Sunset Cruise on Rookery Bay, Part 2

Sunset Cruise on Rookery Bay, Southwest Florida
Saturday 26 April 2008

Part 2: Into The Rookery

Dr. Jerry Jackson

Dr. Jerry Jackson is a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. He’s kindly and energetic, and demonstrates a keen, bubbling-over enthusiasm for his subject, namely – birds! Dr. Jackson doesn’t always do this eco-tour; I have the impression it was a special treat for all us public radio geeks who listen to his radio spot on WGCU every morning.

Dr. Jackson displays a bird’s skull

What’s a Rookery?

He started off by telling us about the word “rookery”, which he points out has “rook” at it’s root, which is a European crow. Indeed, tells us that this is so, and also points out that “rook” can also mean “to swindle”. Perhaps the verb arises from a crow’s proptensity to swipe things. So if a crow is a “rook”, then a crow’s nesting place is a “rookery”, a term which came to be more broadly applied to places where any types of birds have their colonies.

The Importance of Mangroves

A little mangrove island with some critters hanging out

Dr. Jackson apparently loves words nearly as much as he loves birds, for he went on to expound upon the word “mangrove, remarking that the roots look like the legs and feet of a “man”, and that they grow in a “grove” or tight grouping.

A display of mangrove roots

A tricolor heron rests in the tangle of the mangrove roots

An egret wades for his dinner among the mangrove roots

NEXT TIME: More about the mangrove islands and their inhabitants.

20 thoughts on “Sunset Cruise on Rookery Bay, Part 2”

  1. Hey this is interesting and informative. I love such posts. Do visit my ‘i Share’ if you get time. recently visited the migratory birds at Kaggaladu near Bangalore.

    Loved the pictures a lot.

  2. What a fascinating post. The word rookery was also used here as a name for London’s worst and most violent slums. They were pulled down in the 19th Century

  3. Nope, not a professional. Not by a long shot! I did use Picnik to polish some of the photos a bit.

  4. Very interesting and great photos. We took the Tarpon Bay Explorers boat trip which sounds much like this trip. Speaking of Crows–did you know that a flock/group of Crows is called a murder? Kind of goes along with rook, huh?

  5. Thanks for sharing this post on the mangroves. They are an interesting an important environment.

    You would probably enjoy our recent post on wild cats.

  6. Marvelous post, Tink. Thanks. Rookery is a wonderful word. Thanks for the story and the pictures.

  7. This looks like a really lovely crise. I wish I could have been there with you. Looking forward to more of your pics and don’t ya just LOVE picnik.

    Oh, and one thing I just found out about it. I used to post from Picnic to my Flickr account. Well Picnik only allows you to store so many photos. SO……. I went and deleted some from Picnik, and found that they were deleted from my Flickr account and thus my blog too. DRAT!!

    Just FYI

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