Alligator Relaxing in the Swamp

American Alligators have been on this planet for over 150 million years. They reside almost exclusively in the freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes of the southeastern United States, primarily Florida and Louisiana. They can live from 35 to 50 years in the wild, and can grow from 10 to 15 feet long. They prefer to eat fish, turtles, snakes, and small mammals.

Anhinga in the Sticks

Anhingas are found in the warmer parts of the Americas. They are related to pelicans and cormorants. Their length ranges from 30 to 37 inches, with their wingspan around 43 inches. Anhingas live in shallow, slow-moving, sheltered waters and uses nearby perches and banks for drying and sunning. They can be found often drying their feathers with their wings stretched out. Anhingas typically nests in loose groups of several to hundreds of pairs and sometimes with other colonial waterbirds. The nest is usually in a tree near to water or overhanging it. In the wild, they can live up to 10 years.

Anhinga in the Water

Anhingas are found in the warmer parts of the Americas. They are related to pelicans and cormorants. Their length ranges from 30 to 37 inches, with their wingspan around 43 inches. Anhingas live in shallow, slow-moving, sheltered waters and uses nearby perches and banks for drying and sunning. They can be found often drying their feathers with their wings stretched out. Anhingas typically nests in loose groups of several to hundreds of pairs and sometimes with other colonial waterbirds. The nest is usually in a tree near to water or overhanging it. In the wild, they can live up to 10 years.

Bachman's Sparrow

Bachman’s Sparrow are found in the southeastern United States in grassy pine woodlands. They are 5-6 inches long with a wingspan around 7 inches. They are foragers and eat primarily grass seeds and insects. You can find them walking and hopping along the ground for food. Their lifespan is only about 3 years. They are rare due to their population decline of 76%. They are considered near-threatened.

Black Bellied Whistling Duck

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks spend more time than other ducks walking on land or perching in trees. Their length is from 18 to 20 inches with a wingspan from 30 to 37 inches. You can find these ducks foraging in fields, lawns, and shallow, freshwater ponds, mangroves, rivers and lagoons that often contain water hyacinth, water lilies, and cattails. Their average lifespan is 8 years.

Boardwalk in the Wetlands #1

Green Cay Wetlands is a 100 acre wetland nature preserve located in Boynton Beach, Florida. It includes various Florida habitats including a cabbage palm hammock, a cypress swamp, marshes, sloughs and a tropical hardwood hammock. You can see native birds, turtles, mammals and of course, Alligators. The park has various species of plants and trees that sabal palm, live oak, bald cypress, red maple, pickerelweed, duckweed and more.

Boardwalk in the Wetlands #2

Green Cay Wetlands is a 100 acre wetland nature preserve located in Boynton Beach, Florida. It includes various Florida habitats including a cabbage palm hammock, a cypress swamp, marshes, sloughs and a tropical hardwood hammock. You can see native birds, turtles, mammals and of course, Alligators. The park has various species of plants and trees that sabal palm, live oak, bald cypress, red maple, pickerelweed, duckweed and more.

Boardwalk in the Wetlands #3

Green Cay Wetlands is a 100 acre wetland nature preserve located in Boynton Beach, Florida. It includes various Florida habitats including a cabbage palm hammock, a cypress swamp, marshes, sloughs and a tropical hardwood hammock. You can see native birds, turtles, mammals and of course, Alligators. The park has various species of plants and trees that sabal palm, live oak, bald cypress, red maple, pickerelweed, duckweed and more.

Boat-tailed Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackles are found throughout the United States. They breed and nest in salt and freshwater marshes. They are omnivores and ground foragers. You can find them eating seeds, fruits, crustaceans, frogs, lizards, and even human food scraps. They range in length from 10-15 inches, and have a wingspan of 15-20 inches. The average lifespan is 17 years.

Cormorant in the Wetlands

Double-crested Cormorants are found throughout North America, and the one most frequently seen in freshwater. They breed on the coast as well as on large inland lakes. They form colonies of stick nests built high in trees on islands or in patches of flooded timber. They are 27 to 35 inches long and its wingspan is around 45-48 inches. Cormorants often stand in the sun with their wings spread out to dry as they have less oil on their feathers and need to dry them out. The can live up to 20 years.

Great Blue Heron babies

Great Blue Herons are the largest heron in the United States. They range in height from 36 to 54 inches tall with a wingspan from 66 to 79 inches. Great Blue Herons live in saltwater and freshwater habitats, from open coasts, marshes, sloughs, riverbanks, and lakes to backyard goldfish ponds. They also forage in grasslands and agricultural fields. Breeding birds gather in colonies or “heronries” to build stick nests high off the ground. The primary food for great blue herons is small fish. The average lifespan for Great Blue Herons is 15 years.

Great Egret

Great Egrets average 40 inches tall with a wingspan of 55 inches. Great egrets are found on the Atlantic Coast from Maine down to Florida, as far south as Texas, and west to the Great Lakes. You can find them in streams, lakes, ponds, mud flats, saltwater and freshwater marshes. Frogs, snakes, crayfish, fish, mice, crickets, aquatic insects, grasshoppers, and many other insects are what Great Egrets eat. Their average lifespan is about 15 years.

Great Egret in the Grass

Great Egrets average 40 inches tall with a wingspan of 55 inches. Great egrets are found on the Atlantic Coast from Maine down to Florida, as far south as Texas, and west to the Great Lakes. You can find them in streams, lakes, ponds, mud flats, saltwater and freshwater marshes. Frogs, snakes, crayfish, fish, mice, crickets, aquatic insects, grasshoppers, and many other insects are what Great Egrets eat. Their average lifespan is about 15 years.

Green Heron in the Tree

Green Herons mostly live throughout the eastern United States near wetlands, both salt and freshwater. Green Herons spend the winter in southern coastal areas of their range, and in marine and freshwater habitats throughout Mexico and Central America. In tropical areas, they are common in mangrove swamps. Green Herons averages 16 to 18 inches tall and its wingspan 25-27 inches. Green herons are carnivorous, mainly eating fish and invertebrates. Their average lifespan is anywhere from 8 to 11 years.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterflies live throughout the southern United States southward through Mexico, Central America and the West Indies to South America. Adults have a wingspan range of 2-1/2 to 4 inch. Females are generally larger than males. They live in pastures, open fields, second-growth subtropical forest and edges, city gardens.

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

Halloween Pennant Dragonflies are commonly found in Central and east North America, particularly in Florida, where they are in season all year round. They are around 1-1/2 inches long. They can be found near quiet or very slowly-moving waters. You can also find them far from water, hunting over weedy fields or on vegetation at a woodland’s edge. Dragonflies only live about 6 months.

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Herons are a common but inconspicuous resident of marshes and estuaries in the Southeast. They eat mainly small fish, amphibians and crustaceans, and nest in trees, usually among other nesting herons and wading birds. Little Blue Herons have a body length of 27-30 inches with a wingspan of 40 inches. They can live up to 7 years old.

Moorhens in Duck Weed

Moorhens, aka Common Gallinules, are recognized from around the world, most differing only in size or brightness of plumage. They are around 14 inches long, and their wingspan is 21-24 inches. They prefer ponds, canals or brackish marches with tall vegetation. They eat seeds of grasses and sedges, and some snails. The oldest recorded Common Gallinule was over 9 years old.

Mottled Duck

Mottled Ducks are a non-migratory year-round resident of Florida living in brackish and freshwater marshes, ponds and wet prairies. Their average size is 17-24 inches with a wingspan between 31 and 33 inches. Closely related to the Mallard, they can be easily mistaken for a female Mallard. Their diet consists of small aquatic invertebrates, insects, as well as plant material such as grass seeds, stems and roots. Mottled ducks have relatively short lifespans, on average they live for only 2 years. The longest known lifespan in the wild is thirteen years.

Orlando Wetlands Landscape

Orlando Wetlands Park contains over 20 miles of roads and trails leading through marshes, hardwood hammocks and lakes. The open waters attract wintering waterfowl, wood storks, white bis, black-crowned night herons. Bald eagles, limpkins, and red-shouldered hawks, black vultures, and turkey vultures are year round residents in the Orlando Wetlands Park. Raccoons, river otters, white-tailed deer and bobcats can be seen along the roads and hiking trails.

Pig Frog in the Wetlands

Pig Fogs grunt like a pig, hence the name. Their snout is more pointed than that of American Bullfrogs. Like all "true frogs," they have large eardrums and webbed hind feet. Pig Frogs are between 3-5 inches. They are found throughout Florida. They breeds in quiet, permanent bodies of water, including ponds (natural or man-made) sloughs, cypress domes, wet prairies, canals, and ditches. Not much is known about how long they live, but it can be anywhere from 4 to 15 years.

Queen Butterfly

Queen butterflies live in the Deep South and stray as far north as the Great Plains and even New England in the summer. They have a 3 – 4 inch wingspan and share similar coloring as Monarchs, but are actually very easy to tell apart, especially when viewed with their wings open, as they have fewer black lines and are usually a deeper orange color. They live wherever milkweeds grow — urban and suburban gardens, meadows, fields, marshes, deserts, forest edges.

Roseate Spoonbill in Snag

Roseate Spoonbills average 28 to 34 inches in length with a 48-52 inch wingspan. They can be found in coastal marshes, lagoons, mudflats, mangrove keys. They are common in coastal Florida, Texas, and southwest Louisiana. Roseate Spoonbills eat small fish, aquatic invertebrates. Diet is mostly small fish such as minnows and killifish, also shrimp, crayfish, crabs, aquatic insects (especially beetles), mollusks, slugs. Eats some plant material, including roots and stems of sedges.

Snowy Egret in Snag

Snowy Egrets average 22 to 26 inches tall and its wingspan 39 inches. They winter in mangroves, saltwater lagoons, freshwater swamps, grassy ponds, and temporary pools, and forage on beaches, shallow reefs, and wet fields. Fish are what the Snowy Egrets prefer. Their average lifespan is about 15 years.

Tricolored Heron in Mating Colors

Tricolored Herons can be found in marshes, ponds and shallow waters of rivers. They hunt fish, insects and other small prey. Tricolored Herons are often observed wading in shallow water, where they plunge their bills into the water to catch fish. They breed along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States from Texas to southern Maine, and breed further inland in Florida. They measure between 23 and 27 inches and have a wingspan averaging 37 inches. They can live up to 17 years in the wild.

Utah - Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is 1 of 5 National Parks located in Southern Utah. It became a National Park in 1928, and was named after Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce. It contains the largest collection of hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) in the world. The park is 56.2 square miles and is not a canyon. Rather, it is a spectacular series of more than a dozen amphitheaters, each of which is carved at least 1,000 feet into the chromatic limestone of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Utah - Escalante

Escalante is located in south-central portion of Utah and is located on Scenic Byway 12. In the summer, temperatures can rise over 100 degrees. In the winter, it can drop below freezing at night. Sudden and heavy rainstorms can pop up quickly so you have to keep an eye on the sky. It is part of the Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Utah - Escalante River

Escalante is located in south-central portion of Utah and is located on Scenic Byway 12. In the summer, temperatures can rise over 100 degrees. In the winter, it can drop below freezing at night. Sudden and heavy rainstorms can pop up quickly so you have to keep an eye on the sky. It is part of the Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Utah - Escalante Trail

Escalante is located in south-central portion of Utah and is located on Scenic Byway 12. In the summer, temperatures can rise over 100 degrees. In the winter, it can drop below freezing at night. Sudden and heavy rainstorms can pop up quickly so you have to keep an eye on the sky. It is part of the Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

White Water Lily

White Water Lilies are highly decorative and are often planted in water gardens. They provide excellent habitats for largemouth bass and sunfish. Their seeds are eaten by waterfowl. They have floating leaves that are green-colored and 6 to 12 inches in diameter whereby the plant stem is mostly below water surface.

Wood Stork Family in Nest

Wood Stork are large white, bald-headed wading birds found in the southeastern swamps. It is the only stork breeding in the United States. They can grow from 33 to 45 inches tall with a wingspan from 60 to 69 inches. They mainly eat fish, preferably minnows. They open their bill and stick it in the water, waiting for a fish to wander too close. It then snaps its bill shut very quickly … not many birds can match the speed. Wood Storks can live up to 10 years.