Earlier this summer a female alligator made her nest just a few feet west of our boardwalk or what is known as Wexler’s Way. Based on the time she made the nest, we calculated the eggs would hatch mid-August. And we were right.
Friday, August 11, little peeps were heard from the nest and “Momma” began to dig into the nest mound revealing some of her eggs. Further peeps were heard, eggs rocked and eventually a small reptilian head appeared. A baby gator emerged.
We closed this area of the boardwalk to prevent Momma from becoming stressed and retreating from the nest mound when people walked by or stopped to observe. She was needed to expose the eggs so they could hatch safely.
All hatching is finished and now you can see the small babies resting on the nest mound if you approach the area quietly. But with any noise, the babies scatter into the bushes as all baby gators should. Baby gators are preyed upon by raccoons, birds, fish, snakes and many other predators in a marsh area so it is important they hid well. Momma will stay around to protect her brood from predators and can be seen resting in the wallow she made below the boardwalk.