I spied on half the gallinule family and a terrapin on Saturday morning. They were in the reeds at freshwater pond at Indian RiverSide Park, Jensen Beach.
I think this turtle is a Red-eared Slider, a member of the pond turtle/ marsh turtle family.
The gallinule chicks are growing up fast.
Beaks and legs are very different from the adult.
Much time was spent preening the feathers.
Was this vocalization directed towards the turtle?
All birds looking up (in that one-eyed way I remember from my backyard hens), while the turtle continues to watch the gallinules.
Amazing red and yellow color match between the turtle’s face and tail and adult gallinule’s beak and legs.
Birds of all species hang close together at this pond, but do the birds and reptiles hang close together too?
Speaking of coexisting with reptiles, I wondered if this White Ibis lost a leg to an alligator.
One more photo of the gallinules. What spectacular toes!
Nearby, Little Blue Heron gets its stalk on.
A woodpecker flew onto this old tree. I’m guessing it’s a juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker. It will grow a lovely scarlet cap soon!
Anhinga perched on one pathetic little tree branch, or root. The park people need to leave more dead wood around the pond.
This Anhinga is a female, with the light brown neck.
I also walked the boardwalk into the mangrove swamp. It was a breezeless 90 degrees and it felt like 100 in the humidity…
But I saw an otter! The River Otter, Contra canadensis, lives in and near fresh water in a large part of North America, including throughout Florida except the Keys.
This looks like a yawn but it may have been a crunch. I could hear it eating something, fish or crab?
Sharp little teeth, cat-like whiskers, elf ears and a body like an aquatic dachshund… what a strange and wonderful animal.
Also, don’t mess with them… they bite! River otters in Florida got into multiple fights with kayakers last winter.