Thursday, June 14, 2007

Showing a Little Leg

A few weeks ago I mentioned the Black-necked Stilts had returned to Lake Trafford where we take our airboat ride. They've nested and one of the benefits of the drought is the lack of water prevents their nests from being flooded. That means baby Stilts!

And they are cute. Look at those little legs!

A Red-shouldered Hawk flew in as we sat and watched. Mom and Dad Stilt squawked back and forth in alarm. One of our riders said "I hope nothing happens while we sit here!". It was fine if the chick was eaten after we left.

Alligators everywhere on the lake but they stay away from the Stilt nests for some reason. Baby chicks apparently are high in cholesterol.

GECKO Update - "Progressive" the aggressive Gecko that first greeted me upon arriving here in Florida has passed away from excessive digestion by a local feline after he inadvertently stumbled into the apartment.

TSO Update - My shaved cat Tso regurgitated what is apparently a half eaten Gecko. The Gecko was a non-native species.

FLORIDA PANTHER Update - The 10th Florida Panther was killed on State Road 29 near Copeland Florida on Monday. I drive through this area every time I go on a tour. Several dozen cats have been killed here in the last few decades despite the wildlife underpasses and fencing. 10 cat fatalities would be roughly 10% of the total Florida Panther population.

Other News - I was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for Ethical Eco-Tourism. I'm actually excited to be part of this group as we hope to continue to promote legitimate eco-tourism and help it become the standard for all eco-tourism.

If that last bit of news shows an iota of depth in maturity I'll finish up here by announcing I still find the word Uranus funny in any context. The Calusa Nature Center Planetarium goes out of their way to remind people that the planet is pronounced "Urine-is" and not "Yur-anus".

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