Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kissimmee Prairie Wildlife

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I got a comment on one of my blog posts, from a woman named Chris.  It turns out that Chris and her husband Stan are staying in the family campground here at the preserve, and she had found my blog.  Small world.

Chris and Stan love this place like we do and visit here often.  They are both avid photographers.

A while back Florida was talking about closing several state parks and this was one that was on the list.  Chris and Stan have been working to make sure this state park does not get closed.  They formed a group called Friends of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.  She started a Facebook page you can link to Here.  

Anyway….we got a chance to talk to them yesterday and they are a wealth of knowledge.  Chris pointed out a beautiful Florida orchid that’s on a tree by the office.


While we were talking we spotted a turkey and her youngsters walking across the street.

turkey family

Chris jumped in the car with her monster lens and got some photos.   I’m sure her pictures are much better than mine.

While she was taking turkey pictures this Loggerhead Shrike posed nicely for me.  They are also called Butcher Birds because they impale their prey onto barbed wire fences.

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

Chris commented on my photograph of the Swallow Tail Kite.  Apparently, it is very rare to catch them roosting and most pictures are of them flying.  She said many avid birders have tried to get a picture like the one I took.

Wow….how lucky was that.


Since they had been so nice to allow us to pick  their brains…I gave up my secret spot so she could get a roosting Swallow Tail too!  Evidently they had a very successful photo op this morning.

After we chatted for a while, we both went on our separate ways.  We both like to make a dusk drive around the park roads.  You just never know what you’re going to see. 

Here are some pictures of some beautiful cloud formations.  There were thunderstorms in the distance, but fortunately they went around us last night and we didn’t get any rain.


We drove around a little then took a walk up a trail we now call Hooterville.  The reason we call it that is because there is a wetlands area where there are a lot of gators.   I think many of them are nesting females  and are very protective.  They give out little “hoots”   to warn you they are there.  It sounds like a bullfrog.


No swimming here……no problem.


It was getting on towards dusk (feeding time) and the gators unnerved me a little.  We made it a short walk.




This morning we got up to a bunch of turkeys outside the campsite.  There were three large males strutting their stuff and raising their tail feathers.  Every few minutes they would all start gobbling in unison.

Unfortunately, they would only show their backsides, so I wasn’t able to get the picture I wanted.



On our early morning drive around the park this morning, we saw this beautiful Eastern Meadowlark.  He posed nicely for us.



After being all alone in the equestrian campground, we got our first neighbor today.  Sad smile They have two horses, so that’s kind of nice.  They are far enough away from us that we can’t even see them from our campsite.

Another day ended with an evening drive.  We are counting down the days until we are to leave here.   Maybe we’ll extend our stay a few more days????  hmmmmm


  1. Jim was really impressed with the turkey picture. He said that normally the males won't strut that close together. Said there must have been a really impressive female nearby for that to happen. No hiking near nesting gators - sounds smart to me.

  2. oooh them gators making warning noises would REALLY scare me off! Right back into the motorhome!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  3. I don't even like walking near gators in broad daylight, let alone dusk. Smart move to get out of there.

    Beautiful bird pictures, loved the three turkeys "Mooning". ;c)

  4. 3 fans they must of thought ya' ll were hot!! Like the pic's. Grumbling gators" good to stay back! (THE Berry's RV TRAVELS )Darren.

  5. 3 fans they must of thought ya' ll were hot. Like the pic's. Grumbling gators" good to stay back. (THE Berry's RV TRAVELS )Darren.

  6. The male turkeys in the Smokies did the same thing when we were watching them; maybe they're trying to tell us something :-))

  7. That turkey picture would have made a great "The End" shot. :)

  8. You are doing a great job capturing the wildlife in your photos

  9. What a great park, glad they're keeping it open! Love that cloud shot with the sun behind it, such an unusual shape!


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