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Holiday Break

Posted on: December 20 2014 | Posted in: Uncategorized

HOLIDAY BREAK WILL SOON BE UPON US JUST IN TIME FOR A SWAMP UPDATE! Here in New Orleans and the surrounding areas we have been greeted with favorable temperatures which are keeping things interesting at the swamp. During this time when the leaves have fallen from the trees and our beautiful green growth is fast asleep, we encourage vacationers and bird watchers to take advantage of the excellent viewing conditions. The wildlife is present and easy to see. We are seeing great blue herons, snowy egrets, great egrets, sandpiper species, hawks, owls, deer, wood ducks, the very vocal pied-billed grebes, our family of raccoons, a beautiful osprey perched and eating daily, and on occasion a bald eagle doing a fly by! But, what of our beloved gators?? During our winter months (Halloweens to Mardi Gras), alligators do not swim or eat because as reptiles, they are exothermic. They need to gain body heat from the outside temperatures and environment. Alligators rely on heat and sun as they seek warmth. Fortunately, we are still seeing small alligators during these December sunny days while they lie in the sun to attract/inhale heat. At this time, their eyes are partially closed, they have very little energy, and the flap in their throats are closed. During cold weather the gators undergo periods of dormancy (another term is bromate or even hibernate). They excavate a large burrow (gator hole) facing the sun and use it during dormancy. Since small gators warm quickly, the sunny days have been affording opportunities for them to bask in the sun. We are thankful for these days :)