|Hundreds of Alligators and Many Birds in
Everglades National Park and
Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida
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We saw hundreds of alligators of every size along this 15-mile Tram Loop Road.
The west part of this 15-mile loop road is along a canal. Many alligators in the cold winter water of the canal
come up to the roadside to enjoy basking in the warmth of sun, thereby, making it easy for visitors to see
hundreds of alligators along this tour road.
A great blue heron and many other birds in the air seen along the 15-mile loop road.
This 15-mile paved loop road in Everglades NP is on wide open vast sawgrass prairie stretching to the
horizons that enables visitors to see many wildlife in action, especially many birds flying in the air.
Another wood stork on a tree.
Zoom in for a close view of the head of a big alligator on the roadside of the Tram Tour Loop.
A mother alligator on roadside is guarding many baby alligators.
Zoom in for closer view of several baby alligators.
Two wood storks in the air.
As the tour tram going along the 15-mile loop road, we saw one or two alligators on the roadside almost
about every 20 feet.
Instead of riding the tour tram, some visitors choose to hike or bike the 15-mile loop road. Some hiking visitors
get real close to the alligators on the roadside.
Winter is the dry season in Everglades NP and Big Cypress National Preserve. Wildlife concentrate in and
around the remaining shrinking pools of water, the source of life in the swamp, in gator holes, sloughs, strands,
and canals. Such high concentration of wildlife makes it much easier for visitors to see many kinds of wildlife
during the dry winter season. There is also no mosquito or other biting bugs in the dry and cold winter season
to bother visitors. Therefore, winter is the best season to tour Florida for wildlife watching and photography.
A female Anhinga.
Anhinga dives deep and swims underwater to spear prey. Upon resurfacing with a fish speared on its bill,
the Anhinga slides the fish to the tip of its bill, then flips the fish in the air very skillfully so that fish came
down head first into its open bill/mouth so that the Anhinga swallows the fish head first.
A male Anhinga on a tree.
Anhingas are often seen perching on tree with their wings spread out to dry their feathers.
Another female Anhinga.
Another male Anhinga with its wings spread out.
A cluster of many alligators under the Observation Tower at half-way point along the 15-mile loop road.
Another great blue heron in the air.
Two great egrets in the air.
More alligators along the tour loop road.
More wood storks probing and feeding on the mudflat.
A Limpkin on the tree.
Some alligators with long tails on the paved loop road of the Tram Tour.
A coil-up cottonmouth venomous snake along the Tram Tour Loop Road.
At the midway point of the tram tour, visitors can stroll on this spiral rampway to get up to the 45-foot high
magnificent Shark Valley Observation Deck to enjoy the panoramic tranquil vistas of the Everglades, extending
outward 20 miles in all directions. Every part of the spiral ramp and the deck provide chances to view
The panoramic views from the observation tower, views of vast sawgrass prairie stretching to the horizons.
One of the big alligators along the 15-mile tour road.
An alligator in water as seen from the observation tower.
Tricolor heron seen in Big Cypress National Preserve.
Little Blue Heron
A snowy egret in Big Cypress National Preserve. Their bright yellow feet attract fish and thus a quick meal.
Wood stork in the air in Big Cypress National Preserve.
Several alligators as viewed from the boardwalk at Oasis visitor Center.
An alligator in water as viewed from the boardwalk at Oasis Visitor Center.
A female Anhinga near Oasis Visitor Center.
A cormorant as viewed from the boardwalk at Oasis Visitor Center.
A male Anhinga.
Two of many white ibis in the air.
A night heron.
We enjoyed very much the fantastic 2-hour Tram Tour of the Shark Valley Region of Everglades National Park.
There are three ways to enjoy the 15-mile loop road. You can take a tram ride with a guide, or you can walk
any part or all of the 15-mile loop, or you can ride a bicycle.
Visitors loved all the Gators! Big gators, baby gators, etc...... they were everywhere! You get so close to them.
Some just a couple of feet away from us. There are baby alligators - such a treat. Plus huge variety of other
wildlife. An amazing way to experience the Everglades! Overall, a great time for walkers, bikers, and tram
riders. It is highly recommended.
Note on Effects of Weather: We were lucky in that the weather was very cold on the day when we toured the
Shark Valley Region of Everglades. The cold weather has two positive effects for us: (1) The weather was too
cold in the canal such that many alligators came up to the roadside to bask in the sun making it easy for us to
see hundreds of alligators in the 2-hour Tram Tour, (2) The weather was so cold that not many visitors came
on that day. We did not see long line of visitors and had no difficulty in buying the ticket for the Tram Tour.
Some friends told us that (A) When they came on a hot day (85 degree F) in December, very few alligators
came up to the roadside because those alligators were happy in the cool water during the hot day, (B) There
were so many visitors that the parking lot was full and there was a long line of visitors. They could not get in.
So, if possible, try to pick a cold day in the winter to visit the Shark Valley Region of the Everglades to avoid
big crowd of visitors and to see hundreds of alligators.
January is supposed to be the high season in Florida with lots of tourists, But, in this 2-week trip, we did not
have to make hotel reservations at all. The use of Information Age Technologies, including GPS navigator,
smartphone, tablet, smarter car, cloud storage with auto sync, enables us to enjoy the 2-week driving tour with
very flexible trip itinerary and lots of freedom without the rigid constraints of hotel reservations. We just drive
according to our relaxed and leisure pace to enjoy sightseeing and wildlife watching. Details on how we use the
Information Age Technologies in enjoying the flexibility and freedom in such 2-week driving tour are described
on my web page at:
There are many interesting places in Florida to see various kinds of birds and wildlife. Parts 1 to 8 of our 2014
Florida Winter Wildlife Watching Trip are at:
Part 1 on Big Swarm of Sea Birds Surrounding Fishing Boats near St. Johns River Ferry in Florida
Part 2 on Hundreds of Alligators and Many Birds in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National
Preserve in Florida
Part 3 on Beautiful Pink Roseate Spoonbills and Other Wildlife in Myakka River State Park in Florida
Part 4 on Hundreds of Manatees in Beautiful Blue Spring in Florida
Part 5 on Many Birds in Merritt Island, Viera Wetlands and Lake Okeechobee in Florida
Part 6 on Majestic Whooping Cranes and Many Birds in Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Florida
Part 7 on Sand Hill Cranes and Other Wildlife in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and St. Marks NWR in
Part 8 on Blue Angels Air Show and Wildlife at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida
We also drove through the 24-mile unpaved Monroe Station Loop Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve.
However, our experience indicates that this 24-mile unpaved Monroe Station Loop Trail is not as productive as
the 15-mile paved Tram Tour Loop Road in Shark Valley Region of Everglades National Park as far as wildlife
watching is concerned. The tall trees on both sides of the 24-mile Monroe Station narrow Loop Trail limit the
view of wildlife in this area. The 15-mile paved loop road in Everglades NP is on wide open vast sawgrass
prairie stretching to the horizons that enables visitors to see many more wildlife, especially many birds in the air.
The wildlife that we saw in Big Cypress National Preserve are roughly equivalent to those seen in Everglades
White ibis feeds in sewing machine style, using its long and decurved (cruved downward) bill to probe the
mud and water, hunting snails and crayfish, by touch, often leaving closed spaced mud holes behind. I took a
movie clip of several white ibis in such sewing machine style of feeding as shown in the following YouTube
A picture of me (Sing Lin) on the Observation Tower. This picture is taken by May Lee.
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on my
web page at: