Welcome to my backyard--the Florida Keys! I'm a travel writer, blogger and photographer with a passion for all things Florida, especially the Florida Keys. These islands are so much more than Duval Street and Jimmy Buffet. They are rich in history, culture, cuisine, nature and events--all surrounded by pristine waters teeming with wildlife. Whether you're a local or a visitor, the Conch Republic has many surprises in store. Let me be your guide.
Alfred Hitchcock would have been impressed. Migrating vultures, which winter in the Everglades National Park, seem to be reenacting scenes from The Birds. They flock in the parking lots and attack cars, trucks and trailers, feeding their recently developed taste for rubber and vinyl — think windshield wipers, sunroof seals, door seals and anything else they can rip off. While I love going to the Everglades to see the gorgeous egrets, storks and other wading birds, I’ve always been leery of the hulking black vultures with their creepy featherless heads. They linger beside the trails with little fear of humans.
Park rangers have experimented unsuccessfully with different ways to discourage the vandals from destroying vehicles, including hanging road-kill vultures from the trees near the Anhinga Trail. (I’m glad I missed that horror movie tactic!) They’ve also posted signs: “Warning Vultures May Cause Damage to Vehicles.” Now they’ve moved on to more preventative measures, issuing all park visitors “anti-vulture kits” (blue tarps and bungee cords) to cover their vehicles. For frequent visitors, they advise BYOT (bring your own tarp). Ironically, the scavengers aren’t even ripping apart the cars because they are hungry. They typically discard the pieces without eating them. Where’s Tippi Hedren when you need her?