It’s that time of year! Back in the spring during alligator mating season, we enjoyed seeing lots of active gators on our Amelia Island kayak tours. During the hot summer months, it sometimes makes it more difficult to see a large number of gators on the waterways, as they tend to lay low and seek cooler areas to hang out in. But just as important, the female alligators have been busy guarding their nests for this season’s hatch.
Alligators lay their eggs in nests they build out of vegetation. When they do this, as the vegetation decomposes, it helps to heat their nest of eggs. The sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature maintained in the nest during the first seven-to-twenty one days of incubation; if the nest is 93* or above, then the entire clutch of eggs will be male. If the temperature is 86* or lower, then they will all be female. The eggs will incubate for 65-68 days, and then the mother will tend to her offspring, helping them get to water, and keeping them protected for about a year. It is not unusual to see numerous baby alligators hanging out with their mothers on Florida waterways, so when you venture out on your journeys in our beautiful Amelia Island, keep an eye out for these magnificent, interesting creatures!