Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wildlife Sightings aboard Spring Break Cruises

The wildlife has been "WOW-ing" passengers aboard the Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge Explorer lately. Spring is in the air and apparently people aren't the only creatures who appreciate the pleasant weather. Aquarium naturalist John Dever forwarded these remarkable shots from yesterday's cruise. That's right, all of these sightings were in ONE DAY! This bald eagle seems happy to pose for pictures while passengers were observing the majestic bird from the topside observation deck.
Dever says this group of buffleheads was the first such sighting of these birds he can remember on a cruise. Looks like this family was out enjoying the sunshine.

And once again, the osprey family is busy building a nest for their next clutch of eggs. Last year the parents successfully raised four chicks, inspiring passengers every day throughout the spring and summer.


Typically one osprey can be observed in a tree near the nest site while the parent is tending to the nest or, later in the season, their chicks. Frequently guests are able to hear these awesome birds vocalizing. Listen to a sample of their calls on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.

Look closely at this shot and you'll understand why ospreys are sometimes referred to as "fish hawks." Looks like a lunch of largemouth bass is about to be served on this perch above the river.
Thanks to Nancy Miller from Woodlands, TX for sharing these great photos with everyone.
The Williams Island Family Adventure cruises run through April 17th.
Check out our complete cruise schedule to book your excursion into "Tennessee's Grand Canyon."




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