“Oh What A Beautiful Morning…”

Yesterday morning we saw our old pal Mr. Gator come swimming out of his area back in the marsh and settle in on the edge of the pond for a little nap in the sun. I was standing not too far away whe I heard THE distinctive sound that only a bellowing alligator can make. I was more than a little surprised since we normally only hear this sound around the late spring duringΒ mating season. At that time of the year it’s fairly common to hear some of the larger alligators making this sound to warn off other gators and also to attract potential mates. I rushed over to where Mr. Gator was laying down (a safe distance anyway!) and grabbed a still shot of him as he bellowed, then switched over to video and managed to capture 10 seconds that recorded the last of his 6 or 7 bellows.Β  Perhaps the sun and the beautiful weather made Mr. Gator feel like singing…Turn the sound up on your speakers and you should be able to hear the end of the concert!

63 thoughts on ““Oh What A Beautiful Morning…”

    • Once you hear this it sticks with you. We have been out by the swamp and had one call out like that from fairly far out. Then one answered back but from real close. Then another, then another. One time we had six all around us, but could not see a single one. 😯

    • Thanks Molly! Yes that is a sound you will not soon forget once you hear it!
      I’m still not sure what set this guy off, he’s got a good seven months to go before mating season.

  1. Those are some pretty amazing shots of your friend there. You may very well say they aren’t aggressive, but I sure hope you’re using a mighty long zoom lens for these shots. I wouldn’t want to be close enough to count those teeth. πŸ˜‰

  2. WHOA….Big boy…looks so much larger on the bank than he does in the water. That sound…yep, now there’s a sound that you NEVER forget. I can’t imagine being surrounded by 6 of them bellowing without being able to see them…at least we know they can’t climb a tree…so if need be, you can just shimmy up one πŸ˜‰

    • You are right it does look bigger on land then in the water. They almost always do. It never fails to amaze me to see one walking around. As I have said before, it’s the closest thing we have to a living dinosaur. 😯
      Good thought about that tree, I’ll keep that in mind. πŸ™‚

  3. Amazing Phil…I loved hearing him bellow. I took my cousin through the swamp Friday and saw lots of the little guys. Have you taken any pictures of the HUGE turtles? I was shocked by how big they are. I guess I never see them in the summer because they are under water to cool off. We also saw pied bill grebes and some little black ducks. I’m starting to learn my birds. πŸ™‚ Thank you again for these GREAT photos. And thanks for helping to keep alligators from getting a bad rap. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks very much Maleea for checking out these alligator photos and glad you liked them!
      I have not seen the gigantic turtles yet, I’ve been staked out on cattle egrets and clapper rails the past couple of days.

  4. It’s funny…they do gator tours down by alligator alley. People unfamiliar with Florida wildlife will go traipsing through the swampland…they’ll hear that sound, completely unaware that song can be a very dangerous warning. We who live in this state (especially if they live on canals or near water) listen carefully for that sound…then head in the opposite direction.

    Great shots…Like usual!

    • We were not tremendously thrilled that day we were literally surrounded by six of them all bellowing at the same time and we could not see a single one they were so tucked down into the marsh and swamp weeds. 😯
      But of course we simply went on our way once the whole racket subsided.
      Thanks for looking and commenting!

    • It’s funny and I know what you mean, but at the same time there is sort of a macabre fascination that often takes over and people that would have thought they would flee in terror end up being transfixed in wonder. Not always of course, but sometimes. πŸ˜€

  5. Finally got home so I could hear the bellow. Great shot and quick thinking on your part to get the video. Wish I could see a few in my area–but none have shown up for a while. Guess I’ll just have to enjoy your photos more often.


  6. WoW! Mr. Gator got my attention with that deep groan of his. That must have been really exciting for you. I really like the shot where Mr. Gator is swimming towards the camera. The curve of his tail gives us the sense of movement for sure. Capturing the underside of his jaw is just amazing. The teeth are apparent and the leathery skin just screaming to be rubbed. Thank you for sharing your creations Phil…I really enjoyed these captures. –Lori

    • Hi Lori! Thanks very much for stopping by and checking out these photos! I really apppreciate your kind comments as well. So happy you enjoyed seeing these!
      And I suppose I could have given him a little scritch under his chin. πŸ˜€

      • I guess when I say “backyard’ I was thinking the area that you live in. If you had this guy in your backyard I would be worried. :+) Glad he is a short drive away still very amazing.

        • Oh yeah I gotcha. I was only just goofin around because we actually did have a small gator living in a retaining pond behind us, and many people in our area living on golf courses and in other developments will get one in their yard for real. It’s not like they are all over but it is possible to get an unexpected visiter. πŸ˜€
          For now we are OK with the usual backyard visiters such as mallards, swans, raccoons, and egrets.

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