Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ALPHABE-THURSDAY..."N" as in NEST







Class is in session and it's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Miss Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent." This week's assignment is the letter N. For a list of my fellow classmates and to see their assignments head over to Miss Jenny's blog.

Before I begin let me apologize for not meeting everyone in class last week. I think I got to all the blogs except for the last ten or so when I just ran out of time. I had a brain storm. (UH-OH!) I think what I'll do this week is once Miss Jenny closes down Linky (AKA McLinky) I'll read from the bottom of the list up. Until then I'll take them in order from the top. Sounds like a plan...huh?




I kind of knew what I wanted to do for the letter N a while back. I'm fascinated with NESTS. I've been watching the squirrels in the backyard build their NESTS. What a mess they make. They're very fussy and only use live twigs. And only certain twigs will do. I don't think they like leaves either. Whatever materials they find unsuitable come sailing down to the ground. On more than one occasion I've been hit in the heat with their rejects. It seems to take them about two weeks to complete a NEST. Here's the latest NEST in our backyard:





This is what's directly below the NEST.

Trust me...don't sit on those chairs until you check them first. There's a lot more than twigs and leaves that come down.




One of my favorite places to go in Texas is Brazos Bend State Park. There's camping, fishing, hiking, alligators, poisonous snakes, and assorted wildlife. I'm not crazy about camping, fishing or poisonous snakes, but I enjoy hiking and seeing alligators and other wildlife.

This time of year the alligators are mating. If you went now you would hear the males making this loud bellowing sound. After mating the females build huge NESTS and eventually lay their eggs...between 20 and 70. They stay nearby to protect the eggs from raccoons, possums, skunks, etc. At Brazos Bend they fence off the NESTS along the hiking trails with temporary fencing to keep people away. Here's a picture of an alligator with her NEST that I found online.


What I find amazing is that out of all those eggs possibly one or two alligators will make it to adulthood. Although the mother stays nearby a lot of them still get eaten by male alligators, heron, etc. (I believe alligators are the only reptiles that kind of take care of their young.)

One year we visited Brazos Bend around Labor Day weekend. The eggs in one of the NESTS were hatching. We stood on the opposite side of the waterway and watched from a safe distance. As the eggs hatched the baby alligators would chirp like birds. The mother would hear them, pick them up in her mouth, and take them down to the water. Because her eyes are on the side of her head she couldn't see straight ahead. Sometimes she'd get down to the water and all she had was a stick. Poor thing. Back up to the NEST she'd go. We watched for over an hour and when we left she was still bringing babies down to the water. Of course, I didn't have my camera that day!

I did find this You Tube video of an alligator egg hatching and the mother bringing it to the water. It's only a little over a minute long, but shows exactly what I'm talking about.




Miss Jenny...may I be excused?

Whoops! I had to go back and edit and republish my post because I forgot to tell you about the Peregrine Falcons NESTING on top of an office building in Jersey City, NJ. I've been following them for quite a few years. It's very interesting and every year something seems to happen. It's dangerous for birds to be living in such an urban environment. One year the male was found on the sidewalk with an injured wing and was moved to a bird sanctuary. Another male joined the female and helped her care for the babies. Sometimes the babies are injured or killed learning to fly. Right now there are four eggs and I check in on them daily. Here's the link:

http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/peregrinecam/

And be sure to read the NESTBOX NEWS. I'm from New Jersey originally and I guess that's why I enjoy watching these birds each year.

41 comments:

  1. I need to visit Brazos Bend. Love this post!

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  2. This was so great. We have squirrels that nest in our trees too. Unfortunately, a baby fell out one time and by the time I saw it our one dog had already gotten it ;-(
    Loved the video of the alligators. I didn't know they hatched their eggs in a nest. That video was so neat. It looks like those baby alligators can swim right away, wow!!

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  3. I did not know that about the alligator making huge nests with that many eggs. Thanks for sharing that.

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  4. as many as seventy eggs! wow! i didn't know that. this was really cool. i enjoyed reading it! thanks for sharing. :]

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  5. Alligators are so super Neat! I never thought about how they came to be, and now I know. Eggs, in a nest. Great N post!

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  6. The thought of alligators just sends shivers of fear up my spine ... but bird nests ... those are so cute ... messy, but cute!

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  7. Good heavens - you live near alligators!? That's the thing about blogging - you learn so many interesting things.

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  8. I loved your post. It was interesting to learn a little about alligators, a cousin (a little less scary I think) of our Aussie Crocodiles!

    Great youtube clip.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

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  9. I love learning new things here thank you . See you next week

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  10. I love NESTS. so fascinating...
    Have you ever seen a TURTLE NEST before, Betty?
    Have you a great week now.
    hugs
    shakira

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  11. I'd never seen an alligator's nest before!

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  12. I have never seen an alligator nest before. How cool!

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  13. Nests are one of my most favorite things. Squirrels aren't far behind. Thanks for posting that shot and the video of the alligators. How can such a strong jaw be so gentle?

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  14. I love this post.

    I've never seen an alligators nest before and that clip was amazing. I'm glad the photographer didn't have nyctalopia or it might never have been filmed.

    Thank you for sharing this nutrication for our minds and imaginations!

    A+

    And you may be excused from Science class today for an extra recess because of your fine work on this link!

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  15. I have an illness that entails picking up and keeping discarded nests. Good thing I don't live in alligator country!

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  16. That was awesome! I learned a lot about alligators, and my kids and I watched the video together. Thanks for sharing. (However, I was wondering where the dolls are...building a nest?)

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  17. There was a lot of nesting going on in your post. Never have seen an alligator nest before...didn't know they did that! Joni

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  18. great pic of the alligator nest - very cool :D

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  19. What a lovely interesting N post

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  20. i have never paid attention to squirrel nests..sort of never thought about where they "live". Lovin' the alligator nest and eggs. that is way cool. thanks for the education today!!

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  21. Neat N post! I love nests ... well bird nests, I'll leave the alligator nests to you :) !

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  22. I love birds...and nests...and even alligators. Such a great post! peace

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  23. My 'G' post was about gators....I may have to talk the hubby into going back to Texas to see this sight! Thanks for sharing your post....I loved it!!!

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  24. I had never seen an alligator nest before. Interesting post! Stop by to read mine if you get a chance.

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  25. don't know much, okay, I know about nests but nice topic for alphabe-thursday

    thanks for your visit

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  26. I am facinated by alligators! i think they are so ancient-looking! i have seen them several times but never, ever have i seen them mating, building nests or the babies hatching! What fun...this was a great Earth Day post!

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  27. I've wanted to see an alligator in the wild for years, and have never managed it. That poor mamma, getting all the way to the water with a stick! Thanks for stopping by. I've never seen Survivor either, or any of the housewives of whatever. AI is my only reality TV vice! And after this year, I may not watch anymore, I think it's run it's course. Kathy

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  28. Hello, thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods today. Some great info in your post. Never thought about alligator nests. Not around the kind of terrain much. I love the background on your blog. Blessings
    QMM

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  29. These alphabe-t posts of yours are so clever and full of information.

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  30. Good Morning Betty,

    I am so happy to hear that your son is finished with that nasty chemo!! My prayers are still for the GOOD REPORT. God is good and He hears the prayers of His children.

    If is strange to think about alligators having young and taking care of them every so gently! Thanks for sharing with class today. I enjoyed reading your post!

    Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company.

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  31. Fabulous post & pics - especially the alligator nest!

    Thanks for stopping by - look forward to *seeing* you again for next Thursday's class assignment 'O'!

    Have alovely weekend!

    XOXO LOLA:)

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  32. Awesome post for N letter! I can totally relate to the squirrel's nest..It is a big mess!

    I enjoy the video of alligator!

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  33. Wow that gator nest was amazing! What a great photo! I never knew their nests were so big...I would never want to be walking along and be suprised by a nest like that! Thanks for sharing!

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  34. What an awesome n post.....i love that you got to see alligators hatching.....and the mom would carry a stick? Talk about patience...I can watch things like that for hours......

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  35. I'm fascinated by nests - such amazing works of nature - an all unique ;)

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  36. I don't think I've ever seen an alligator nest before! When I was a girl, we lived down in Anahuac (very small town--we shopped in Beaumont). I remember the occasional "Sunday drive" along the canals to watch the alligators.

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  37. Oh Betty what a great post. I learned so much. I did not know that alligators had nests. I can't believe how big they are. I laughed when you said that sometimes the mom carried a stick in the water instead of the baby because of their eyes. So funny.
    The video was great also. My three sons loved watching it. Have a great weekend.
    Hugs,
    Carey

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  38. A great post..... I learned something new, .... I've never seen an alligator nest or the eggs....
    Dolores

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  39. What an interesting post! My daddy was always checking out all sorts of nests and birds... so this reminds me of him! Thanks for stopping by my place and seeing my dust oops, I mean pollen-note! See ya next week!

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  40. Golly gee wiz....It's a fun frolic coming to your blog and interesting too. You are a good tour guide girl! I've been busy on Jelly Bean Island and I happened to have a week that I want to put behind me and move on. I like nest too...I love how the hummingbirds in our area in Washington make them so tiny and the bald eagles make them so huge! Great post Betty!

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  41. Reminded us about the "gentler" side of these fearsome predators...

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