06 March 2008

Eggcellent Nature

On the egg front many predators have been on the move at Green Cay. It started Saturday with the discovery of this Northern Mockingbird egg. Bits of yellow yolk still could be found inside the egg, no doubt a victim of a Blue Jay or some other bird.

Yesterday the egg-stravaganza continued with these Florida Softshell Turtle eggs being discovered on one of the habitat islands. I've seen many turtle predations at Green Cay. Usually the Fish Crow stands patiently at guard waiting for the mother softshell to finish dropping the last egg and then starts immediately eating them, even as the female frantically tries to cover the nest.

We have a Florida Softshell on display in our turtle tank at Green Cay. It definitely steals the show and provides ample entertainment to the thousands of visitors each year. I love the way that they stretch out their necks from under the sand and stick their noses out of the water for a gulp of air. The Softshell Turtle show is seen daily in our nature center and never ceases to amaze our guests.

Unfortunately, for these future Apalone Ferox turtles, life came very short. Still the eggs are a great teaching tool to have on hand for our school programs and for the general public.

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