  5. You really know your birds - I'm just learning, and have some of those birds here in Southern California. They are beautiful and really interesting to watch. Great photos! I've never been around alligators, and think I'd rather stick with the birds. :)

  6. Fabulous pictures. What a day you had. We were actually on our way there when we got waylaid. Not sure when we'll be able to get there now so thanks for this post.

  7. I can see why you stopped by for another visit. Great shots of the wildlife.

  8. What great photos! You sure got some great shots of the local critters! Thanks for sharing!

  9. My kind of place! Nice variety of wildlife and excellent photos!

  10. Loved all the wonderful photos. Thank you.

  11. Outstanding photo's. Love baby gators- glad mama was watching over them.

  12. Not sure those baby gators are "precious", but very intriguing :-/
    We loved the Keys and want to get back there..Such different birds and critters in very different parts of this great country!! Thanks for following!!