Fishing: 407-572-5391 | Airboat Tours: 407-572-3561

family fun Tag

Did you know…strange animal facts

Lets dive into something a little bit different.   I'm always looking for something to learn about that's out of the ordinary, and I think I found some interesting information about the wonderful world of wildlife. **  The bumps on alligators are called Scutes, they are hard bone that protect them.  They are covered with them,  from head to tail.                  **  Elephants are the only animal that can't jump, the bones in elephant legs are all pointed downwards, which means they don’t have the “spring” required to push off the ground.                                                                                                                                                                                        **  A sloth takes 2 weeks to digest their food.                                                                                                                                                                                **  Octopuses have 3 hearts, Two of the hearts work exclusively to move blood to the animal’s...

Sandhill Cranes and babies

Sandhill Cranes

Some people do not know what a Sandhill Crane is.  Well, they are very large, tall birds with a long neck, long legs, and very broad wings.  They weigh between 6-14 pounds and stand between 3-5 feet tall.   Their bodies are grey, the forehead and top of the heads are covered with reddish skin and face, chin, upper throat, and nape are white to pale gray, and their legs and toes are black.  The male and female look a lot alike, except males are bigger. They mate for life, but if one show die, they do find another mate.  They female chooses their partners based on dancing displays. The male birds stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air.   They then build their nests from the dominant vegetation, such as cattails, bulrushes, or grasse, using dried plant materials early in the season and adding green materials later on.  The female lays 1-3 eggs, it takes around 30 day to hatch, but sadly, most of the time only 1 baby makes it to fledging.  I personally think they look like baby chickens with long legs when the are born.  They eat a variety of animals, including frogs, small animals, insects and snakes, along with grains. Adults will often feed the little ones earthworms and grubs.   Mated pairs and their babies stay together all through the winter, until the 9 to 10 month old babies finally separate from their parents the following spring.  They spend their winter in Florida, Texas, Utah, Mexico and California.  The Florida sandhill crane is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and can not be hunted. So, the next time your in Florida, look for these amazing birds....

hatchingalligatorjpg2

Alligator Hatchlings

There is so much information about alligators, but not much about baby alligators, also known as Hatchlings. Breeding season for alligators is May and June.  They start building nest in late June and July.  The nest can be 7 to 10 wide and 2 to 3 ft tall.  They lay between 35-50 eggs, some upto 90, and cover them up.   There is a 65 day incubation time frame until the little guys start to hatch out with a little eye tooth at the tip of their mouth.  It later falls off.  They will also start "chirping" for moms help to get out, where she will dip up the dirt on top of them and sometimes she will pick them up in her mouth to get them into the water. The depth and temperature determine the sex of the hatchlings.   Female gators is below 82.4 degrees and male gators are 91.4 degrees or above.    If the eggs are in the middle, 87.8 degrees or so, they will be a mix of both male and female.   Believe it or not, alligator eggs are soft, not hard like chicken eggs. Hatchling are tiny when born, only between 6 and 7 inches long, so they stay very close to mom.  A female alligator will only mate once a year but can have up to 3 years worth of babies (called a "pod") around her, but only concern is for her new offspring.   She is only there for protection though, she doesn't provide their food. When the Hatchlings get to about 4 years old, they venture out on their own.  Alligators reproduce or multiply when they mature.  This takes place when they are about 7 to 12 years old....

Makinson Island

Makinson Island

If you have some time, you need to take a trip out to Makinson Island.   I had the pleasure of spending some time out there recently and was just amazed at the surroundings.   The huge oak trees, picnic area, nice restrooms, walking trails, gazebo and even campsites.   This 132 acre island is located in Lake Tohopekaliga, pronounced "toe-hoe-pea-kah-lie-gah", and you have to find your own way out there, but it's worth the trip. Some of the local history of the island includes Emathla, a 19th-century Seminole chief who made it his home, and his son Coacoochee, one of the great chiefs in Florida history and born on the island in 1807.   Its location at the mouth of Shingle Creek, which flows south from Orlando.  Dense growth protects the shoreline and there is a small dock and beach to put your boat. Makinson Island was purchased by the state back in 1999 but wasn't turned over to Osceola County until 2001, where is was opened up to the public.   At one time a lot of exotic animals were brought to the island, most were removed but there are still a few longhorn sheep, goats, hogs and wild deer left.  There is also plenty of  birds of all typed that have make this island home. The family that the island was named after also owns a hardware store in downtown Kissimmee called Makinson Hardware, be sure to stop in and say hello to Elaine and John Makinson.    ...

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month!

There is an amazing event going on for the month of September!  Orlando restaurants are having a Magical Dining Experience where you get a 3 course meal for only $35.00.  There are over 100 restaurants participating and its sponsored my American Express. The BEST part of enjoying a fabulous dinner is that through Visit Orlando, $1 per meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. This is a good time to try something new!  For a list of the restaurants visit www.visitorlando.com/magicaldining  ...