Birds and Mangroves
During your expeditions you will see many more species of birds than you see here.
We update these photos on a continual basis as it is impossible to show all.
Our photos will provide a virtual Eco exploration, however the splash of the Brown Pelican, the cries of the hunting Osprey and the wind flowing through the mangroves can only be heard by going on a expedition into the lagoon
Hopefully you can find the time to come with us and experience these sites and sounds.
This Big Blue was discovered and named
by Christianne, one of our astute young explorers.
For the information regarding our
Mangroves are one of Florida's true natives. They thrive in salty environments because they are able to obtain freshwater from saltwater. Some secrete excess salt through their leaves, others block absorption of salt at their roots.
Florida's estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests contribute to the overall health of the state's southern coastal zone. This ecosystem traps and cycles various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients. Mangrove roots act not only as physical traps but provide attachment surfaces for various marine organisms. Many of these attached organisms filter water through their bodies and, in turn, trap and cycle nutrients.
The relationship between mangroves and their associated marine life cannot be overemphasized. Mangroves provide protected nursery areas for fishes, crustaceans, and shellfish. They also provide food for a multitude of marine species such as snook, snapper, tarpon, jack, sheepshead, red drum, oyster, and shrimp. Florida's important recreational and commercial fisheries will drastically decline without healthy mangrove forests.
Many animals find shelter either in the roots or branches of mangroves. Mangrove branches are rookeries, or nesting areas, for beautiful coastal birds such as brown pelicans and roseate spoonbills.
Worldwide, more than 50 species of mangroves exist. Of the three species found in Florida, the red mangrove is probably the most well-known. It typically grows along the water's edge. The red mangrove is easily identified by its tangled, reddish roots called "prop-roots". These roots have earned mangroves the title, "walking trees". This mangrove, in particular, appears to be standing or walking on the surface of the water.
This plant usually occupies slightly higher elevations upland from the red mangrove. The black mangrove can be identified by numerous finger-like projections, called pneumatophores, that protrude from the soil around the tree's trunk.
Honey can be produce from the nectare the blossoms produce.
White mangroves have no visible aerial root system like red and black mangroves. The easiest way to identify white mangroves is by the leaves. The leaves are up to 3 inches long, elliptical (rounded at both ends), yellowish in color, and have two distinguishing glands at the base of each leaf blade where the stem begins. White mangroves are usually located in elevations higher and farther upland than either the red or black mangroves.
Sushi in the talons
Ospreys are difficult to photo, This one is just launching.
White Mangrove in the background.
Check out the deep blue around the eyes and on the shoulder.
I am constantly changing or adding photos.
I included this pic because of the blues.
Great Blue Herons courting.
Subtle adjustments of wings controls the bird while dropping.
Just before the splash, head is thrust forward and wings are tucked back towards the tail.
So cool to watch the dive and hear the splash of a flock over and over again.
If they dive next to you in your Kayak and you are not expecting it, you will be very surprised.
Drying in the morning warmth.
We were winding our way into a huge
Mangrove (Red and Black) stand
and came upon this guy.