Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Recently the staff of Amateurnithologist was walking in the desert, like you do, hoping for the unlikely Sage Grouse or Roadrunner siting, but really just going for a hike. We had reached the trail entrance, having completed the loop, and we heard a harsh and very threatening buzzing noise coming from right beside us. It's a noise I don't hear often, but it's unmistakable, both in its source and its message. It was a rattlesnake, and it was telling us to get out, which we did (but not before I snapped a picture). An experience that was a bit scary and a bit cool, but not much more, at the time.

A few days later an extremely large lizard walked right into my house through my open back door. This is something that has never happened before. We regarded each other for a moment, me on the couch, the lizard on the floor, and then he ran under my stove. I've been unable to escort him out of the house, I assume he's around here somewhere.

These experiences, though, got me thinking- why are reptiles so aggro towards me at the moment? And then the light bulb went off- of course! They've jealous that all my animal-related attention has thus far gone to birds. Well no more, reptile friends, you're on the blog now. So no need to, like, attack me any further. Let's kick things off right with a few cool reptos I've seen lately (I call them 'reptos' for short, that's how cool I am with them).

Green Iguana aka. American Iguana 
Esplanade Park, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA
April 2017
Member of the Iguana Family
§A Mess of Iguanas§ (not so sure about this one)

~true repto fact~ Have been used as a common food source in Central or South America for over 7000 years. Nicknamed 'bamboo chicken' or 'chicken of the trees' for their reportedly chicken-like flavor. Actually endangered in some places due to over-hunting.


Northern Curly-tailed Lizard
Fort Fincastle, New Providence, Nassau, The Bahamas
April 2017
Member of the Curly-tailed Lizard Family
The internet presents the venery term for a group of lizards as a 'lounge', but I absolutely refuse. There is §no real name for lizards§

~true repto fact~ Introduced on purpose to South Florida in the 1940's to eat sugarcane pests. They went kinda nuts from there and are now everywhere in South Florida. This explains why I never saw them as a kid, but now see them all over the place when I'm down there.

Appreciates good food

Brown Anole aka. Bahaman Anole aka. De la Sagra's Anole
Ardastra Gardens, New Providence, Nassau, The Bahamas
April 2017
Member of the Bush Anole Family
~true repto fact~ This is one of those lizards that can detach his own tail. When pursued by a predator, he can just drop a big chunk of it at will, and it will continue to move on its own, hopefully distracting the pursuer. The tail, partially, grows back.

 An old-school nerd with truly esoteric hobbies. None of that pop culture stuff

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake aka. Texas Diamond-back
Ballardini Ranch, Reno, Nevada, USA
May 2017
Member of the Viper Family
§A Pit of Snakes§
Responsible for the most snakebites in the USA (bites are 10-20% lethal if untreated, so get that checked out, I guess)

~true repto fact~ There is such a thing as a Rattlesnake Rodeo, which is not at all the fun thing it sounds like. It's primarily people torturing and killing Rattlesnakes they've caught for entertainment. I mean, I know we're all afraid of snakes, but that sucks. Hey, don't do this.

Loves a good campfire

So, there you have it. Did you learn about reptiles? Do you love them now? Do they love me now? Will that lizard (who research indicates is something called an Alligator Lizard) leave my house? Only time can say. Next week we'll be back with some more bird-like blog subjects.

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