St_Johns_MapNE002Over my Christmas vacation, our family took a tour of the St. John’s river on a boat with Blue Heron River Tours. We saw hundreds of birds, and many manatees, turtles, and alligators that live along this part of the river. The boat captain spent 2 hours pointing out the different species of birds that reside in this peaceful little part of the world.

We saw the white Ibis, Great blue herons up on their nests, great egrets, snowy egrets, wood storks, anhinga (aka snakebird), double-crested cormorants, black crowned night herons (endangered), yellow crowned night herons, limpkins (endangered), American coots, wood ducks, osprey, and the American Bald Eagle. Spotting the endangered birds was a highlight, as well as seeing a mother manatee and her baby come up to the side of the boat to check us out. Apparently, Rhesus monkeys have taken up residence along the river too though we didn’t get to see any during our tour.






                                      Houseboats at sunset










I’ve grown up learning to not take our ecosystem for granted and, thanks to my mom, all about birds and animals in the areas I’ve lived in. Tours like the St John’s River tour raise awareness of how important it is to stop and enjoy the life around us, and to make sure we don’t cause harm to it. I plan to do the tour again in a couple of weeks and maybe I’ll see those monkeys – or beat the count of the 16 alligators we spotted – on the next one!