V.O L I, No. 2
Everglades Natural History
A MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
EdIed by Joe~r C. Mocta Pa-D.
BOARD, OF CONSULTING EDIFORS
TAns R- ALEXAONDER Ph.D., BoUm Depo, Uk Mml 4 4 '.s Nafdw Pl-m
ROmnrT P. ALL.., Matig. A.b. Sodirt, Taimseir ,...*..... a4 Bd &AAra
Rou0A T. BtR. AmeriC.. M Nat eal Hit y (L) .. .... Fousl AmrwCS
Aic F. Cam.it PhD-., Mi Da pe, U.v fPa .... R ep e, Ad AmpjiIBs
K. Amn DnnEs., Ph.D, PhSidoloi Dtp., FIIrds SteW UOt. ... Life ProcenI
1. C. DEcINao, J., PhL.D.M it Dnu IFrlse ........... BirSNd Nnes
RoamE N. Gmuisu,. Maine Labo~y. UtV. Mial. ... Rocks am MIuira
JOcN M. GooGomPD, .Dpt. SocioL a Anrt., UNi. Floiate ....j.. isBlpe Lfle
L BDucE Lwm, PhD, usbtopical EpcrEra Sitoi .... ... .. ExOc Pfluas
Wm. M. McLANe, Fora Gsa A Frebla ir Fih CoMM .. . .Frashwate Fish
E. MoRTon MiuEa., Ph.DA uanimrf wiu .. .. .. M. SoUa- ImccUs
F, 0. WooD. JIR. Marcnc Studios. MUijZnd .. ....... .. ..... .. Marine Fish
E~atMOa NAtUAmu HRromr is publib.ed fou r tiem a vye by 1 Elgedes Ntnral
HiMey Amociatlom. BoSr 275,. =Hmal-n, Fhoid Sub&cripom b 820 a yrw.
The Everglades Natural History Association
A non-proat society established under chapter in 1951 to further merhst in
aad undfrtanding of the uatual and hiorc Rd udie ales of b
Everglad Natial Patrk
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WlardE E. Diy, Pa3rk Ameramia ... .. 1 (.. Em mamfl eras y
JoIrrq C. Moore, Prt DBoagito .. .......... am
C. C. V Paubom, Captim UAC-G. (ret.) ............ T'euirw
tDbrdl B. D _eWd, ark SpCim eMane S
Cartels M. BrooIfield Na&ol Aadtboa Society
VOL No. 2
A memorable trip to Cape Sable, bf Louis A. SIn . 41
Real elves lived on our shelves, by Hazel Russell Bird 4. .. 47
The IlubbeTly locust-predat ors beware, by Frank N. Young 52
A versatile hawk of the Everglades, by WHillard E. DilOy . .. 55
The private life of the box turtle, by John D. Dickson HI 59
Nests of Florida. tree snails, by lay A. Weber .. 64
A mound on a key in Florida Bay. by Joseph Curri Moore - 67
Natural History Notes .......... 77
Sighting of a panther from the air, by Rph E. Miele . . . 77
Brown pelican falls prey to wildcat., by David E. Bogar . 77
Everglades deer seen from the air. hy Ralph E. Mi . . 78
Swallow-tailed kites, a note symposium 7. . 79
Couriship, by Edward P. Stephani . . 79
Building nest, by Willard E. Dilley .80
Drinking. hy Jose.ph Curris . i . .e 80
Book Reviews . 81
400 plants of south lorida . 82
Background notes on authors ... . . 84
Z- r: .7.- ,
m -2Tj~ YL P1
mwft~ C~C$LT~L~l CI~J~d~)g
"'ire last rays of the setting su~ filing on their bodies"
A Memorable Trip to Cape Sable
by LOUIS A., STIMSON
T o AN AMATEUR ORNYFTHOLOGIST, like myself. the Cape Sable area has
always held out a very definite lure. There was always the chance that
a trip there would produce a new bird for my "liTfe" list, or for that of my
companion for the day, and in either event the pleasure was almost the
same. One memorable trip was made with the late Inge Tragardh on Satur-
day and Sunday, the 18th and 19th of April, 1935.
The hope of finding Arthur H oweWs Cape Sable seaside sparrow
4 Ammospiza mirabilis) was the mainspring of that particular trip. The
fact that we did not find it seemed an increasing disappointment in view
of the disastrous hurricane which later that year apparently destroyed
all the sparrows of that area. At the time no one knew that the species
did occur in the marshes lying to landward of the mangrove fringe along
the southwest coast from the ridge and sklugh area to some miles west of
Ochopee. although Howell mentioned Nicholson's find of a singing male
somewhere :near Pincrest. The disappointment of our day. however. was
more than offset by the end result of the trip.
ConsiderinE Howell's statement that the bird was known only from the
coastal prairie near Cape Sable, Inge and I mistakenly assumed that we
must go o the actual Cape and hunt for a prairie or marsh in back of the
Cape. We knew that to reach the Cape we must have ,a hoat. Renling a
boat and trailer from a boat dock in Coconut Grove, we left niy home at
noon on Saturday with the trailer attached to my old kDodge. itself a vet-
cran of many trips to the Flamingo area.
Those who read this in 1953. and who have motored down into the
Everglades National Park ovr the weal-maintained rock road now reach-
irg to Flamingo, will have litlte conception of what such a trip in 1935
w as like. True enough, the road from Paradise Key to the hump-backed
bridge at the Snake Bight Canal did have a rock base. It also had many a
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
hole and rough spot to slow down any car negotiating that 25 miles. From
Snake Bight Canal to Flamingo the road was only a track of ruts over that
infamous Cape Sable marl, and passable only in -dry weather. From Fla-
mingo on west the road across the prairies was a choice of tracks through
batis, salicornia, and the salt marsh grasses. Prior o that 1935 Labor Day
hurricane, which changed many conditions, the trip across the prairie
was usually safer than it is today. The bridges, however, at Slagle's Ditch
and at Durdin*s Ditch (now sometimes called House's Ditch) were quite
primitive. At Slagle's Ditch the bridge consisted of four sabal palm trunks,
two on each side forming a concave runway for the car's wheels. At Dur-
din's Ditch the bridge was a trifle more elaborate, being made of two 12x
12 inch (or smaller) timbers, at car wheel distance apart with open water
showing between. On an earlier trip at the sight of the first bridge my wife
cried out in alarm, "Why, you are not going to try to go across that, are
you?" But even she finally became used to them. Our trailer wheels
tracked the car wheels, and we had no trouble.
Reaching the East Cape Canal we put the boat in the water, loaded in
our duffle, and rowed to East Cape. When discussing the trip, Inge had
said he thought we could sleep on the open beach, as he had done in
other places. I said not down there, and had borrowed a pup-tent from
my son's Boy Scout troop. Now while I put up the tent, Inge went over
to the tree line to secure firewood. He came back saying the mosquitoes
were terrific, and they followed him back. After cooking our supper, we
were forced to eat it sitting in the smoke of a grass smothered fire. The
mosquitoes even penetrated through the smoke and were most annoying,
After supper Inge suggested going out in the boat to get away from them,
but they followed us right out. We returned and crawled into the tent. It
had a mosquito bar on the inside and the space between the netting and
the canvas soon was filled with buzzing mosquitoes. The tent was six feet
long. Inge was over six feet tall, and I lacked only about an inch. I knew
that sometime in the night one of us would push a foot through or under
the netting and let in that hungry horde. The buzzing and the fear kept
me awake until it actually happened. Then I pulled my blanket over my
head and slept peacefully the rest of the night. Inge spent the remainder
of the night slapping the pests.
LOUIS A. STIMSON
"He h1ad lost his life near here in the faith ul attempt to execute his duty and
preserve e ihe statelyy phlute bird .. ."
in the morning, which dawned beautifully clear, we found that we had
camped close to what appeared to be a vine covered mound. It was not
until a subsequent trip the next year, after the hurricane had swept the
Cape clear that we found our mound was actually the monument erected
by the Florida Audubon Society in memory to the National Audubon
Society warden Guy Bradley. He had lost his life near here in the faithful
attempt to execute his duty and preserve the stately plume bird, the Amer-
ican egret. That story is well known to all followers of the Audubon
At the moment a vine covered mound held little interest. We were
looking for the seaside sparrow. We tramped through the hardwood ham-
mock, but found no prairie, only small areas of salt marsh with a mangrove
fringe beyond. We kept on, still hoping, almost to Middle Cape which at
44 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
*IIe rejturnnt denwn uh'iith f nne d rr. rdrrdh frnjriyii th' atinhuis of otlati
curvgIn tri-rhtrfr .t ,ihr &Vw hFniftuI "tr!J oBh
ha\ time xarte. d : quiv pretentious group of houses, a main housc with
wtcral out builkincs. We rinturned down along ihc waters edge fully
enj ning the bKautics ol that curing hater line and the beautiful shell
hc4ach. The previous :fiLrnton without knowing it, we had driven past the
praiwme habitat of the Cape Suible aside sparroi1., and hid spent a morning
of ha"rd work on the Cpe all in vain. We decided to give up for the day
our qutes for the sparrow ;md look For soeehinhg else, ;il the ntiwe thought
lu we vlen more rare Ihin th spfarro w.
The previous afternoon we had sopped at Flamingo for main few minutes
and had talked to Loren Roberts He told us that only recently some
roainc spoonhbills. which he called "uPinks had been seen at "Gator Lake.
So up t hGator Lake we decided to go. Returning to our car we packed
away most of the camping dutTk to lighten the boai. Then we continued
up for the East Cape Cana o the Homested Canal ,and up tlehat to hGaor
Laket Along the wan the mud this on either side of the East Cape Canal
wndre al ve with horc-birds. Refctring to m> record bock I see that I
a%.a+%, M,.W,,t Lof thC --,mi-n. rigduff!,e to ligl.hten ..the 5-,i..T hcn we continued
up the Ea.-st Capel Canal it) the 'Homestead trind .-+ up that to "Gaitor
Like.-. Along the ,a the: mud ftat on, either, s.ide of the Ea.-st. Cape, Cam
,,,,<:re AvI, .e W+ith i.h r:ho ir, Rcfcm w -nr to. m-, record 'hook+= I soe: that I
LOUIS A. STIMSON
listed 62 species of birds for the two-day trip. We probably overlooked
many that we might have found with a little more searching, for the trip
was built around the hopes of seeing, first, one rare bird, and second, an
even rarer one. The stately great white heron had been listed on every
previous trip, but we missed it on this. Many of ihe heron family were
seen as usual. Three graceful swallow-tailed kites added some pleasure
to the day, and ten noisy, but trim, black-necked stilts easily stole our
attention from the more sombre plovers and sandpipers. Special notes
listed as occurring commonly on the Cape (specifically East Cape): six
ground doves, one barn swallow, two mockingbirds, ten western palm war-
blers, and cardinal. Perhaps at the time I thought it strange to find them
there, as surely we saw other species also on ihe Cape. In fact probably
all the sixty-two species were observed on Sunday, along the shore at East
Cape and back to the Canal, and along the Canal on the way to and from
'Gator Lake. Alligator Lake was known to he a historical spot in Florida
ornithology. It ranked with Cuthbert Lake and other great rookeries, such
as East River and Shark River. Past storms had wrecked it and the birds
had gone elsewhere. In 1935, on April 19th, we did not find a bird of any
species there. So with disappointment in our hearts we faced the long six-
mile row back down the canal against the tide. When we reached the car.
we were too tired even to attempt to haul the boat up out of the water by
hand. We made the trusty old Dodge do the work.
With the boat on the trailer and the trailer attached to the car, we built
a small lire and cooked a frugal supper. We little anticipated that the best
part of the trip was yet ahead of us. For we were destined that evening to
see what neither of us had ever seen in our lives. A bird whose beauty
is such that no words of mine can do it justice. A bird with a wondrous
bill, and of such a dclicute pink color that it has been described as being
like an evanescent pearl which changes shade with each change of light
incident upon it. To see the roseate spoonbill for the first time under any
conditions could be a thrill to any ornithologist, but to see it under the
setting of that evening made the pleasure keener still.
We were standing on the bank of the East Cape Canal eating our supper
with our eyes on the setting sun. Standing there in that immense wilderness
it seemed that all nature had suddenly become hushed as if in expectation
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
of sonic unusual event. Suddenly from out of the very sun itself came a
flock of twenty black specs. We watched them gradually take the form of
birds. "Just another flock of ibis,'' said Inge. But no, there was something
just a little different in that manner of flight. "Look at their bills,-PINKS,!"
I cried as ihey passed overhead. Then the last rays of the setting sun
falling on their bodies exposed to view that delicate pink of softest rose
hue from whence comes their name. Soon the sky from which they had
come was bathed in the same gorgeous hue, as the beautiful sunset faded
to darkness. Surely such an experience could never be forgotten.
In 1942 Robert P, Alien published his research report, The Roseate
Spoonbill. Oddly enough he was in the field not far away from April 10th
to 15th, 1935, and reported seeing sixty-four spoonbills in Alligator Cove.
thirty miles to the eastward. Perhaps our birds were on their way to a night
roost in that place. Perhaps they would have had time to reach there before
darkness settled for the night. Although that report stated that spoonbills
were increase inira n Texas, it was a itOle pessimistic as to the future for the
bird in Florida. The only hope seemed to lay in establishing sanctuaries
with "an adequate force of wardens." That situation has now been reached
in the Everglades National Park. Due to the establishment of the Park.
together with people's greater respect for the authority of the federal gov-
ernment, the roseate spoonbill is increasing in Florida. Now it is possible
for anyone, who so desires, to experience the thrill of seeing this beautiful
bird for the first time, or of seeing large numbers at certain places at
certain times- But surely no thrill could equal under present conditions that
which came to Inge and me on the evening of April 19th, 1935.
Real Elems Lived on Our Shelves
by HAZEL RUSSELL BIRD
I TH E OLD FAIRY TALES, whenever anyone rapped loudly three times
on a hollow tree, an elf or a gnome was likely to pop out, smiling dis-
armiingly and asking of what service he might be. Today in south Florida
a few raps on a hollow tree often produce results just as exciting. Try it
some time, and don't be surprised if several furry, bright-eyed creatures,
as charming as elves and vastly more amusing, poke their heads out of
a hole near the top, to see who's knocking at their door.
Hollow trees ar the favorite nesting places of flying squirrels. And
flying squirrels are fairly common in the vicinity of Miami and the Red-
lands, though this fact isn't too well known by humans, because of the
squirrels' preference for night life and consequent shunning of daylight.
When several years ago my family and I set up a sort of camp home in
a tract of pineland in south Dade County, we anticipated making the ac-
quaintance of many intriguing birds, insects, piles, amphibians and
mammals such as we had known while vagabonding in Everglades National
Park and on Key Largo. But we never expected to play hosts to a family
of dispossessed flying squirrels.
The squirrels' first home was inadvertently damaged by my husband one
day as he and I strolled across the rocky land of our new estate. He hap-
pened to be carrying a stick in his hand and, in passing a dead tree trunk
standing upright, he idly struck it a sharp blow. A section of the top-
possibly two-toppled to the ground. Two tiny furred forms fell with it.
But we scarcely had time to note the pert, inquisitive faces dominated by
huge, liquid eyes, the silky greyish-brown coats and flattened talks, and
the fur-covered mermbrancs that formed "wings" between the hind and
front lgs. before the creatures had scrambled back up what was lef of
tie tee and scurried into its hollow inicrior.
"Flying squirrels!' my husband exclaimed, "That explains the mystery
of the chewed pine cones."
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
For days we had been puzzling about what animal with scissor sharp
teeth could have been responsible for the many mutilated cones strewn
here and there about the place.
"I wonder what the poor squirrels will do. now that half their house
is gone?" I asked.
What they did was very sensible and very simple. They moved across
into another nearby dead tree with a convenient woodpecker hole in it,
and would poke their heads out of this aperture to stare at us quizzically
whenever we knocked sharply on the wood below. Then, it became neces-
sary to huildoze a firebreak around our land, and though the big machine
was routed around the flying squirrels' home, the shaking of the adjacent
ground caused the old rotted tree to fall over and break to pieces.
We were saddened by the incident, We felt we had betrayed, probably
even killed, our woxdsy friends. Soon, however, we learned we were wasting
our sympathy. Far from being dead, the squirrels had escaped without a
scratch. And this time they had apparently decided that we, who had done
then out of two homes in quick succession, should now furnish them
accommodations for the rest of the season. For. presently, certain curious
scratching noises issuing from behind a pile of manuscripts and magazines
on a shelf in the little building we call the Studio, were followed by fleeting
appearances of shining brown eyes above twitching whiskers, of soft fur
coats and whisking tails. Now and again as we crossed the yard after dark.
we would catch glimpses of silhouetted forms gliding earthward from the
top of a tall pine near the path. And then we found the crack beside a
rafter in the Studio that the squirrels had enlarged to form a means of
going in and out.
"They seem to have taken up with us," my husband beamed. "Wouldn't
it he wonderful if we could tame them, make real pets of them?"
I nodded but made certain mental reservations. Squirrels were rodents,
weren't they? And hadn't another rodent, the ingratiating Pauline, a deer
mouse who had lived with us for a time in the Everglades National Park,
once cut a big hole in the middle of my husband's best shirt to line a nest
for her offspring?
For better or worse, however, the two little squirrels were our tenants.
Of course we wanted to feed them. Peanut butter, with which we had
successfully tickled the palates of many birds and animals in the past,
HAZEL RUSSIEL BIRD
seemed the logical fare. But neither the butter nor raw peanuts, in or out
of the shell, pleased the squirrels. They wvr even scornful of English
walnu's, but at last became intrigued by proSrcd pecans. Indeed. theY
developed such an addIBcion for these delicacies that they would venture
from their nes even in broad daylight when we called them and rattled a
few pecans in our hands.
We named our friends Buster and Bobo, and in duc time Buster became
so tame he would sit on myb hand and allow me ito stroke him as one doc
a kiticn He reminded me strongly of a chipmunk, perhaps bec-ause ol
that band of dark brown fur edging each "wing.." These wings are not
flapped like a bird's when the animal is in fight, but held taut like the
vings of a glider. The flat tail serves admirably as a rudder.
Three other squirrels eventually came to join the first two, and alter
dark the Studio was a lively place. I frequently slept on a built-in bunk
against omne wall, and no sooner would I etinguish rnm lamp and settle
my head on my pillow than . scramble, scrunmbl, p plop! . a squirrel
or two would swoop down upon me from ;ia shelf above, and begin nosing
my hands in search of. nuts. I learned not to give then more than three
apiece :at any one time. They would sit along a rlftcr, sometimes three
or four in a row in identical positions like ligures on a woodland frieze.
and, each grasping a nut daimnily in his paws, dine until three apiece were
consumed. Beyond this their appetites seldom went. But they would return
again and again for nuts, accepting as long as any were handed out, and
storing the surplus behind books, under various movable objects and in-
side convcnicnt receplacles. One of their favorite hiding places was a gallon
Iin can with an opening for a screw top less than an inch and a half in
diameter. How the creatures managed to climb into, so ,mall a hoe awas
not such a mysterY as how they Egot *hmelt- out again after the nut
During their stay with us. the flying squirrels were never once guilt
of cutting up a Sunday shirt, but how they did love buttons' No! jacket
could be let hanging in the Studio without their neatly snipping the buttons
off and hiding them. Sometimes they would lCra, a nut in the pocket to
even things up, sometimes noL And they never cssay)ed any button snatch-
ing when anyone was around, though I have seen all five of them cavorting
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
over my husband's person at one time, dodging in and out of his pockets
in search of iidbits.
In the end they did leam to eat peanuts., which was gratifying froa two
standIpoints Not only were peanuts cheaper than pecans, but they also
made less noise when the squirrels rolled them around on the shelves at
night. Nothing is much less conducive to peaceful slumber than the sound
of squirrels howling with pecans at two o'clock in the morning.
FlIing squirrels were the cleanest pets we ever had. They never dirtied
up their linktle nest r any part of the studio. For the most part they got
along amiably with each other, but occasionally there would be family
squabbles, when much shrill squealing indicated that cars were being binten
(We knew ii was ears because we could see the evidence when the
Our squirrels were never observed to drink water, unless you count the
time nmy husband saw one sucking moisture that had gathered on a bit
of metal in the Studio. Later we read that flying squirrels in captivity
drink freely of water and milk but that in their wild state they seem not
to require liquid. It is our belief that they are dew drinkers,
We can recommend them unreservedly as pets, But if you acquire a
family of them for your very own, don't make the mistake we did of think-
ing that everybody will love them as wholcheartedly as you do. A guest
of ours from the north spent three gruesome nights in the Studio being
pounced on and galloped over by the liirtl darlings before we discovered
that she was mortally afraid of rats and mice, and that, in her books,
flying squirr'ls were merely rats with winp!
Another v ord of caution. Or rather of exhortation. Don't ut t sit around
expecting to be as lucky as we were. Comparatively few human habitations
are voluntarily invaded by flying squirrels. If you truly want some for
pets, get out in the w' oods and begin rapping on hollow trees- Let our
friends smilk and ap their foreheads significantly. Tell them that knocking
on wood has always been accepted as a harmbls mspersmti.ion, even among
the intdlligensia. And when you find what you are looking for, when several
winsome furrn mi;,hicf makers have become a pan of your tife, fli wager
a pecan and two peanuts you'll discover you e rounded up a number of
ncu mrnemrbers for the Tree-Tapping Srciely of Soulh Florida.
The Lubberly Locust-Predators Beware
by FRANK N. YOUNG
O *E OF THE LARGEST and most conspicuous insects to be seen n the
Everglades National Park region :s the tubberly locust (Romnaie
microptira). One often finds it hopping ma4tically across the roads, or
listing on trees or shrubs along the roadide. Its bright yellow color at-
tracts instant attention. and if one disturbs it the insect spreads its brilliant
carmine red hind wings and expellIs a brownish, frothy liquid from one
pair of the breathing spiracles on its sides. Despite this aggressive behavior,
the lubberly locust is quite harmless unless one chooses to rub its evil
smelling discharge inio one's eyes. The display of the wings. which are
unless for flying. and the hissing sound of the liquid being expelled from
the spiracles apparently warns predatory animals that the lubberly is not
good to eat. Its principal enemies are automobiles. small boys, and para-
sites such as tachinid flies which one may sc emerge by the dozen from
specimens kept in captivity.
W. S. Bliichlcy says that the lubberly is so nauseawing that even chickens
reject it as food. 0. Earle Frye of ihe Florida G;amc and Freshwater Fish
Commission and the writer once performed an enlightening, if accidental,
experiment upon three small screech owls. These litick fellows had never
fed in the open. but were being kept as pets after having been taken from
the nest. Their appetites were so good that the concerted efforts of several
people were necessary to keep them supplied with inseclt food. In our wan-
dering we chanced upon a smnta group of the brilliantly black and red
nymphs of the lubberly locust. and their abundance suggested that we had
the owl-food problem temporarily solved. The like owls ate voraciously
when the grasshopper nymphs were dropped or placed in their mouths,
and each consumed several before our supply ran out. Within a few min-
utes all three were obviously indisposed and vomied up all of their recent
meal. No amount of persuasion. not even forcing the nymphs into their
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
mouths with forceps, could make them swallow, more of the lubberlies.
Apparently one lesson had t.auht them to know and reject the black and
:rn nymphs. Recent research on bird behavior has shown thal many young
birds learn things in one initial experience, such as the kind of song they
arc to sine or who their parent i to be. So. it is entirely credible that they
also l ]a instantly which foods are palatable and which are not. The colors
of the lubberly locust nymphs and adults certainly do n.o make thewe
iniMcts inconspicuous io animals with color vision., hl bt Lhey do serv
admniri-aly for inmtant idemnification.
As a further lest of their unpalatability o[ the lubberly, I once tried tasting
ihem myself. 1 lacked the scientific objectivity necessary to make me chew
up one of the creatures whole, but did cut out smuilt tenderloins from the
hind legs of several specimens und chewed them gingerly. I cannot with
honesty record that I enjoyed these arasshoppcr steaks, but the taste was
not tunhearibly had--perhaps something like raw liver lightly sprinkled
with quinine. Incidentally, the showy south Florida tree snails, which when
ctr;raNed from their ,heil. look ver much like the canned helices of
whikh the French are o fond., als. have a strongly bitter taste.
De-.piie its evil flavor and ihreaiening diSplay. the lubberly locust make-s
an ,. tttractise pel- It can easily be fed in capivity on fruit skins or mclon
rnd. If kept in a glass jar, %i:thout perforation :n the likd, out of direct
sunlightt anded riished t wih wme ju:ic food, a specimen will live 'for a
Lon,-iderable length of tinme. The jar should. of courW, be wiped out daily
to prevent the condensation of moisture which may encourage the growth
of fungi and bacteria.
In the Everglades the lubberlV normally feeds on the swamp or string-
lily (Crinum aimerieanum, n iaimaryllis) but it takes many other plants as
food. Adults somlctires become so abundant ;is to damage orange groves
and other plantings. The nymphs, which emerge in the spring from eggs
laid in the fall before, stay together in groups. When the local food supply
i, exhausted, they mignirt away together. The term "locust," which implies
a migratory grasshopper. Therefore scems entirely applicable. The adults.
il~ ninove about considerably but not in gnops!. and since they cannot By.
Iarge swarms are not encountered.
The species to which thiN tubbery locust belongs is widely distributed
FRANK N. YOUNG
over the southeastern United States from North Carolina through Tenn-
essec, to Alabama and Louisiana. It is quite rare in he northern panr of
its range, however, and reaches its maximum abundance in the swamps
of Louisiana, and the Everglades and adjacent pinclands of Florida. In
southern Florida the adult inec is always prrdominantly yellow or yellow
w ih a reddish cast. but farther norih the "enrcnr cokor is black as in tIh-e
nymph-s. The hind wins are carmine red throughout the range, and the
tiackening of northern individuaBs may. %c entirely due to climatic influences.
Although the black form has been named Rimnruea u rrr-i. intermedi.ati'e
beltwen the black and yellow forms occur in northern Florida. and marci
can at best represnl only a sub-speci.e. The relativeA of the lubbelly are
all found west of the Mississippi River southward into Mexico, so that
our species probably is a relic form which was isolated in !th Florida
peninsuLa during the ice age.
"Chiefs. who no more in bloKdy tight engage.
But wise through time and narrative with age.
In summer days like grasshoppers rejoice.
A bloodless race, that sinds a feeble voice, "-toM Frg.
A Versatile Hawk of the Everglades
by WILLARD E. DILLEY
1 WOI'LD tsDFrED be unusual for a visitor to enter Everglades National
Park and nol he conscious of the ever-present red-shouldered hawk.
Ouitr unafrid, it is often seen at close range on a dead tree stub, a bridge
rait, or perhaps on a canal bank. If the visilor still ignores its presence, a
loud, clear, and ringing voice will smon focus his attention. True, many
persons fail to identify this hav k. This is understandable, since most birds
of ihis group are shy and not well known. In addition the pale rusty shoul-
der patches actually give little suggestion of a red shoulder.
There is no area of the park, except on the mangrove keys of Florida
Bay, where this hawk is absent. Mangrove, glades, hammocks, cypress, or
pinewoods are all acceptable. This is quite a departure from the habits of
the northern red-shoulder which is largely restricted to heavy stands of
mixed hardwood Irees. In the selection of ncsling titc. our subject again
denmonstraties its willingness to adapt itself to a 'variety of conditions. The
nesis are Iocated in dense growth or in open situations. The height at which
the nest may be placed varies from twenty feet to thirty-five feet, the higher
linit probably being dictated by the average size ofI Everglades trees rather
than a preference on the part of the hawk.,
rWe have recorded nests in live oaks., cypress. trees, strangler figs, red-
mangrove. huittonwoods and royal palms. Other writers have added pine
and b'lack-mangrove to this list. In several instances the same site was used
in successive years. In the spring of 1944 I had under observation a nest in
the red'mangrove near Coot Bay. On April 21 I visited this nest and found
that a high wind had; blown the nest from its not too secure position on a
horizontal timb. The two half-grown young were taken to the Coot Bay
station where they were fed for several weeks, during which time their
contour feathers came out with surprising rapidity. On February 20, 1949.
I again visited this spot and found that a pair of red-shouldered hawks had
WILLARD E. DILLEY
built another nest on the identical limb used in 1948. There did not appear
any particular advantage of this limb over thousands of others in the area.
In fact if the birds had remembcerd their previous disaster as well as they
remembered the location, they would surely have moved. Anaoher instance
of their attachment to a certain spot, is well lustrated by a series of obser-
vations from a cypress head which is located about nine miles southwest of
Paradise Key. This cypress head is near the road and efficiently open that
during early spring when the trees are bare a nest and its occupant can be
seen from a passing vehicle. We observed red-shoulders nesting here in
February 1949, February 1950. and March 1951 On January 7. 1953,
park biologist Moore saw a barred owl incubating at Ihe same site. Since
most of the hawks in this area lay their eggs in February and March, the
owl seems to be the early bird that got the nest. During several consecutive
years we observed the red-shouldered nesting in tall royal palms of Para-
dise Key. When this tree is selected, the nest is placed on the base of one
or more palm fronds. On one occasion the fronds which supported the nest
were shed before the young had been reared,
it has been previously recorded that the red-shouldered hawk may keep
its nest supplied with fresh leaves. This habit applies to the insular red-
shoulder also. During the spring of 1953 I was keeping a nest in a royal
palm under observation and on April 15 noted some green leaves on the
edge of the nest. With binoculars I was able to identify these as live oak,
red bay, and lysiloma., On April 18 1 saw one of the parents carry in a
spray of fresh lysilomna.
Red-shouldered hawks show a readiness to use any available food. A
complete list would certainly be a varied bill-ol-farc. I have frequently
observed them eating frogs and occasionally snakes. On December 1, 1950,
I was suficiently near a red-shouder to identify the prey it held as a fair
sized garter snake. On April 21, 1951, while Elma Milotte was photo-
graphing in the park. she saw this species eating a live fish. On July 1,
1952, I saw a red-shoulder coach and eat a grasshopper. In Taylor Slough
on February 15 i95 1, 1 watched a hawk of this species eating a pied-
billed gaebe. It pulled off the head, some of the feathers and began eating
on the muscles of the breast. At Taylor Slough again on December 14,
1952, I saw a red-shoulder fly up to the top of a pond-apple tree with a
sora rail in is talons. In the same area three days later, ranger-naturalist
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
David Karraker saw one glide swiftly from the top of a tall palm and pick
up a killdeer. While watching a red-shouldcred hawk nest in a royal palm
on April 15, 1953, 1 observed one of the parents coming in with a black
object in its feet. It paused on the limb of a lysiloma lr a minute or so.
then flew to the nes:- By observation with binoculars I identified ibe victim
as the downy-young of a purple gallinule. The forgoing observations of
eedilng may give the impression that procuring food is a simple matter, but
even this skilled flyer may miss his quarry. On January 10. 1953, while I
watched a coscvy of about a dozen quail quietly feeding on the Lawn at the
Rtual Palm Station, a hawk made a fas. gliding swoop into the midst of
the covey. The quail scattered in all directions, quickly raking refuge in
nearby willows. The hawk did not get its prcy.
Life is not always without its worries. A favorite perch of the red-
shouldcr is a bare pond-apple stub in Taylor Slough. While resting here. the
hawk frequently are annoyed with attacks by crows. If the hawk leaves the
perch it is likely that a red-wingcd blackbird or possibly a kingbird will rise
out of the willows to make an attack. All of these attacks are more of a
vexation than a real threat of injury. If the hawk presents his talons, the
molcsler promptly veers ofl with proper show of respect. Sometimes the
red-shouldcr is the aggressor. On October 7, I949, 1 was studying a dark
phase short-tailed hawk in Paradise Key, when a red-shouldered hawk
suddenly appeared, driving the short-tail from its perch. I watched the
pursuit continue bout the hammock until the two disappeared in some
The red-shoulder seems to relish an occasional shower bath. On May
S1,, 1953. the writer watched a young bird bathe under a lawn sprinkler at
the Royal Palm Station. For about five minutes it lay on the lawn. fluffng
its fearthrs to better soak up the spray and calling loudly all the while,
apparently delighted with the cooling effect.
Once in a great whik some uniniated park visitor may ask why we pro-
tect the hawks.- A simple answer is that they are a part of the native wild-
life. all of which we are honor bound to protect. A more complicated
answer is that in or out of the park they have an ecological niche to fill A
ditlrent but 'ery important answer is that these gallant little hawks give a
greantamount of pleasure to the many visitors who see and hear them
WILLARD E. D1ILLEY
feeding, quarreling, nesting, or just gracefully soaring in a clear blue sky.
If a certain bird in an area is dominant over other members of its family,
there arc usually very good reasons. One may be that it is generally beer
adapted to the environs. An accumulation of observations of the red-
shoulder hawk in the park provides interesting indicatio s of how well this
species is adapted to living in the Everglades. The local race of the red-
shouldered hawk, probably by isLoLaion and a different environment, has
become about a third smaller than: its cousin of the north In adult plumage
it is very pale. especially about the head, and it is one of the few bird sub-
species which can readily he recognized by observation in the field- Young
birds reflect their ancestral plumage in their darker colors and in this stage
can easily be confused with the young of the broad-winged hawk. which:
suggests that the Iwo species have a fairly recent common ancesor.
The name given the local form is insular red-shouldered hawk, a some-
what ambiguous name in that it implies restriction to residence on the keys.
Although found from Key West to Key Biscayne. is center of abundance
is from the southern tip of the Florida mainland to about the latitude of
Lake Okeechob c. In this area it is quite constant in size and color but
farther north it intcrgradcs with the Florida red-shouldered hawk. The
latter is a highly variable subspecies which I believe should have been con-
sidered an overlapping of the insular and northern races.,
The Private Life Of The Box Turtle
by JOHN D. DICKSON III
S.BFOA COILLECTING TURTLES in 1940 j t forl the fun of it. At that
time I had no intention of making any study of their life habits, how-
ever, that is exactly what the jotting down of observations developed into.
For the most part I captured m turtles in Florida (Terrapene carolina
bufri) However, a few came from South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi_
Most of these were gathered wherever I saw them crossing the road- Nearly
all such turtles were adults, for it is a surprising fact that very few young
box. turtles are seen in the field. At one time I accumulated about 130
box turtles in the collection, including the offspring of the captive adults.
These were kept in an outside pen subject to the normal climatic condi-
litions at the writer's residence in Dade County, Florida.
The Florida box turtle may at limes occur in high pineland, but it seems
to prefer damp woods or glades. In south Florida it occurs throughout the
Everglades region and the Florida Keys. Down on the keys in or near the
solution or sink holes, I have found the remains of :many of these turtles.
In fact, it is much more common to come upon the remains than the live
turtles. I believe that such evidence is Ihe result of the depredations of the
ractons whichh are so numerous on the k)es. I have found Live turtles in
,uchi areas with parts of the shell gnawed off.
The adult Florida box turtle range in size from about 4 to 61, inches
I:1 20 o 1 m irn. length the males averaging larger than the females.
This turtle has a black upper shell (carapace adorned with yellow
radiatg ine ine. The width and length of these lines show great variability
among different individual. The lower shell fplasiron) is hinged toward
the anterior portion and is usually plain yeclowish in color. When danger
threatres the turtle pulls its head, legs, and tail into the shell and closes
the platron 'ightly against the carapac. This leaves only the hony,
hard shell ceposed as the turtle's dcfcns against attack.
JOHN D, DICKSON III
"She never inspects her ,acromrpflshmienrts. tnt: departs wirhour a barkward took"o
These turtles are omnivorous in their diet-eating insects, spiders, snails,
fruits, flowers, and even toadstools. I. feed them ground horsemeat or ham-
burger, in captivity. Although primarily land animals: they will eat just
as readily under water as on land. One very curious habit this turtle has,
is thin when drinking water it usually put s s whole head under the
water. it does not open its mouth in doing this: so evidently it takes the
water in through its nostrils. They may cat every day in warm weather
if food is available, but I usually feed them only two or three times a week
which is sufficient to keep them in good health. I give them as much as
they will readily consumer t a feeding which usually amounts to about
an ounce of meat per turtle. During cold weather they may refrain from
eating for perios lasting several weeks. Baby turt'ls usually do not start
catling until two or three weeks old. They ceai the same food as the adult
Although the box turtle is an awkward swimmer it does like to wade
around on the bottom in shallow water. Some of my turtles remain in the
3 inch decp water for days at a time in the 3 square foot pool provided
in my pen. One day while I was out scouting along a drainage canal in
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Dade County I saw a baby turtle, not more than a few days old at the
most. on top of some bladderwort (/riwcularia) in the middle of the
canal. I thought to myself. "Now's my chance to get me a baby water
turtle (Pr'udrmys)." At that moment th turtle te ook off into the water,
but it came back to the top for a few seconds. I jumped into the canal
angrbbd hie lt turtle efore it turt could escape. To my considerable
surprise it was a box turtle
My captive box turtles mated all the year around. They usually mated
in the early morning or lai. afternoon but not uncommonly even in the
middle of the day.
The females dug nest holes during all months of the year but most of
such activity occurred during the months from March to June. The female
box turtle usually begis her nest in the late afternoon., and finishes it
after dark. After she has selected a spot she begins scooping out a hole in
the ground with her hind feet, using first one and then the other-never
the same foot twice in succession. Clifford Pope has told of a turtle
digging a nest with a hind foot missing. This turtle went through all the
motions of digging with the stub of her erg as if the whole leg were there.
The f1refect remain implanted in the ground and act as pivots during the
digging of the nest. Sometimes, if the ground is rocky, she may have to
abandon her effort to dig a certain nest. She may move a short distance
away and begin again or wait until the following day to resume her activ-
ities.. Some of the captive turtles made many attempts before they were
finally satisfied and completed the nest. The opening at the surface is
smaller in circumference than the caviry below. Alter a female box turtle
has dug the hole out to a depth of aboul 2 or 3 inches. she begins laying
the egqs. dropping them one by one and gcntil lowering them into posi-
tion with her hind feet. My captive box turles laid anywhere from one to
five cgg at a time. The average was 2.65 eggs for 83 nests. Some of these
females aid a' many as four clutches of egs in one year. And some of
these probably had additional clutches, for they were observed at other
times digging nests from which the eggs were not obtained.
I have measured 86 eggs of my box lurtlks. These averaged as big
around as a five<-cni piece (21.2 mm., varying between 18 and 24 m.),
and in length they averaged twice the width of a ten-cent piece (35.7 ram-.
var ing between 22 and 45 mm.).
JOHN D. DICKSOlN III
After the female has finished laying she covers up her nest in the same
way that she dug it, using first one hind foot then the other. When she has
completed her nest she may rest a while at the spot or leave immediately.
She ner inspect her accomplishments, but departs without a backward
look. My captives usually headed for the pond and would remain in it for
a consideab time. After she has moved away from the nest the spot is
extremely hard to find for she has tamped the ground in on top of the
eggs making the earth above the nest of the same firmness as the surround-
ing ground, and then she dragged loose material over the site rendering
it inconspicuous. The whole nest making process takes anywhere from
about two to four hours. Although the nest may be hard for a human
observer to locate, it is no trouble for the scarlet snake (Cemophora
coccinea) to find it, at least when the nest is fresh. This little snake works
its head and forward part of the body down into the ground. thrusts its
head into an egg and devours the contents, Usually two eggs are more
than enough of a meal for it. Sometimes the little snake gets into the nest
at dark or shortly afterwards, before the turtle has completed covering
up her eggs.
If the box turtldes eggs escape the depredations of the scarlet snake
there are many other enemies in the wild such as raccoons, skunks, and
other snakes which may also destroy them. Too much rain mar cause the
eggs to rot and if it is too dry the eggs may dry up. When the young turtles
begin to hatch, which is in about 60 days under normal summertime con-
ditions, there is danger from ants which sometimes get into the nest as a
young turtk begins to emerge from the egg. These ants usually kill the
The shortest incubation period I ever observed was 451 days for one
of two eggs kept under artificial conditions. The time may be very long
under normal conditions during the colder months_. opened one box
urtle egg 120 days after it was laid, and it contained a live embryo de;i-
oped only little better than half way to hatching size.
Thirty-three of the young box turtles were measured at hatching. Their
average length of the upper shell is the diameter of a fifty-cent piece
(30.2 mm., varying between 24 and 35 mm.) their average width is less
(263 mm., varying between 21 and 31 mm.); their average body depth
62 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
fall just short of the diameter of a len.-cnt piece (17.0 m.m., varying be-
tween 12.7 and 19 mm.). The shell is flexible and rather soft at this time
and the navel (umbilical cord) is not healed.
The box turtle grows rather rapidly. In two years it may have doubled
its hatching length. Among those observed there was a grant variation
in growth rates even though al the tunrs were kept under the same
conditions. They reach sexual maturity in about five year.
Nests of Florida Tree Snails
by JAY A. WEBER
O SEPTEMBIER 28, 1940 I made a trip to Key Largo to observe the
nesting habits of Florida tree snaihl. A heavy soaking rainfall of the
previous day had indicated the ideal conditions for egg Laying. After a
morning of search, I discovered three adults at about noon, in their nests.
Only the upper one quarr of te shells was visible, the rest being hidden
by the leaf mould into which the snails had burrowed.
The first nest was situated 18 inSchs from the base of a red bay tree.
Persea borlbnica. the second 36 inches from the base of a lysiloma tre.
Lysinoma b~hamernse and the third 10 inches from the base of a Jamaica
dog wood tree, ichthyomeihia piscipusa.
On removing the surrounding leaf mould, I found that the snails had
hollowed out a nest in the finely decomposed leaf mould and soil, into
which the eggs had been laid. The nest was in the shape of a globular
bottle, with the neck of the nest extending to the base of the snail.
The number of eggs in each nest and the size of the snails is as follows.
No. I.-Length 55 mm-7 body whorls-clutch 33 eggs; No. 2-length
44 mm-6 body whords-clutch 22 eggs; No. 3-lngth 42 mm-6 body
whorl-clutch 16 eggs. All three nesting individuals belonged to the sub-
species known as Liguus fasciatus elliouenris (variation crigulati).
A set of 22 eggp came to me from Richard F. Dcc ker of Miamri which
had been found in one of the Pinec.st hammocks on September S., 1947,
The snail was found on the nest and I have idenified it as Ligslrs fasciaruis
crasran aonarus. The discovery of this other September nrst in a locality
so far removed from Key Largo suggests that this rainy month may be the
normal nesting season for Florida tre snails.
On Key Larg I found several abandoned and incomplcted nests, each
one of which showed an obstruction such as a rock or tree root, which had
evidently preve-nted an excavation of the proper depth. On completion of
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
egg laying, the snail fills the opening with leaf mould, thereby concealing
the nest and consering the moisture around the eggs.
I rem oved all three sets of egs. together with the surrounding soil and
brought them home for further observation. To simulati natural conditions.
I kept the nests and cgp out of doors. Although the embryos compliecd
their growth in about six weeks, they did not hatch until early April about
six months after the eggs were laid, Searching in Snapper Creek Hammock
on April 15th after a heavy rain, I also discovered o(her rewly-hatched
young. a verification that the young snails may hatch in April under natural
conditions as well as under artificial conditions.
The color of the newly laid egs was the Light Vinaccous Fawn of
Some Florida trr sn:di,,
JAY A. WEBBER
Ridgway's Color Standards; but they soon became stained and of a dirty
brown color -on contact with the scil. Under magnification (20X) the entire
surface of the eggs proved to be covered with tiny irregular spicule, giving
the surface of the eggs a dull, rough appearance.
The siz off the eggs varied from 7 '. mm. to 8. mm. in length and 51.
mm. to 6 mm, in width. The newly hitched young snails measured 6' mrm.
to 7 nmm. i:n kngth. In color they were a translucent white, indicating the
deposition of a thin layer of calcium on the inside of the shell.
Given reasonable protection, he beautiful Florida tree snails should
hold their own, I feel, in spite of the many. almost inevitable forest and
A Mound On A Key In Florid Bay
by JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
W WHATEVER LED PARK RANGER DAVE B()GAR to gO ~ashore onI this
lonely, out-of-the-way islet we shall probably never know. Perhaps
it was the very fact that he was in such a remote place and knew that he
might never have occasion to return, The key itself does look faintly in-
triguing from the side the ranger approached. Red mangroves hedge its
shore down into the water, forming the usual wall of dark green foliage
whose prop roots arch forward and down as if the mangrove hedge were
marching solidly forward in an aggressive defense of the land against the
shallow sea. However, beneath the ten-foot wall of red mangrove in the
center of this side, a small sand beach lies while in the subtropical sun
Midway in the forty or fifty foot length of this lintl beach an identation
in the billy w-all of mangrove just barely holds ~th inquisitive eye. Its
bizarre and somewhat ribald name, Cup-o-Whiskcy Key, might invoke
ones curiosity, but the ranger's thoughts were more likely on evidences
of human use.
Easing his powerful outboard motor to a stop, ranger Bogart waited
until his keel ground softly on the soft shell sand. Looking from the boat
did. not satisfy him. There seemed to be a path through the mangrove at
the apex of the niche. He stepped over the bow onto the sand, secured
the boat's painter swiftly to a mangrove limb with a practiced clove
hitch, and moved curiously toward the faint opening. His persistence was
repaid. A dim path, and vague tracks marked the sand. Stooping he stud-
ied the tracks. Unsatisfied and still more curious, he looked where the path
Ied toward the interior of the key- Low mangrove limbs crossed over the
path. Stooping and half crawling, he cautiously followed its crooked course
through the hedge of mangrove and then bay-cedar bushes from under
whose prickly boughs he emerged to stand erect in the open interior of th
key. At his feet lay mysteriously a mound of sand a foot and a half high
JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
and eleven feel in diameter. There were large animal tracks about i
Without disturbing the mound, he studied it and photographed it. And
pondering the available clues, he concluded that il must be a crocodile nest
Several days later when he reached hbadquiarcrs, park ranger Bogar
told me about the mound, and showed me hs photographs of it. This
was most exciting. I have heard many Lales of former numbers of croc-
odile nests along the U.S. Route I highway fill (the old Key West railroad
bed) where it crosses from the mainland to Key Largo. Old Argyk
Henry, the story goes. made a substantial part of his giving robbing croc-
odile nests and hatching out the young to sell to, pet shops as baby "alli-
gators." The former Rollin Davis of Lake Surprise told me of a female
crocodile who used to make a nest in his yard every year where he and
".He said -. hat the fpd codile does nor protiert in ne'r jrorm mnaraudrn
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
his father barred for several years before 1910 on Davis Creek between
Joe Bay and Davis Cove. A visiting friend put up a chicken wire screen
on four posis around her nest one year to imprison the young when they
hatched. During the night, however, the female crocodile noisily tore it
down and dragged it around until she had made a rope of it He said
nevertheless, that the crocodile does not protect its nest from :marauders
as does the female aliigator. The crocodile makes a mound five or six
feet wide and a foot and half deep of mixed sand and de-bris, he said, -and
works it, and works it, and works i" for some daI before laying her eggs
in it. She lays about forty eggs in the top of the pile, buried about eight
inches deep. and! the eggs hatch in July. Mr, Davis was an asute observer
and knew a great deal about the vegetation and wildlife of the area. He
told me of one occasion when sitting quietly in a boat with his father at
Mud Creek, a mile west of Davis Creek. he watched a bear dig the
eggs out of a crocodile nest and eat them.
Particularly during the spring of 1950 I had spent parts of many days
looking for crocodile nests in Florida Bay, Backwater Sound, Little Black-
water, and Long Sound. Many stretches of narrow beach I patrolled
closely during the crocodile nesting season studying the sand from a
boat, At deeper beaches with back dunes I had gone ashore in the blazing
sun of midday usually, and explored afoot. At Davis Creek, Mud Creek.
East Creek, Taylor River, Alligator Creek, McCormick Creek, Shell Creek,
and others, I had scanned the banks from a boat and had prowled the
scrubby hammocks through which some of them pass. Once in October of
1949 in the disturbed sand on a low beach dune I had found the remains of
two old nesis with the empty egg shells lying about. But that was all.
Nowhere was I lihbc to find a crocodile nest. Nor did I find anyone elsc
wAho knew of one. Several people could remember having fouid one on
inme lonely irand in other years. and several repeated the tale of heavy
nesting along the old railroad fill. but no one could tell me where to
find a nest now.
Here at last, it seemed, the keen-e.yed ranger charged with protection
of Forida Bay had kxcawed a crocodile niet- Ted Hackert. a young ranger
from one of the western national parks, who was with us temporarily that
year. had been wanting to share one of my field trips. We planned and
40. after miles~ of the' vaIst s~pallfwv,~ ol Floriih Do-."
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
outfitted for a three-day stay near the crocodile nest to see if we could
observe the parent crocodile and search for any other nests.
Camring our motor, gasoline, camping equipment and supplies in a
pickup truck and pulling our 13-fooi boat on a trailer, Hackett and I
drove down to Tavernkr, It was almost lunch time when we had finally
Launched and loaded the boat. We cranked up the faithful five-horse
motor and soon cruised smoothly out of Tavernier Harbor, filled with an-
ticipation unmarred by any premonitions of the circumstances under
which we were to return. In a half hour we passed through Cowpens Cut
at the far end of which we swung hard to the right to follow Cross Bank.
This long., slender mud bank was going our way, and I liked to cruise
along close enough to it to be able to identify any water birds which we
might see feeding or resting on its barely submerged surface. We counted
grcat white herons and some little blue and Louisiana herons standing
in the few inches of water on the mu.d bank ais we patrolled its Icnglh.
Near the pass through Cross Bank where it reaches the Crane Keys we
observed the more rarely seen reddish egret.
After something over two hours cruising, we reached Whipray Channe~i
Its ten to twelve foot depth awed us after miles of the vast shallows of
Florida Bay. The banks of Whipray Chanrnel were steep and somewhat
undercut where it narrowly separated two of the Whipray Keys. From
the deep shadow under the bank into the crystal clear water beneath us
a dense school of handsome snappers billowed momentarily like a shimsn
rnering cloud with a hundred eyes, and withdrew again into the dark. A
kite-like whipray glided near the bottom beneath us and on out ,of sight.
Mooring our boat to a mangrove limb, we stepped ashore on the key on
the southwest side, noted faint signs of some fisherman's campfire, and
walked alertly into the rather open interior of this remote and lonely key,
Only scattered and stunted black mangrove scrub grew here, and after
looking reflectively a moment, we returned to our boat and pressed on.
At last now, we approached Cup-o-Whi.key Key on which lay our
mysterious mound. We iindedd, moored, and followed the path as ranger
Bogart had before us. Like him. also, we found no single footprint clear
enough to identify the owner of the feet which made this dim path. Before
us lay the white sand mound. It was heaped in the center of a bare
opening_ Bay cedar bu'hes, low red rnangrov,, and buntonwood trees
JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
surrounded it, but on the nonrhwest side it was only thinly screened from
a larger bare space. The mros exciting thing about the mound at this
moment was the evidence about it of how it was made. On every side
long gouges in the surrounding dished-out surface showed where the
crocodile had evidendy faced away from the mound and dug and thrown
sand back upon the mound with both forelegs. Here was good evidence
that the animal had made the mound. I prepared a careful sketch of this
at once showing eight or nine positions assumed by the crocodile to throw
sand upon the pite. Hackett and I smoothed the sand surface of the mound,
the surrounding area, and the trail as we departed. If the crocodile came
to the nest during the night, we could expect in the morning to find fresh
Running our boat around to the far end of the little key, we selected
a suitable place to camp. We fitted our jungle hammocks with awning
spreaders, strung them between sturdy buttonwoods and red mangroves.
and prepared an evening meal. After dark the eas t wind which had blown
strong all day dropped off enlirl'y. and from the west arose an air so
light that it did not disturb the surface of the water. We saw nothing
ominous in this. Taking our flashlights to the boat, we drifted away in it
over the shalloUws looking with the light of our flashlights at little fish and
the sea anemones and. jellyfsh on the bottom. When we had drifted per-
haps a half mile, we took up the oars and rowed easily back.
Daylight came serenely. Under the awning and mrnquito netting of mn
jungke hammock I awoke to the cheery singing of a redwing blackbird.
After breakfast we visited the mound. There were no tracks about it, and
we proceeded to make an examination and mcasurrtmenis. The mound
measured eleven feet in diameter and the summit ,was within a foot of its
center. With a hand level and six-foot rule we found that the mound was
16J/2 inches higher than the undisturbed ground level. We discovered in
it a clutch of 56 crocodile eggs covered by 10!i inches of sand. The space
occupied by the eggs was 171,i inches long, 12.- inches wide and 8l.
inches deep. Our readings show that te bottom of the lowest egg was 22'!/
inches above the w-ater level of Florida Bay. Water level at the time of
the reading should have been a fairly low stage. We marked the top of
each egg as we removed it so that we could put them back right side up.
and we opened one egg and found it still quite fresh.
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
to explore ;and search the key.' of rhis reniote water whiderness .
By the time we replaced the eggs, swept the sand smooth again. and
returned to camp, the wind was blowing curiously hard. This caused us
no particular apprehension. In selecting a course to explore and search
the keys of this vast iand remote water wilderness for lther nests, however.
I chose to proceed westward, which was against the wind. Then, if our
lone little live-horse motor should cease to work, the wind would assist
rather than prevent our return to our shelter, fresh water, and food.
By keeping as much as possible in the shoals, we avoided the large
waves being kicked up in deeper waters by the strong west wind, and
proceeded to Topsey Key, which we explored. Here we found an eagle
nest and black-necked stilts but no crocodile nest. By the ime we had
pushed on to Dead Terrapin Key, the wind had become too strong for us
to venture on. We searched vainly for crocolile nests, ate our lunch, and
1 3 ~P ~C
JOSL.PHI CURTIS MOORE
turned back toward Cup-o-Whiskey Key. Our empty boat rode light and
[fast with the wind behind, and even in crossing deep stretches where the
waves were high we only got jostled somewhat and we.A At camp Hackett
and I declared ourselves wind-bound for the day, joked about it. and
eventually related in our jungle hammocks. At 5:45 p.m. I wrote in my
notebook: "We have been wind-rbound at camp all aftern oon The wind
is about 40 miles per hour out of the ,wstM Had to move my jungle ham-
mock into a morm sheltered spot to keep it from flapping itself to pieces.
Weather still fair and partly cloudy." We iook thi. very calmly- After all.
winds vwer not considered really dangerous here in the middle of May. We
had a portable radio by h which we could have talked to Coot Bay Ranger
Station, but we did not feel concerned. TomorrowC we would surely be
free to carry on the search again.
I was frying an enormous supper of corned beef hash over our little
gasoline stove when it seemed to me th;t the hadl oi a human voice came
faintly through shrieks of the wind. Ducking the hanimock ropes I peered
through the buttonwood trees on the windward side of the key.- A little
cruiser was close at hand approaching careful through theru t shoal waters.
By working my way to the windward shore, I could see that it was Herb
Alley's boat from Tavernier, and rEznger Bogart's tI;i slim figure was up
on deck at the bow. "We're going to h-ive company,'" [ called back to
Hackett. He joined me, and we waved. The bont moved on out of sight
around the far side of the key, and I threaded my way back through the
buttonwomd and mangrove tangle to the skillcl, pondering how to augment
the already large supper. Presently the little cruiser came in sight close at
hand on ihe lee side. Ranger Bogart's hail, 'Comen on aboard!" sounded
faintly among the screams of the wind.
Cupping my hand. I yelled. "Come ashore and have supper with us."
He shook his head. beckoned firmly and hollered, "There's a hurricane
We gotta get outa here~" Herb put his head out to the sidce of he cabin
and shouted ihroueh cupped hands. "A hurricane ..". The rest was lost in
the wind, I looked around helplessly,. M skillre of hash, mn boat. ..
They ,arec closer now. "We have to break camp," I shouted. Bogart
noddd. In another moment Herb had cased the bow of his cruiser up to
the stem of my boat. and Bogart brought their rbwline ashore over m,
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
"Haven't we lime to eat?" I complained, still thinking of the skillet of
hash. The ranger's face look troubled and grim. "'t's coming down the
east coast. We were four hours getting out here from Tavernier. The waves
nearly beat us to pieces between Jimmie's Channel and Calusa Keys. It'll
be behind us going back, but it's going to get dark." He paused. "We bet-
ter leave your boat," he said.
We pulled the boat up on the key and lashed it between two trees with
the plug out Hackett unleashed the jerking hammocks and rolled them
up. We left the spare gas under a lashed tarpaulin, loaded our gear, and
got under way. While Herb put her head into the wind to fight her way back
to the approach to Whipray Channel, the rest of us crowded forward in
the cabin to keep her bow down. She plunged and reared, and the spray
crashed like gravel over the little cabin about us, but she made progress.
Reaching the approach to Whipray Channel, Herb put her starboard quar-
ter to the wind, and if we held on light, we were more free to move about.
The ranger went out on deck, and Hackett and I glumly felt to on that
skillet of hash.
Darkness settled upon us by the time we left Jimmie's Channel astern.
We all four clung about the wheel mutely peering at the compass and
ahead where the rolling seas preceded us into darkness. The long north-
east point of Captains Key Bank lay somewhere ahead of us there on our
right, and Ramshorn Shoal on our left. It would not take much miscal-
culation to put us on either one. Herb's face was like a mask. The wind
shrieked, and the little cruiser tossed and twisted over the following seas.
I pulled out the portable radio and opened up to see if we could learn
what the hurricane was doing. Unable to raise any other station, we shut it
off and stowed it away. Presently the deck rose against my feet and some-
thing seemed to press me violently forward against the cabin. We were
aground. The appalling fact left my face bloodless. The skipper reversed
gear and opened the throttle. Nothing happened. We were really on. He
idled the motor and told us to man the push poles which he had thought-
fully brought along. We set their broad board ends in the mud bank and
pushed while he gunned the motor. Nothing moved. Herb idled the motor
and looked about. Presently he eased himself over the side onto the mud-
bank and waded around. Bogart followed him, and they found we had
JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
come onto the bank about thirty feet. The ranger put his.shoulder to the
bow, braced, and pushed. "I believe two of us can move it some," he called.
Hackett eased down beside him, I manned a push pole, and Herb
watched. It moved some, "Wait till I gt to the wheel," Herb shouted.
Feverishly, but with growing confidence we toiled. Foot by foot we backed
the boat through the mud. Exhaustion was claiming us when at last she
floated free. All of us aboard and the boat well clear, Herb eased her
into forward gear, wheeled over to the port, and gave her some gas. As
we came about, the spray slammed over us, blinding us and drenching us
all to the bone. Herb held her to the port, and the hair on the back of my
neck rose as I saw we were circling back square into the bank. The deck
rose beneath our feet. We slammed against the cabin. We were on the bank.
Our shoulders drooped as we slouched vaguely to our pushing positions
again. There was some strength left, though, and she was not on the bank
very far this time. In a while we were off again. We swung to the north
this time. To augment our pilot's night vision, we shouted whenever we
could see the bank in the darkness. Clearing the Captains Key Bank after
grounding on it only twice more, we established our position by identifying
piloting lights now visible on the Inland Waterway Channel and took a
course which would keep us off the Ramshorn Shoal. Then it was only a
matter of time we thought. The velocity of the wind seemed to show no
gain. With the field glasses ranger Bogart identified the outline of Low
Key far out in the black. We passed the horn otf the east end of Cross
Bank close aboard.
Navigating by the channel buoy lights with increasing confidence, be-
fore long we were edging through the narrow pass entering Tavernier
Harbor. As we eased up to the dock in the darkness a cluster of anxious
figures were there to receive the line. The hurricane was veering off the
coast out to sea, they said. A real pleasure to see us safely back beamed
in every face.
Natural History Notes
SIGHTING OF A. PANTHER FROM THE AIR. While flying west
from Homestead to scout a fire near the Wood River on May 1, 1953, I
saw a large cat along the east edge of what is called the ridge and slough
area in the heart of the Everglades National Park.
The cat evidently had been drinking at a small pond on the edge of this
still partially wet area. A strong wind of 25 to 30 mile, per hour from the
southwest was blowing that day, and we were almost directly overhead
before the cat started running. He took off in a northwest direction at quite
good speed, and as we came abreast of him, he stopped and crouched in
the grass which rmde him very hard to see. He was almost perfectly cam-
oullaged, be ing a brownish gray against the dry grass and gray brown rock
and earth surface.
We were at 500 feet altitude when we first saw him. As we came abeam,
we banked over sharply and dropped the nose, losing about 250 feet alti-
tude in a very few seconds, and came back over him.. This is when we had
our best look. He appeared to be about 5' in length in the body. The length
of the tail was dillicult to judge because it was switching around as if he
were angry, but it seemed to be almost as long as the calts body.
As we came around for a third time, the wingtip hid the cat from our
view and that was the last we saw of it. The only concealment, with the
exception of his own camouflage, that he could have attained, was a small
hammock about 300 feet distance. The cat would have to be capable of
very good speed in order to have attained the protection of this hammock
in the few seconds it look us to come around.
On the return trip about one hour later, we saw a doe a nd fawn deer
within a mile of where we had seen the panther. I should say that the body
of the doe seemed no larger than the body of the panther.
RALPi E. MIE:LE, Fire Control Aid, Everglades Naiional Park
BROWN PELICAN FALLS .PREY TO WILDCAT. On the morning
of Thursday, May 4, I953, while I was checking for a possible violation
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
of our park regulations. I walked down the road and trail beside Slagle's
Ditch from the road toward the bay shore.
Finding between fifty and a hundred rosxcae spminbhills sitting in the old
snags close to the shore encouraged me to walk on down the trail after I
had been ratislied that no car had been parked in that area. About two
hundred yards from the dirt road I saw a large brown colored bird lying
dead under the arch of an old snag about five feet ca-st of the trail. The
breast had been eaten away and the wound was iso fre~~ h there were no
flies on it and the blood had not bcgun to clot- When I turned the bird over
I found it to be a full grown brown pchican.
A trail in loose dirt showed 'vry plainly that the bird had been dragged
about fity f eet from the edge of the water to the snag under which I found
it. Clear ir;icks revealed tha th e h predalor was a wild cat. This surprised
nm, but even stranger is the fact that this evidcncc indicated that the wild-
cat had gone into the water after she bird. The freshness of the kill made
ne1i fled quite sure that the cat had left the bird a, I approached., eCen
though I did not see it.
DAVID E. BocART.r, PaJrk Ra tgr, .o lvrr Fud .es N'atrion-l ParA
EVERGLADES DEER SEEN FROM TH-IF AIR. On an early morning
flight from Homestead, west to the Los trmn's River areaa on May 13, 1953.
I counted 23 deer in a linear distance of 12 miles, The first was about the
edge of the ridge and slough area and the list ahoul 5 miles west of the
Ten Mile Corner of the Park Boundary. Our flight path wais 2180 degree
I compaiSs from Homestead to that point. The glaidc!i area cast of the ridge
and skough area was very dry and brown and no deer were seen there. As
we approached the heart of the great drainage basin and the terrain became
gremner we saw the deer., At the altitude of 2(tK feet, we could see about a
mile on either side of the airplane. This would make the area of sighting
about two by twelve miles, or about one deer to each square mike. Cruising
speed was seventy miles p hour. We right have nlissed a few which were
actually in sight, and others that would have been in the numerous, tree
islands hidden from view.
The-re were nine pars, one trio, and only two single individuals seen.
Soni pairs wre des wee and fawns. One faw was ying in the grass with the
doe standing over it. We almost missed this pair. for we passed direct
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
over it. All the deer had bright red brown coats, some were plainly fat, and
all appeared to be in good condition. Of the twelve deer that I saw in this
area from a plane last November 30th, 1952, three had gray or gray brown
coats, while the others had the red brown coat like the ones seen on the
present flight. Most of them appeared to be feeding and some were standing
in water that seemed about a foot deep. The first was sighted about 7:00
a.m. and the last about 7: 10 a.m. Two hours later, on the return flight, not
a deer was to be seen. The sun, had got up by that time, and the day being
fairly warm, the deer had probably moved into the comparative coolness
of the tree islands.
RALPnH E. MIELE, Fire Control Aid, Everglades National Park
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE COURTSHIP. On May 19, 1948, while
M. Barnie Parker and 1 were patrolling the Shark River headwaters area,
we observed two swallow-tailed kites perched on a buttonwood tree about
25 feet high, the top limbs of which were dead. The birds perched quite
calmly. When we were about 150 feet away another kite darted out of the
lower branches of the tree, invisible up to this time, carrying in his bill what
appeared to be a small snake about 15 inches long. This one proceeded
to circle the two perching birds. By this time Parker and I were within 100
feet, but the birds appeared not to notice. After circling the perched birds
twice in small circles slightly above their heads the snake bearer suddenly
hovered in mid air in front of the kite perched highest in the tree and pre-
sented his prize to her. The female unhesitatingly grasped the snake and
remained stationary. The donor hovered before her for an instant only,
then again from above, he settled on the back of the female. There was no
apparent fussing or nervousness on the part of any of the birds, the other
kite of unknown sex, remaining almost stationary during the copulation.
The two birds remained in this position for what was judged to be about
20 seconds. Upon completion of the ritual the male rose again into the air,
followed almost immediately by the female still carrying her gift. A few
seconds later the third bird followed and the three soared gracefully about
the vicinity for a few moments then settled on separate trees, rose again,
and disappeared. No nest was visible in the vicinity but no intensive search
for a nest in this area was made because of the density of the mangrove.
EOWARD P. STE PHANIC, while Park Ranger, Everglades National Park
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE BUILDING NEST. On May 20, 1948 1
observed two swallow-tailed kites building a nest. When first sighted, about
midafternoon, one bird was flying low over some pond-apple trees. Annona
g$ibra, on a finger glade near the c-nter of Long Pine Key. It appeared to
be feeding in a manner quite common to this species. However, when I
viewed it through binoculars I could see that the kite was not feeding but
breaking dead twigs from the pond-apple with its fee.- The maneuver was
accomplished in flight with a barely perceptible slow-up of air speed. After
securing a twig. the bird gracefully and unhurriedly flew to the top of a
tall slender pine. The pine was about 300 yards from the source of nesting
material. While flying this distance., he bird in each instance transferred
the twig from its foot to its beak. At the nest site there %was another bird
which did the actual placing and arranging. The bird doing the collecting
did not stop at the nest but immediately went back to its task, following
the same routine on each trip. This continued as long as the birds were
under observation, a period of approximately fifteen minutes.
WILLARD E. DILLEtY, Park Nalurtlist. Evter.gades National Park
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE DRINKING. As I drove slowly across
Taylor Slough on the Ingraham Highway about ten-thirty on the seventh
of April, 1949, a family group of park visitors from Canada stood on the
road fill looking raptly at some creature in the slough. Stopping, I joined
them to see what they had found. At that momenI, however, a swallow-
tailed kite swung into view close at hand, and I quickly turned their .t-
tention to Ihis approaching paragon of grace. The faultless bird hovered
and glided about us. passing as close. as ten feet above our heads. Just as
I wondered why it lingered so near, it revealed its design. Coming hesi-
tantly close once more it swung down in a pretty arc to the surface of the
pond at our feet and back up. scooping up a drink swallow-like on the
wing. Apparently satisfied, then, it sauntered casually away toward Par-
adise Key and disappeared, leaving the enthralled spectators to regain their
breath as best they might.
This event occurred late in the dry season, of course, when the water in
but few pools in the Everglades was still deep enough perhaps to be potabkl
to our royalty of the air. This species is snot notably shy, but it must be
rarely indeed that it dips for water only thirty feet from a group of men.
JOSE PH CUmTIs MOORE, Park Ridtogist. Evtrgrlad s Naihmial Park
400 PLANTS or SOUTH FLORIDA by Julia F. Morton and R. Bruce Ledin.
134 pp., 28 full page illus. by Frank D. Venning, Text House, Miami, 1952,
If you are a south Floridian and
want to check up on your neighbor
who professes to know so much about
tropical plants, this is your book. If
someone gives you a name of a south
Florida plant, and you want to know
what it grows like, this is your author-
ity. Ti describes the plants in plain
words which anyone can understand.
It provides an answer to what part ef
the world the plant is native. It olren
tells other things, but its main purpose
is to help anyone., resident or visitor,,
he sure about what plant he has or is
cooking at. 'On every other turn of a
page throughout the book one finds a
beautiful full-pa:ge illustration front lt
creative pen of Dr. Frank Venning, a
research botanist whon skillfully illus-
rrates his own work. Two of his ele-
gant repre.nnltalions of attractive na-
tive p:lanls are reproduced here.
Julia Morton is well known to sou;h
Floridia.ns through her recently co-
.Lau horing mith her husband a hook
which 1 have found to be exceedingly
useful. char mine and enthusiLslic,
"Fifty tropical fruits of Nassau." She
is co-director of the Morton Collee-
lanea of the University of Miami. Dr.
R. Bruce Ledin is. known to readers
of this magazine through his article in
the first ibsue and comments there in
"Background notes on authors." He is
a horticulturist of the Subtropical Ex-
periment Sl:ltion of the Untiversity ef
Florida at Homestead..
To resident south Floridians who
like to be rrraina of what plants they
are growing in their yards, buying to
plant. envying in someone else's yard,
or making inquiries about, believe
this book is a must. The attractive it-
lustrations make it interesting to show
one's friends and together with the
rather nice binding make it an appeal-
A person who has had just enough
botany to guess what family a plant
might belong in, will find himself on
the same footing in identifying a plan
by means of this book with persons
no disadvantage to most of us, but
those of us so-mewhal trained in bo-
tany will wonder why the plants aei
arranged alphabetically hy genus in-
stead of brought together in family
vho have had no botany at atl. That is
grorIps. If the intent were to help the
luyman, arrangement alphabetically by
the names getting the widest non-tech-
nical use (which may occasionally 1he
the genus. of course) would he the
best. This would keep most users of
the hook from having to start with the
index every time.
The authors slate that the poison-
wood tree is often mistaken for the
gumbo limbo tree because of the color
of its bark. This misleading statement
is true only of young saplings. The
reader will be perplexed indeed if he
seeks an adult poisonwood with bark
like an adult gumbo limbo. The very
first detail of our south Florida native
hammock flora which most visitors
REV iE WS
notie is the diiinctive and handsome
coppery or hron e colored bark of the
grimbo limbo. peeling in horizontal
tatters like birdc bark~ Description of
the bark appears to be only casual inm
this Ibck. however. This, k true of
gumbo limbo. poisonwood. pigeon
plum, mrnaic. and guava, .all of which
hac hark ailh charajc;enri 1si so out-
slanding ihai they r~Ms only help iden-
lif' the tree but are iniereing in
Despire such pierhap r minor f.aws
as th-ec. the reviewer con-iderm this,
Kook a reaonahble buy, a useful pO-
S .eioun. an.d an attractive gift.-EdiQr
82 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Background Notes on Authors
C Few pcopk, indeed, h have had such field experience with birds in the
wilderness of south Florida as hs accrud to author Louis A. Stirmsoi
since he came to Miami in 1925. Over these 28 years his frequent birding
trips have often taken him deep into remote and trackless areas which are
now the Everglades National Park. His ouriage and good judgment con-
santly staving off the serious misadventures which lurk in ever wilderness%
situation, he has enjoyed rich adventures with birdlife there, and drunk
deep of the beauty and peace of the wilderness.
This keen amateur ornithologist was born at Hope, North Dakota, in
1891. As a child he voyaged to Truk of the Carolina Islands where his
father was a missionary. Returning after a year or two. however, he finished
his grade schooling and began high school at Northampton. Massachusetts.
He finished high school as head boy at the Manlius Schools in New York
and went to college in Ohio at Oberlin. An carly interest in birds must
have stimulated him to take a spring course in ornithology there under
Professor Lynds Jones his first year. As a sophomore he took a six-weeks
ecology summer course with Professor Jones, camping out in Ohio and
Ontario, and as a senior he acted as a field assistant in the general ornith-
ology course ,
At the organization meeting of the Miami Audubon Society, subsequently
known as the Miami Bird Club and. now as the Dale Ornithologists. June
17, 193Y, author Stimson was elected its first chairman. He has served
this organization in various capacities and since December 10, 1,950 has
been its permanent chairman. As field leader for this group, he has organ-
ized and reported Christmas bird counts at the Loop Road and Tamiami
Trail For en years. He has published nine articles and 12 notes on south
Florida birdlife. and he has contributed numerous unpublished notes to
compitations by other authors
Author Stimson met Dorothy Swinnerion at Lake Bantam. Connecticut,
and they were married June 15. 1918. Mrs. Simrnson has shared many of
her husband's wilderness trips a ens enjo with him also the many 'srpr~is
and pleasures of backyard bird watching.
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
( Far from being a born naturalist, authoress Hazel Russell Bird assures
this column that as a child she was petrified by most flying, and all crawl-
ing things. This testifies to the charm of the flying squirrels whose success
in captivating authoress Bird is clearly evident in her article REAL ELVES
LtVED ON OUR SHELVES.. While she first came to south Florida as recently
as 1946, she immersed herself at once in its natural history by camping
out the first two winters in no less a place than Paradise Key. Her favorite
among the wild friends she made there was a cock cardinal who custom-
arily demanded peanut butter to eat with his caterpillars. She has aug-
mented this by camping out a winter on Key Largo and by settling down
then, and living close to nature subsequent winters in a pine woods which
she and her husband have purchased near Homestead.
Mrs. Bird began writing very early, having a poem published in Frank-
lin P. Adams' newspaper column when she was only five. She has, among
other things, done some teaching, secretarial work, advertising, and radio
broadcasting. She used to write and put on her own radio program on
Station WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina. For a year here in south Flor-
ida Mrs. Bird published a column weekly in the Homestead Leader-
Entrprise entitled "Splinters from a Redland Pine."
Authoress Bird was born in New York City, an "only child of poor but
honest parents" and "many years ago." This column hopes that it will not
be too rash to estimate that "many years ago" might have been when the
century was in its teens. She is the wife ol vertebrate paleontologist Ro-
land T- Bird who is a consulting editor of Everglades Natural History,
She has two daughters, Terry, age 15, and Fay, age 12.
UC Any of us who took a traditional biology course in high school back
in the days before John Dewey's philosophy curtailed the use of anatomy
as a tool for secondary school teaching, will recall dissecting a great grass-
hopper to learn about its spiracles, antennae, exoskeleton, etc. Perhaps
we may recall even that this enormous insect was the lubberly locust, a
native of the southeastern states. We who live in south Florida know the
great locust in life, occasionally plucking the lubberly fellow from a favor-
ite plant in our yards. We also know the pleasure of coming upon a group
of the hallowe'en-colored imnmatures, Through the whimsical recollections
NOTES ON AUTHORS
and rich experiences of author Frank N. Young who wrote THE LUBBERLY
LOCUST-PREDATORS BEWARE, we learn now an answer to how so flehy
a creature can afford to be so slow and clumsy lubberlyy) in a world
keyed to the survival of the fit
Born in 1915 on the slope of Blount Mountain in Oneonta,. Alabama,
author Young came to. Miami at the age of five. Here he grew up, a bo
naturalist, collecting firt butterflies, then grasshoppers, bugs, and finally
scarabs. Going to the University of Florida in 1934 he became interested
in water beets, and through his graduate work there he became the
authority on water beetles of Florida- Entering the armed serves with
a Ph.D. degree in l942. he went to Mssiissippi and Louisiana. then Pan-
ama, then to the Pacific with the 222nd Malaria Survey Unit. He col-
leced insects in Panama. Hawaii, Utilhi. Eniwctok, and Okinawa, and
has deposited most of these in the United States National Museum. After
the war author Young taught biology at the University of Florida and was
editor of the Quarterly Journal of she Florida Actaduery o Scirence: until
he was attracted to his present position at the University of Indiana.
As a graduate student, author Young became acquainted with Frances
Norman. who was 'working toward a master's degree in biology. They
married and now have a six-ycar-old daughter, Betty, and a five-year-old
son, Chip. The Old Block informs this column that the Chip already col-
lecrs insects on his own,
(It surely can not be everywhere that the commronest and mosS approach-
able hawk is as charming as our little insular red-shouldcred hawk. One
must be pre-ccupied with care, indeed to feel no thrill of pleasure upon
passing this winsome hawk perched close at hand. It L especially pleasant,
therefore that we fnd in this issue an article upon some of this bird's
habits observed in this area, A VERSA.TILE HAWK OF THE EVEiRLADES. by
park naturaist Willard E- Dilley.
Author Dilley may already be known to readers of this magazine through
his article in the last issue on bird visitors and northeast winds. He owns
his horne in Homestead and has a wife, Edith, and a seven-year-old daugh-
ter. Jani. His specialties in his naturalist work in the EverElardes are
birds, the trees and shrubs. and photography. He produced the colored
86 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
movie film which is the official park film, and has recently acquired a
400 mm. telephoto lens for which he has great hopes.
fC Who has not known the temptation to catch and keep alive the hand-
some box turtle? Surely every child who is permitted to have any acquain-
tance with wild things at all, has brought at least one home to keep. The
beautifully marked box turtle which lives in Florida makes a fascinating
pet, is easy to keep, only needs to be fed twice a week. Read what author
John D, Dickson III has to say about them in THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THE
Box TURTLE. It opens one's eyes.
The author of this article is a born naturalist and a real south Florida
woodsman. Working on his master's degree at the University of Miami,
author Dickson selected as a research project for his thesis a field study of
the ecology of the key deer. He lived on Big Pine Key, mostly camping
out, from June 1951 to August of 1952. Conducting his field investiga-
tions during the summers, he endured and worked successfully in mos-
quito hordes that an ordinary man could hardly have survived.
He found the deer usually as hard to observe as other people have, but he
contrived means to learn many unbiased facts about them which will be of
importance in any plan to arrange for the survival of this deer. The Florida
Game and Freshwater Fish Commission may congratulate itself on having
made funds available to support author Dickson's research, and the Uni-
versity of Miami may take pride in having steered it. It hardly seems neces-
sary to add that John D. Dickson Ill should be very proud to have done
the work. Reams have been written about the key deer but virtually nothing
is known until author Dickson publishes his report.
IJ Adventure attends many a biologist's quest in wilderness areas such as
those of the Everglades National Park. The article A MOUND ON A KEY IN
FLORIDa BAY is an account of one of the most dangerous situations that
park biologist Joseph C. Moore has experienced while peacefully pursuing
investigations of certain fauna of the park. The goal of this particular trip
was to examine a strange sand mound to learn if it were a crocodile's nest
and, if so, to find out as much as possible about it. Author Moore made
several subsequent visits to this mound and has published the results of
investigations of it in a recent issue of Copeia.
Infnnratio for Authors
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lor publication should be typewritten, preluray on standard
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Og mbnwtiad Wa i pW shak bould prefeiAy be
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