24 August 2011

Baby Alligators Hatch at Green Cay

Tuesday morning brought us the birth of over 28 baby alligators at Green Cay.  We've been watching the young mother all summer keep diligent watch over her nest.  I guessed that the nest would hatch on August 15th but the date slowly crept by and the visitors of Green Cay starting keeping nest watch.  Each morning people would walk by to inspect the nest and wait for the arrival of the new babies.  Now we don't have to wait any longer because it looks like all the newborns have found their way to the water.

With each baby alligator grunt the mother gator would climb up into the nest and scoop out handfuls of dirt and debris.  Little gators climbed out beneath the surface.  The process must have started in the night because dozens of baby alligators were already lining the bank of the water.

The babies seem to be more in the water today but staying close to mom.  A Green Heron already came in for an inspection but was met with the mother leaping out of the water 4 times to shoo the heron away.  I am looking forward to watch the events unfold as the mother is strained to keep all her young alive.  Mother alligators stay with their young up to 2 years to protect the babies from predators such as birds, raccoons, and other larger alligators.  Tomorrow I'll have a video or two of the alligator hatching process!