Bobcats in the Everglades

bobcatThe Everglades is home to so many mammals including felines like the bobcat. Bobcats are one of two native cat species that call southern Florida their home. Bobcats are common in Everglades unlike the Florida panther.

Bobcats are not endangered. They are mainly nocturnal creatures but can be spotted during daylight. In the Everglades, bobcats have been seen walking around Bear Lake Trail, Snake Bight Trail, and the main Park road.

Bobcats can live in various types of habitats such has cypress swamps, prairies, hardwood hammocks, and pine rocklands. In one day, an adult bobcat can travel anywhere from 5 to 50 miles looking for food. For food, the bobcat eats small mammals (squirrels, opossums, rodents), birds, and fish.

Bobcats are much smaller than the Florida panther.  They coexist in the Park together. The bobcat is short-tailed (“bobbed” tail) feline with a spotted, red-gold fur coat. They have fringed fur on the sides of their head. They can weight anywhere from 13 to 35 pounds, and they can grow up to 50 inches in length.  Bobcats can live up to 14 years in the wild.

Bobcats don’t just call Florida home. They have been known to live in Canada and all the way down to Central America.

The bobcat will stay in a den it creates in a tree, cave, or open shelter. Often, bobcats have more than one den spread across different areas, in case they need shelter.  A female bobcat will have one to two kittens in a litter. Bobcat mating season is from August to March.

Bobcats usually will not approach a human. For your safety, it’s best to leave a bobcat alone while in the wild or the Everglades if you spot one.

Come on an airboat tour and see if you can spot a bobcat walking around during daylight!

Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours has been giving tours to in the Everglades for more than 30 years.

To book a tour. Click our Everglades airboat tour page or call 800-368-0065.. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

 

 

 

Info about the Long Pine Key Trail

long pine key trailWe wanted to share some information with you about one of the best preserved, pine rocklands in Florida: Long Pine Key Trail.

Long Pine Key Trail is not currently being maintained in order to preserve the habitat in the area for the Florida leafwing and Bartram’s scrub hairstreak butterflies and their host plants. These butterflies are native to south Florida.

This area holds about 80 percent of all remaining pine rockland in Florida. Pine rocklands have been disappearing since the last 1800s due to urban development, agricultural expansion and fragmentation.

This habitat has a lot of plant biodiversity and is home to several endangered species such as the eastern indigo snake and the Florida panther, which is Florida’s state mammal.

The trail is open, but you should enter with caution as the train isn’t maintained meaning there is likely branches, vegetation, flora, and fauna that may be in your path or affect your walk or hike.

Long Pine Key is over 22 miles of connecting trails. Bicycles are allowed but the path is not wheelchair accessible. Many trails start at the Long Pine Key Campground, which is seven mikes from the main park entrance at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center. You can also park on road shoulders near gates where the trails meet paved roads.

After exploring the Long Pine Key Trails, you may want to get off your feet and see the Everglades in a different way… on an airboat. An airboat tour will give you a different view and perspective of the Park like no other.

Captain Mitch’s Private Everglades Airboat Tours has been giving tours to in the Everglades for more than 30 years. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

To book a tour. Click our Everglades airboat tour page or call 800-368-0065.. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

 

 

FAQ About Airboat Tours

airboat tour

On an airboat tour with Captain Mitch, you’ll be able to see beautiful surroundings from a different point of view. Before your visit, you may have questions about the Everglades or airboat tours. Below, we wanted to share some questions and answers with you, so you can have a great time and be prepared for your trip on an airboat in the Everglades.

Q: Are the crocodiles and alligators aggressive?
A:  Alligators and crocodiles are unpredictable; crocodiles are known to be a bit more aggressive than alligators when provoked. It’s best to keep a safe distance (15 to 20 feet) when viewing any wildlife.

Q: Are pets allowed?
A: Pets are allowed in parking lots, campgrounds, boats, maintained ground of a public facility, on public roadways, and on roadside campgrounds and picnic areas in the Everglades. They are not allowed on trails or wilderness areas or on an airboat.

Q: How much is an airboat tour with Captain Mitch?

A: At Captain Mitch’s Everglades Private Airboat Tours, if paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

Q: When are the airboats open for tours?

A: Captain Mitch’s is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Q: Where are the airboat tours located?

A: Captain Mitch is located at 30999 Tamiami Trail E Everglades, FL 34139.

Explore the Everglades on an Airboat

An airboat tour is a wonderful way to experience the Everglades. Book a tour with Captain Mitch’s airboat tours today. Captain Mitch has been giving tours in the Everglades for more than 30 years.

To book a private Everglades airboat tour, click our Everglades airboat tour page or call 800-368-0065.

 

 

 

Wild Turkeys in the Everglades

wild turkeysThanksgiving is long gone, but wild turkeys are around all year! When you think of Everglades’ wildlife you probably think of alligators, the Florida panther and insects, but believe it or not, wild turkeys call the Everglades home too. In fact, Alaska is the only state without wild turkeys.

The Florida Wild Turkey inhabits pinelands, cypress swamps, prairies, and hardwood hammocks in southern Florida. Due to extensive logging in the Everglades, along with hunting, the wild turkey appeared to have disappeared from the Everglades. However, since 2000, efforts have been put in place to increase the wild turkey population in the Everglades.

Wild turkeys can weigh between 20 and 25 pounds over average. They can adapt to many different environments. They live in many different climates. They are hunted as food by great horned owls and panthers in the Everglades.

Adult wild turkeys can be aggressive towards humans if they feel threatened or in self-defense.

Wild turkeys are strong and can run up to 25 miles per hour and can fly (domestic turkeys can’t fly because they are bred to be heavier for their meat.)

Wild turkeys are known to have great eyesight about three times better than a human’s eyesight. They are omnivores and can hunt on land or by air.

Want a chance to see a wild turkey roaming around the Everglades? Jump on an airboat ride. A private airboat tour gives you can opportunity to see a lot of wildlife from a safe distance so you won’t bother them and they won’t bother you.

Captain Mitch’s Private Everglades Airboat Tours has been giving tours to in the Everglades for more than 30 years. You’ll have so much fun and learn a lot too!

To book a tour, click our Everglades airboat tour page or call 800-368-0065.. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

 

 

Accessibility in the Everglades

accessibility in the evergladesAlthough the Everglades is outdoors and a wild environment, the Park does its best to make accommodations for people with different capabilities. The Park strives to make it a place accessible to everyone.

Hearing accessibility – For those with hearing enhancement needs, films shown at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, Shark Valley Visitor Center and Gulf Coast Visitor Center include captioning. Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) are available upon request for use during ranger-led programs, the Shark Valley Tram Tour and the Gulf Coast boat tour.

Sight accessibility – The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center located at the park entrance near Homestead presents audio recordings of the Everglades environment. The restroom and theater signs are available in Braille. The Flamingo Visitor Center contains a museum exhibit with print and audio displays, The Shark Valley Visitor Center and the Gulf Coast Visitor Center offers a touch table for tactile opportunities, and the restroom signage is available in Braille.

The accessible trails in the park display interpretive signage which is in large print.

Interpretive programs and visitor center displays, when possible, have been made accessible to visitors with limited visual capacities.

Mobile accessibility – Visitors centers have accessibility to wheelchairs by ramps or elevators. There are van-accessible parking spaces in the parking lots. Wheelchairs are available to loan on a first come first serve basis at Royal Palm Visitor Center, Flamingo Visitor Center, and Shark Valley Visitor Center.

The following accessible trails are firm, paved surfaces that are wheelchair accessible and less than ¾ of a mile: Anhinga Trail, Gumbo Limbo Trail, Pineland Trail, Pa-hay-okee Overlook, Mahogany Hammock Trail, West Lake Trail, and Bobcat Hammock.

The Long Pine Key and Flamingo front country campgrounds both have accessible campsites. The Pearl Bay Chickee back country site features handrails, a canoe dock, and an accessible chemical toilet.

 

Many of the concession-led boat tours from Flamingo and Gulf Coast are wheelchair accessible. The Shark Valley tram tour is accessible as well – the trams contain a ramp for wheelchairs.

For more information and details on accessibility in the Park, contact Everglades National Park information, 305-242-7700.

 

Want to explore the Everglades in a fun way? A ride on an airboat gives you an up-close-and-personal view of the Everglades; it’s a trip you’ll never forget.

To book an airboat trip, call 800-368-0065  or visit our Everglades Airboat Tours page. Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

How to Protect Your Vehicle from Vultures in the Everglades

vulturesThroughout the Everglades National Park, vultures hang around visitor areas. Believe it or not, vultures are attracted to the rubber around windshields, sunroofs, and windshield wipers on vehicles. It is unknown why vultures are attracted to these parts of the vehicles.

There have been occasion where vultures have cause damage to visitors’ vehicles. Royal Palm, a wildlife viewing area, has had numerous vulture incidents. The Park encourages visitors to protect their vehicles with tarps and bungee cords that are free in the Royal Palm parking area.

Place the tarp over the car to cover the windshield wipers and rubber around the windows. Secure the tarp with bungee cords. Make sure to return the tarp and cords before you leave the Park.

Now, if you are not in the Royal Palm area, you can either bring your own tarp and cord or follow the following tips to protect your car from vultures if you plan to be away from the car for a long period of time.

Tips to protect your vehicle from vultures include:

  • Park in full sun
  • Avoid parking near groups of vultures
  • Cover exposed rubber with wet sheet or towel
  • Make loud noises to spook vultures
  • Notify a ranger

Remember, do not harm the vultures as they are a federally-protected species.

Excited to visit the Everglades? Want to explore it in a fun way? There’s so many different ways to explore the Park, including an airboat tour. A ride on an airboat gives you an up-close-and-personal view of the Everglades; it’s a trip you’ll never forget.

To book an airboat trip, call 800-368-0065  or visit our Everglades Airboat Tours page. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

 

How to View Wildlife in the Everglades

wildlife in the evergladesIt’s December, which falls during the dry season in the Everglades. The dry season is best time to head down to the Everglades to view an array of different wildlife species. Not only to many species migrate down for the winter, but there’s less chance of rain and thunderstorms. Plus, the weather is less humid. During this time of year, the good weather and low water levels create the perfect environment for animals and birds to congregate near bodies of water.

Some great spots in the Everglades to view wildlife include: Shark Valley, the Anhinga Trail (Royal Palm), Eco Pond (a mile past the Flamingo Visitor Center), Snake Bight (near Flamingo), and Chokoloskee Bay (Gulf Coast).

In these spots, visitors can see alligators, wading birds, freshwater wildlife, and a few other land creatures. Since the animals are wild, visitors should be respectful to both the animals and the environment in which they call home.

We’ve shared a few rules and tips on viewing the animals in the Park to keep yourself and the animals safe.

  • Keep your space from animals and birds. Do not disturb them (do not pick up or chase) in their home or anywhere in the Park. You can get a better view of wildlife with binoculars without bothering or spooking them.
  • Walk away from animals if you feel you have disturbed them and leave the area. Animals and birds may feel threatened,  and start to act strangely (excessive flapping, pacing, muscle tension, staring, screaming/making frequent noises) or can be dangerous when they feel threatened.
  • Stay away from nesting or den areas. Stick to the trails to avoid running into one of these breeding grounds. You don’t want to scare away the parents, who leave the offspring behind who cannot yet survive on their own.
  • If you see a potentially sick/hurt/abandoned animal, leave it be or notify a ranger; it’s family could be nearby.
  • Pets are not allowed on trails or the wilderness areas of the Park.
  • Do not feed the animals. The Park does not want the animals to become reliant on being fed, unnaturally, by humans. The Everglades is a real-life habitat for animals, not a zoo.
  • Follow all safety signs and warning signals in the park.
  • Do not harass animals in the Park in any way.

When you visit the Everglades, you are visiting something’s’ home, whether it’s a bird or an alligator. The Park asks that you respect all animals in the Park. Please refrain from feeding, touching, yelling, throwing things, or interacting with wildlife. It’s best to admire them from afar.

If you’re looking for a way to see wildlife in the Everglades, an airboat tour is a great way to view animals and birds without worrying about bothering them or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.  To book an airboat tour with Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours, , call 800-368-0065  or visit our Everglades Airboat Tours page. Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

 

December Activities in the Everglades

activities in the everglades Throughout the year there are many programs, walks, and events held in the Everglades National Park. Throughout the winter or “dry” season, there are even more programs offered, since more people tend to visit the Park at this time. For this article, we wanted to share with you two activities you should check out in the Park (before or after catching a ride on Captain Mitch’s airboats, of course!)

  • Anhinga Amble (Royal Palm) – Every day in December 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. This is a stroll on the renowned Anhinga Trail where alligators, wading birds and other wildlife are spotted! Meet at Royal Palm benches.It is wheelchair accessible. Free with Park entrance fee.
  • Glades Glimpse (Royal Palm) – Every day in December. 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. This is a sit-down talk about the Everglades. Topics vary. Meet at the Royal Palm benches. It is wheelchair accessible. Free with Park entrance fee.

And, of course, Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours will be running daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Everglades. All online reservation requests for an airboat tour should be done 24 hours in advance. If you are planning same day service (less than 24 hours), please call our office to ensure we can get you in right away.

Ticket costs:

Adults: CASH PRICE: $40.00 per person, plus tax. CREDIT CARD PRICE: $45.00 per person, plus tax (1 hr ride)

Child:
 CASH PRICE: $20.00 per person, plus tax. CREDIT CARD PRICE: $25.00 per person, plus tax (1 hr ride)

There is a boat minimum of 2 adults.

Click our airboat reservation page to book your trip or call 800-368-0065 or 239-695-3377.

Visit www.captainmitchs.com for this month’s coupon code for a discount on a tour!

Captain Mitch’s Airboat tours is located at 3099 Tamiami Trail E Everglades, Fl 34139.
We look forward to seeing you. Get ready to have some fun in the Everglades this December!

Basics About the Everglades National Park

everglades national parkReady to visit the beautiful Everglades National Park? There’s so much to see and do here! We highly recommend exploring this National Park and, of course, going on a private airboat tour with us at Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours.

For this article, we wanted to share with you some basics about the Park:

  • The Park was established on December 6, 1947
  • It is 1,542,526 acres
  • About 1 million people visit the Park each year.
  • The Park has three visitor centers: Ernest F. Coe, Flamingo, Shark Valley, Gulf Coast
  • It costs $25 for you to enter with a vehicle and $8 per person to enter
  • It is the third largest national park in the lower states
  • The main purpose of the Park is to preserve wilderness
  • It is the nation’s slowest, widest river that is 60 miles wide
  • The water moves at about 2.5 miles per day
  • The Seminole people called the area “River of Grass”
  • You can explore the entire Everglades’ coast by water vessels
  • You can enter the Park by land through Flamingo, Shark Valley or Gulf Coast.
  • The dry season, which is between December and March is when most guided tours, programs and park concessions are available. This is also the best time to see wading birds.

Want explore a national treasure? Jump on an Everglades airboat tour for a chance to see wildlife and other beautiful sights. An airboat ride is the best way to get around the Everglades/

For a private, guided tour through Everglades, book an airboat tour with Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours.

To book an airboat ride, call  800-368-0065  or visit our Private Everglades Airboat Tours page. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).

 

Everglades Restoration Impact on Ducks and Other Waterfowl

duckTwenty to 40 years ago, there were plenty of ducks and other waterfowl swimming around the Everglades, and hunters would go hunting. But these days, not as many ducks show up as they once used to in the past.

Migratory ducks have been coming to the Everglades in lower number in recent years. It is believe that weather trends and the Everglades’ current ecosystem is why their numbers have dropped. Many of these ducks don’t migrate as far as they used to. There is also less habitat for these ducks to settle in due to farming and housing developments.

Lake Okeechobee used to be a big spot for ducks, but the low water levels and the algae blooms have kept the ducks away. The algae blooms kill aquatic vegetation that the ducks eat, which reduces ducks’ food sources. Phosphorous has also ended up in the Everglades from fertilizer from yard and farms which help feed the algae blooms and red tide, which has killed about 367 tons of marine life in the Gulf.

However, current restoration efforts to bring the waterflow back to its original state has seen positive results for bringing ducks back to the Everglades. For example: the Kissimmee River restoration project has allowed the natural river channel to be restored so water overflows the banks. Pre-restoration there was about one bird per four square kilometers and now there is about 40 birds per square kilometer.
The Central Everglades Project, which will restore habitat of 10,000 acres of degraded wetlands south of Lake Okeechobee, is said to help bring ducks back. Part of this project included the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, which is a 240,000-acre-foot holding tank similar to other stormwater treatment areas in the Park. These treatment areas are known to be good places to hunt ducks because they are filled with aquatic vegetation.

With more and more spots restoring to natural flows, the response has been positive for ducks and other waterfowl to return.

If you’re a fan of ducks or other birds, you can catch a glimpse of them on an airboat tour. Jump on an Everglades airboat tour for a chance to see ducks and other beautiful wildlife. An airboat ride is the best way to get around the Everglades.

For a private, guided tour through Everglades, book an airboat tour with Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours.

To book an airboat ride, call  800-368-0065  or visit our Private Everglades Airboat Tours page. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).