By Michael Leary
March 26, 2022
A recent walk through the Greenway reminded me of a magnificent photo sent to the Fernandina Observer by Michael Leary in January 2015. It deserves a repeat for our “Amelia Island revealed . . ” Florida Fish and Wildlife said that alligators’ “courtship begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June. Females build a mound nest of soil, vegetation, or debris and deposit an average of 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. Incubation requires approximately 63-68 days, and hatching occurs from mid-August through early September.”
Editor’s Note: Michael Leary grew up in Fernandina back in the days when the island was sparsely populated. As a young boy, he delighted in exploring the woods and waterways of Amelia. His deep appreciation of the island’s natural beauty is reflected by his interest in the preservation of our natural environment. Thank you Michael for your contribution to the Fernandina Observer.
What year was this taken. That’s a lot of kids
Momma gator has been on a perfect three-year cycle with pods in 2012, 2015 and 2018. From similar pictures I’ve taken, these appear to be from 2018. Between 25 and 30 eggs hatched that year and 19 survived to two-years old, at which point their survival rate increases dramatically. We are anxiously waiting to see if there is a new pod this spring.
January of 2015
Lots of greenway photos out there of gators…but this is the best!
Pretty cool, Michael.
Love this picture! Does it exist in hard copy?