December 31, 2003 - Everglades National Park

December 31st we went back to Flamingo for our boat tour.  This osprey built its nest on the boat lift and complained every time they used it.  The workers said the bird knew what it was getting into and had the nest multiple seasons.

Close by we saw this snout and knew what it was, an American Crocodile, an endangered species.  Far southern Florida is the only place in the world with both alligators and crocodiles.  The crocodiles prefer salt water and do not raise their young, the alligators prefer fresh water and do raise their young.  Alligators can handle colder weather than crocodiles.

Here is a better picture of the same American Crocodile.  Crocodiles have a narrower snout and both the upper and lower teeth show.  Crocodiles are more aggressive than alligators on average, but the American Crocodile is much less aggressive than the Nile and Giant Salt Water ones from the Indian Ocean and Australia.  For much more info, read our web pages from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.  People were holding their children up to see this crocodile, within striking distance. 

The boat ramp and an immature little blue heron, it has yellow legs and the workers pointed it out to show how to tell it from an snowy egret which has dark legs:

Our boat tour went inland on the canal, here is an alligator:

The boat tour was interesting, but we didn't take many pictures.  Once the tour was over we headed back up the road.

Here is a shot driving back to camp of how much of the Everglades looks:

We did take a quick look at the Anhinga Trail, but didn't get any good photos.  We didn't want to be out late on New Years Eve.

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