On a late-May visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, I came across a pair of Black-necked Stilts flying in circles and fussing. Then I saw that they were the proud parents of two tiny babies!
A minute later, I noticed why the birds were fussing. An alligator was slowing making its way down the canal, moving straight toward the stilt family. Mom and Dad were calling the babies to a safer place.
I got a few quick clicks of the babies, then backed away. The adults were stressed enough already without a photographer bothering them too.
Aren’t the babies cute? They are so tiny! They are born knowing how to swim and basically take care of themselves, but they trust Mom and Dad to keep them out of harm’s way. As their parents called from the other side of the canal, the babies swam towards them.
After they got the babies to higher ground, Mom and Dad flew frantically around the alligator, trying to make him move away. If I were that alligator, I would have left just to get away from the incessant nagging of the stilts!
All is well that ends well. The babies were safe, the alligator eventually left, and everybody was OK. The parents were left to take care of their babies and wonder about a strange phenomenon…when did their babies become a two-headed monster? :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?
Check out my Lake Apopka page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!