Everglades National Park – Flamingo


All rivers eventually lead to the sea, as does the road from Ernest F Coe Visitor Center to Flamingo, winding through the Everglades until it finally reaches it’s destination. Flamingo is the southernmost Visitor Center, and features a General Store (in the process of begin rebuilt at the time of this writing), a Marina, a Bait and Tackle shop, and several hiking trails.

Despite the name, seeing wild Flamingos in Everglades is exceptionally rare. It’s much more likely to see roseate spoonbills (although we didn’t spot any on this trip) and White Ibis like the ones above.

The Marina is a good spot to also spot Manatees, especially if you sign up for one of the boat tours. We were on the hunt for a crocodile, and had some tips from the park rangers of where we would have the best luck finding one without having to board a boat (we just didn’t have time).

Overhead, I spotted a male osprey on the hunt. Soon we also found his mate and her nest of babies – we spotted at least two heads, but it’s possible that there was a third. Osprey are wonderful parents, both taking turns to care for their young with a steady diet of fish.

Not far from the osprey (and the crowd of sightseers that they had attracted), I finally found my crocodile. They were sunning on some mangrove roots, about as far from the hustle of the marina as they could get.

If you’ve spent any time in Florida at all, you’ve seen the American Alligator – they are incredibly successful and totally tolerant of humans, making them as at home in a retention pond behind Target as they are in Everglades. They also have a much higher tolerance for cold.

The American Crocodile is much more secretive and reclusive. They are larger (up to 20 feet), with lighter skin and a narrower snout, and when their mouth is closed, you can see both the upper and lower teeth from the side. I joked with my boss that if I got eaten by a giant reptile in Everglades while on vacation, it was because I was examining it’s teeth!

The American Crocodile is an endangered species through North America, with the exception of the Everglades where up to 1200 individuals live. I felt very blessed to have the opportunity to meet one.

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Adventurer / SysAdmin / Photographer

Hello fellow adventurer! I'm Jessica Jones, or just Jess if you'd like. I'm a driver at Jeeptographer.com, primarily with Blue, my 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon . I'm 36 years young, and I enjoy adventuring to beautiful spots with the primary intent of taking photos. I *love* capturing our natural world.

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