An alligator suns next to an unconcerned snowy egret in the Myakka River. William Dunson, Gasparilla Gazette Nature Walk columnist, said this is a common scenario in Southwest Florida rivers or ponds with lots of gators sunning next to feeding birds. How does the bird avoid getting eaten? "My theory is that most of these gators are very well fed on fish, in this case tilapia, which are common in all fresh waters," Dunson said. "Gators do not eat that often and do not kill for pleasure. Thus the bird is safe most of the time. Gators also tend to bask when the weather is cool and they are less inclined to feed then."
An alligator suns next to an unconcerned snowy egret in the Myakka River.