Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation

While an adult turtle’s shell is hard and seemingly impenetrable, an unborn turtle’s eggshell is nowhere near as tough. In fact, turtle eggs are a swamp delicacy! From the number of scavenged nests I found on my May 2020 Okefenokee paddling trip, it seems everything eats turtle eggs. Bears, raccoons, skunks, opossums, crows, bobcats andContinue reading “Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation”

Okefenokee Swamp Spotted Sandpiper

Scanning the shore with my binoculars as my daughter piloted our canoe around Billy’s lake, I was a bit startled when I saw a small group of four plump sandpiper birds gathered on a downed cypress tree. Sandpipers in the Okefenokee? This was definitely a first for me.  Since our Okefenokee excursions have always beenContinue reading “Okefenokee Swamp Spotted Sandpiper”

An Old Friend Okefenokee Alligator

Unless they are tagged or have some unique scars, American Alligators are quite hard to tell apart. I’m sure there are subtle differences in size and features that could be identified if one spent some time comparing photographs. But for the most part, I can only suspect some of the alligators I’ve encountered multiple OkefenokeeContinue reading “An Old Friend Okefenokee Alligator”

Okefenokee Swamp Pileated Woodpeckers

March 4, 2017 on Billy’s Lake – Around 5:00 pm, after getting shots of a beautiful, white, Great Egret, we pulled the canoe onto some spatterdock to observe two Pileated Woodpeckers on the bank. All of the Pileateds I had previously seen stayed fairly high up in the trees. But these two were foraging alongContinue reading “Okefenokee Swamp Pileated Woodpeckers”

A Refuge for the Soaring Swallow-tailed Kite

After several trips to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that ended in a bust, I was really hoping this trek would finally result in a decent Swallow-tailed Kite photograph. But once again, it appeared that I was leaving the Okefenokee Swamp disappointed. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is located in Georgia near along the FloridaContinue reading “A Refuge for the Soaring Swallow-tailed Kite”

Okefenokee – Dark, Dangerous and Foreboding

“The artist can find in this Swamp scenes for masterpieces – from the beautiful to the somber – for a while there are scenes of unsurpassed beauty, there are others dark, dangerous and foreboding.” Excerpt from the 1926 History Of Okefenokee Swamp by A S McQueen And Hamp Mizell iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29933513

Okefenokee Alligator Apex Predator

Their status as an apex predator is probably what makes the American Alligator so fascinating and formidable. Apex predators are those at the top of the food chain. They have few, if any, other natural predators. While a big alligator is capable of killing almost any other animal in the Okefenokee Swamp,  the truth isContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator Apex Predator”

Okefenokee Minnies Lake Worth the Paddle

“Dad, can we go back to Minnie’s Lake today,” my daughter asked. She always loves paddling through the scenic, narrow channel of the Red Trail looking for baby alligators along the way. And then when nearing Minnie’s Lake, the scene opens up as the trees retreat the shrubs back off. There are typically gators galore…Continue reading “Okefenokee Minnies Lake Worth the Paddle”

Making of an Okefenokee Alligator Close Up Photo

My daughter has always been the captain of our canoe. She sits in the stern and controls the trolling motor while I photograph all the critters. But last Christmas she got a GoPro camera, and it came with us to the swamp. Over the course of this four day trip, she collected some great footageContinue reading “Making of an Okefenokee Alligator Close Up Photo”

Okefenokee Alligator Ate My GoPro!

There she lay; just ten feet from the edge of the dock. How could I resist? A big alligator right there within reach of my action camera. I hit record and lay upon my belly, stretching my arm to full length, the camera is only inches from her snout. No doubt this would be someContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator Ate My GoPro!”