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We spotted this pretty bird while hiking on a boardwalk in the Everglades. We almost passed by because it was absolutely motionless, watching for small fish in the shallow waters. A few seconds later its head darted below the surface of the water quicker than you could follow it, and it emerged with a small minnow, which it swallowed whole.
I’d never seen a green heron this close before and did a little research later. The bird is small for an heron (less than a half meter — about a foot and a half — long). Their range is quite extensive in North and Central America. They are characterized by a greenish-black cap and a greenish back. The bill is long, …
After our morning hike in Tierra del Fuego we returned to the Australis for lunch and some rest, during which time our ship re-positioned itself in Ainsworth Bay. Our afternoon excursion was to be entirely on a Zodiac. This is obviously a slower process than zipping us onshore for the morning’s hike as the supply of Zodiacs was limited.
The Zodiacs took us to a small cluster of islands known as Tucker’s Islets. These lie within the Strait of Magellan and are rich in bird life (note: Magellan was the Portuguese explorer who visited this region 500 years ago). We would slowly circle these islands in the Zodiac to observe the different types of birds, slowing to a stop when possible, …
The slowly flowing, warm, River of Grass is teaming with life, although at times it’s hard to see it. A recommended place to spot wildlife within Everglades National Park is in Shark Valley. There is a lengthy elevated bike path in the area, which is shared by a tram. You can rent a bike and cycle around, stopping to see the alligators and birds, or you can sit back in the tram and let a biologist/guide educate you about what you’re seeing. Both options are very rewarding. There is no better place to immerse yourself in this UNESCO World Heritage ecosystem.
We visited Shark Valley a few months ago and had a wonderful experience. I previously published a …
During our last visit to Florida, my father and I drove from our base in Orlando to explore some of Florida’s east coast. Our destination for the day was the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, not far from Titusville.
This is a massive preserve, some 140,000 acres (57,000 ha), situated on the same island as the Kennedy Space Center. Because of its close proximity to the Space Center, there are rare times when NASA restricts access to this National Wildlife Refuge (e.g. when the space shuttle was landing in Florida).
The topography of the refuge is flat, but still there are a mixture of habitats including saltwater and freshwater marshes, dunes, forests and scrub. Here …
Among many wonderful memories of being on safari in Botswana are those of its many magnificent birds. These include our featured subject, the saddle-bill stork, which lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
These are huge long-legged birds, attaining a height of almost 5 ft (150 cm) and weighing up to 17 lbs (8 kg). The birds have a wingspan of up to 9 ft (2.7m), so they are easy to spot at a distance. They are tallest and most vividly colored of Africa’s storks. The tend to live on at the edge of forests, where they have access to tall trees (on which they build their nests) and marshes (wherein they feed). Their diet includes fish, beetles, frogs, reptiles and small mammals.
The bird’s …
In a crowded, congested city of 17 million, green spaces are very important and much appreciated by the residents. The lovely Lodi Garden in New Delhi, India, offers lots of free space for people to enjoy. Here you have a chance to walk, jog, do yoga, have a picnic and play. We arrived fairly early on a drizzly morning and the park was almost deserted. Of course a little rain never stopped me from exploring. The drizzle dried up within an hour and then the crowds started to arrive. But not before I got to see a nearly empty park with lovely palm-tree lined walks. My first impressions lingered — this was to be one of my favorite destinations …
My first Patagonian post was an introduction to the travel hub of El Calafate. Today’s post focuses on the town’s best attraction. Situated about a mile from downtown El Calafate, very close to the hotel we were staying at, Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve is a beautiful place worth exploring. It’s especially a prime stop for bird-lovers, but also offers a nice easy hike in a natural setting. The Reserve is situated at the edge of a great glacial lake, Lago Argentino, and adjoins a suburban neighborhood. It contains two lagoons, Laguna Nimez and Laguna Secundaria.
The Reserve is fenced off and you enter through a small visitor center where a modest admission fee is charged. Signage …