Friends of Tigertail Beach
 Marco Island, FL

News and Topics of Interest

FOT held its third clean up for the year 2022 this past Saturday.

There were 35 volunteers including 19 students as well as 4 FOT board members. A grandmother/granddaughter duo travelled from Ft Myers, and there was a family on vacation from western PA. MICA, Beach & Coastal Advisory Committee, Noon Rotary, MICA, MI Public Works, Cardinal Health, and the MIA Key Club were all represented.

75 lbs. of debris were collected: 61lb of trash and 14 lbs. recyclables. The most unusual item was a tent in a carrying bag.

The next clean-up is Saturday 9/17, part of the International Coastal Clean-up.

Tigertail Restoration Discussion Shifts into High Gear
click here for Article in Marco Breeze

Good turnout for International Coastal Clean-up on Tigertail Beach

click here for link to Marco Eagle news

click here for link to Coastal Breeze news

Friends of Tigertail Add Benches to Tigertail Park Upgrades

Friends of Tigertail donated two benches to the Tigertail Beach Park, augmenting the recently upgraded playground area as well as the observation tower.

On Monday, August 16 a ceremony was held for the bench donation, with Friends of Tigertail Board members and Melissa Hennig, Regional Manager of Beaches and Water for the Collier County Parks and Recreation. The location of the benches will benefit park visitors, with one in the newly renovated playground area so that families can be comfortable watching their children at play, and the other bench placed on the lower level of the observation tower, creating a shaded perch to observe the beach below.

Friends of Tigertail is appreciative of the county's efforts in improving the park's facilities. The new playground is now state of the art, and will be enjoyed by many young park visitors. Through a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County, a tall shade structure was added, providing relief from direct sun for the children.

Friends of Tigertail supports park improvements, offers community educational events and student environmental camp scholarships, as well as hosting quarterly beach clean-ups. The upcoming clean-up event will be on Saturday, September 18 from 8 am to 11 am. This is part of the International Coastal Clean-up, a world-wide effort to clean coastal locations. Participants can see the new benches and playground area as well as improving the park and beach by clearing away debris.

Tiger Beach to see $1M in improvements!

Future of Tigertail Beach Discussed

Read the article in the Coastal Breeze using this link

FOT Beach Cleanup July 10,2021

The Tigertail beach cleanup sponsored by the Friends of Tigertail was a huge success. Check out the photos on our photo page. It was a day of groups: several members of the United Church of M.I. (picture #2459) as well as the M.I. Noon Rotary (picture #2456). 55 volunteers plus 4 FOT Board members attended. 73 lb of trash collected, including 55 lb trash and 18 lb recyclables.

For the 1st time we used reusable bags donated by the County, and it worked out very well, decreasing plastic bag use significantly.

Picture #2448 is Chris Dowell from Citizens for a Better Marco donating 10 grabbers to Linda: What a gift!

Tigertail Beach stakeholders meeting with Commissioner Rick LoCastro

Thank you commissioner LoCastro for putting this meeting together.

Introduction - friends of Tigertail or FOT was incorporated in 1998

Mission is to preserve and protect Tigertail and its surroundings.

Concerned with the ever-increasing poor health of the area.

We became involved with the planning of a solution to the problems in 2018.

As early as September 2019 we held a public meeting to explain what is happening to the area from the Marco River to the lagoon

Since then we have met with Collier County TDC, CAC and the former commissioner to address our concerns with no action being taken.


FOT has been seeing a change in the lagoon area for many years. Paddle boarders and kayakers would often mention to us that it was too shallow for them to navigate.

There are complaints that there are mucky areas on the lagoon beach area.

This is due to the tides not receding normally.

The tides have come up as far as the dunes without it being a storm due to poor tidal flow. We have seen this for nearly five years now

The changes that have occurred in the lagoon and north will not improve on their own. We are concerned with the collapse of the lagoon in the very near future. As much as we hate to mess with Mother Nature it is time for a nudge in that direction.

FOT is concerned about a closure of the lagoon. Engineers have told us this will occur rapidly. There is no sugar coating the effects of this.

It will mean a tremendous loss of healthy habitat for the wildlife. Which include not only birds, manatee, turtles, and fish. It will no longer be the jewel that visitors, Collier County and Marco island residents can enjoy and will come to revisit. Without action, they will not return for a hamburger, kayak, paddleboard or a walk to the gulf beaches.

FOT supports finding a viable solution that will prevent the lagoon from becoming landlocked and any loss of a coastal lagoon environment.           

Friends of Tigertail hosted a presentation at the Marco Island Public Library today at 1100. regarding the status of the lagoon at Tigertail Beach Park. The studies by  Humiston & Moore Engineers have been conducted over the past year, discussion of  the future dynamics of this system., was presented by engineer Mohammed DeBrees. Click on the link below to see the video report from WINK news.  

Here are links to some news articles of interest. Click and enjoy!

Discover Tigertail 2019

On February 23, area residents and visitors were treated to "Discover Tigertail," where many mysteries of this unique park were uncovered. Hosted by Friends of Tigertail, eight learning stations provided information about the natural fauna and flora that inhabit the area, as well as the Conservancy hospital that cares for local sick and injured animals. Children decorated pails to use on a scavenger hunt, and adults filled out a questionnaire with information learned at each station, receiving a prize for their efforts. There were interactive activities on the beach, as participants were able to see the resident osprey family in their nest close-up through a scope and try their hand at using a seining net to catch some of the small animals and fish in the lagoon.

Tigertail Beach is more than a place to sunbathe, it's a tidal lagoon and home to unusual birds, fish, shells, turtles and plants. Children and adult participants came away with expanded knowledge about the park, while having a fun morning.

With a mission to educate, preserve and protect the park, Friends of Tigertail hosts several activities throughout the year, as well as sponsoring students at the Conservancy summer camp. Their next event will be on Saturday morning, April 13, as they join with the county's "Keep Collier Beautiful/Bay Days" initiative, hosting a beach clean-up to celebrate Earth Day.

Article from the Marco Eagle

15th Friends of Tigertail "Breakfast and Birds" Program Held on November 3

Cloudy skies did not deter 32 participants from taking part in the 15th semi-annual Friends of Tigertail "Breakfast and Birds" presentation held at Tigertail Beach on November 3. Adults and children, expert and novice birders, local residents and visitors from as far away as Europe delighted in information regarding migrating shorebirds that visit southwest Florida during the winter. Susan Kubat and Fran Huxley, two Friends of Tigertail birding experts,  described migration pathways and physical as well as behavioral bird recognition tips. They then led the group, armed with binoculars, cameras and bird guides, to the Tigertail Beach lagoon for practice in species identification. Several types of birds were seen, with a wealth of information given about each species. Differences in summer and winter plumage were discussed. Also reviewed were general details about supporting birds, such as trying not to flush flocks when they are resting and gaining strength for their long migration journeys. The group learned that a few common species, such as osprey, do not migrate from here, though their northern counterparts do. One of the participants, Neil Hughes, a birder from England, took beautiful close up shots of several birds.

Part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, Tigertail Beach lagoon and Sand Dollar spit are excellent locations for bird watching throughout the year, home to migrating as well as nesting birds. Dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing the beach, Friends of Tigertail sponsors quarterly beach clean-ups and community education programs. The next "Breakfast and Birds" presentation will be in January, when summer nesting species will be discussed.

Breakfast and Birds Nov. 3, 2018 “Magnificent Migrators”

Friends of Tigertail will host our 15th ‘Breakfast and Birds’ on Nov. 3rd at Tigertail Beach from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Bring your own breakfast and meet other interested birders to learn about the amazing birds which travel every year from their summer nesting grounds to their winter homes here on Marco.  Binoculars are recommended.  Birding ID cards, hats, and T shirts will be available. FOT memberships are tax deductible and benefit our scholarship program.

This is a free program.  Parking is free with a Collier County Beach Parking sticker. No reservations necessary.

International Coastal Clean-up Huge Success

Friends of Tigertail participated in the world wide coastal clean-up effort on September 15, and had a great turn out for the event. Statistics were compiled regarding the types and amounts of debris collected, and the final world-wide statistics will be available at

There was excellent involvement by the Marco Island Academy, with 19 students from taking part, primarily from their Key Club, an organization dedicated to volunteer efforts. We were also pleased to have Tonia Selmeski, the M.I. Environmental Planner, and Charlette Roman, MI City counselor, and former FOT president.

The most common trash find was roofing materials, a continued aftermath of hurricane Irma. The 49 volunteers did a heroic job, including cleaning the parking lot, which is the least desirable place to be at the park, though one of the areas with the most trash. Interestingly, there was less debris collected at both the July and September events. Hopefully this indicates that people are being more careful, though it may be that there are fewer beach goers due to red tide fears. Fortunately, Tigertail had less effects from red tide than northern FL beaches.

Our next Friends of Tigertail event is our quarterly beach clean-up on Saturday, December 8, 2018.


On Saturday, September 15, 8am to 12 noon, Friends of Tigertail in conjunction with Collier County's "Keep Collier Beautiful", is taking part in the International Coastal Clean-up to remove debris from beaches worldwide. Southwest Florida beaches have suffered in recent months. Tigertail has been spared the worst of red tide devastation, but trash still builds up, spoiling the beauty of the park. Bags, gloves, and water will be provided, though we encourage bringing your own reusable bags or buckets and water bottles to cut down on waste. There will be Keep Collier Beautiful T-shirts for participants, as well as certificates of appreciation and community volunteer hours for school children. Bring the family, wear shoes that can get wet, as well as a hat for sun protection. Meet at the kiosk at Tigertail Beach, and help to revitalize the beach while having fun with your neighbors!

Keep Collier Beautiful/Bay Days

On Saturday, April 14, the first of 4 beach clean-ups was held at Tigertail Beach. Sponsored jointly by Friends of Tigertail and Collier County with the "Keep Collier Beautiful/Bay Days" initiative, 277 lbs of trash was collected by 58 enthusiastic volunteers. Area residents, local groups, and visitors participated. Hurricane debris was still present 7 months after Irma, as well as the usual bottles, cans, food containers, and a number of socks and flip flops. The most unusual items found were a sleeping bag and a waterlogged cell phone. Many displaced beach caution/warning signs were uncovered. The previous 2 clean-ups in September and December, 2017 had to be cancelled due to weather, and Tigertail Beach park looks much better after Saturday's efforts. The next Tigertail clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, 2018. Come and join in for this fun and significant activity.

Friends of Tigertail Celebrates 20th Anniversary


On March 19, 2018, Friends of Tigertail celebrated their 20th anniversary with a member party at Gene Sarazen Park. Enjoying the gathering, the group ate cake and hors d’oeuvres, reminiscing about their history. Two Founding members, Betty Rosa and Ed Jakeway, spoke about their memories, and current board president, Linda Colombo, reviewed recent activities of the organization.


In 1996, a group of Marco Island friends walked on Tigertail daily. Enamored of the natural beauty of the beach, they picked up trash along the way and befriended the park ranger, Janet Sellars. Through Janet’s tutelage, the group learned about area wildlife and threats to preservation of the delicate surrounding habitat. She encouraged and guided the group to form an official organization to protect and enhance the natural features of the park. This became Friends of Tigertail, incorporated on March 30, 1998. The original members were Edwin Jakeway, Gleana Jones, Len Messineo, Diane Moore, Regina(Jeanne) Reiley, Bob and Betty Rosa, Janet Sellars, Nancy Sineni, and William Zabriskie.

From these ten people, the organization has evolved into a group of over 200 members, with a stellar record of education and service, enhancing the county park for all to enjoy. 


From creation of brochures, bulletin boards, and signage delineating the plants, shells, and animals on the beach, to free community environmental informational programs, elementary school field trips, nature walks, contributions to libraries and book stores, newsletters, and member outings, Friends of Tigertail has demonstrated their interest in educating the public about the rich ecology of the park and surrounding area. A website and Facebook page were started in 2005 by members Lynn Livingston and Sue Lagrotta, featuring related news, Friends activities, and offering links to environmental sites. Their annual “Discover Tigertail” and twice annual “Breakfast and Birds” presentations have been popular for many years. Since 2012 Friends of Tigertail has provided Conservancy summer camp scholarships to Tommie Barfield 4th graders who write the best compositions related to local ecological issues. Forming partnerships with several area environmental groups, the organization has supported and participated in community programs such as the Rookery Bay Birding and Wildlife Festival, Buddy Day, Community Conservation Celebration, the Marco Island Shell Show, the Audubon bird stewarding program, and Conservancy activities. Friends members have been involved with the Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee and the Florida Shorebird Alliance.


Efforts of the group have greatly enhanced the park. The Conservancy originally conducted intermittent clean-ups on Tigertail, but in 2003 that function was assumed by the Friends. Through the years the organization has conducted quarterly community beach clean-ups, once annually associated with Collier County’s Keep Collier Beautiful/Bay Days, and another each year with the International Coastal Clean-up, collecting thousands of pounds of debris. They supported the construction of the osprey nest platform by the power company in 1997. Patience was required, as local ospreys took 10 years to utilize the structure for nesting. Instrumental in having the platform built, an early Friends member, Vince Locascio, died before being able to witness a nest. However, on the day of the dedication of Vince’s memorial bench at the park, ospreys brought the first nesting materials to the platform, and started using the nest the following season, with chicks born the year after that. Ospreys have nested on the platform intermittently since then, and the current pair is now raising their young.  The longstanding butterfly garden was created and is maintained by the Friends, and they have supported additional park equipment and facilities, including the viewing tower completed in 2016, where the ospreys can be viewed close up through a telescope.


With a mission to protect and preserve the park, threats to beach ecology required the group to take a stand on several issues. Tigertail Beach, Sand Dollar Spit, and the lagoon form a sensitive natural area that is home to several threatened and endangered wildlife species, as well as host to multiple groups of migrating birds. To protect the habitat, the Friends supported eliminating the use of fenthion, a mosquito control chemical banned by the EPA and dangerous to birds, worked for alteration of the schedule and equipment utilized for invasive beach raking to clean the sand, which stripped wildlife food supplies, helped to ban holiday fireworks displays, and supported a compromise to avoid excessive vegetation removal from the beach. In 2007, because poachers were stealing thousands of fiddler crabs and selling them for bait, depleting an important avian feeding source, Friends of Tigertail worked for the passage of ordinance 08-14, banning the removal of fiddler crabs and other materials from the park.


An important issue tackled by the Friends, and one that persists to this day, is the county’s desire to build a foot bridge over the lagoon. The park is managed by the county, whose primary concern is public access, but the land is owned by the state, with a focus to protect the sensitive habitat. Due to the number of endangered/threatened bird and turtle species dependent on the area, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has designated portions of the park as critical wildlife areas. The beach and lagoon are part of a dynamic shoal system, with constantly changing characteristics.  Over the years, the original Sand Dollar Island connected to the beach, forming the tidal lagoon. In 1998, there was decreased patronage of the park as visitors had to cross the lagoon water or walk the distance around the southern end of the lagoon to the Gulf beach. Despite a recommendation from the EPA to avoid building the walkway due to the delicate environment, a bridge feasibility study was commissioned. The proposed walkway was 1700 feet long, with 100 cement pilings, taking the public directly to the critical wildlife area that is home to threatened and endangered migrating and nesting avian and turtle populations. Several local environmental groups, including Friends of Tigertail, and 1400 local citizens strongly protested, and the project was tabled, only to resurface again over the years.


Tigertail Beach is the largest public park on Marco Island, comprised of 31.6 acres and 2500 linear feet of beach. Due to the combination of a spit of undeveloped sandy beach with dunes and the mudflats of the lagoon, it is one of the most important coastal bird sites in Florida, as well as the eastern US, and is an ecological gem. Continuing their mission to protect and enhance the park through education and service, Friends of Tigertail encourages residents and visitors to experience this unique site. For more information about the group, visit their Facebook page:

Exciting, Informative Outing for Members and Supporters of Friends of Tigertail
The 2018 annual Friends of Tigertail members' outing took place on the Conservancy's Good Fortune II on Saturday, March 10. Captained by Buddy Wilson, the cruise traversed several areas in and around Rookery Bay, stopping for a meal at Pelican Bend Restaurant on Isle of Capri. Armed with props for illustration, Sandy Carinci and Susan Kubat, two wildlife experts, imparted a wealth of information regarding the treasures of our local habitat. Many interesting facts about animals, fish, birds, and mangroves were surprising. Did you know that red mangrove propagules are not seeds, but actually tiny trees? Or that it is a good idea to keep your distance from vultures consuming their dead prey, as when stressed, vultures will projectile vomit as a defense mechanism? Other information included the fact that eagles, whose nests are partially hidden by overhead branches, have cream colored eggs, while osprey nests, out in the open, contain speckled eggs for protective camouflage, and that manatee flippers have a bone structure similar in appearance to the human hand. Even those passengers who had taken the Conservancy cruises before came away with valuable new insights. And the wildlife put on a show! Dolphins as well as several species of birds entertained the group. A good time was had by all.

The Friends of Tigertail is a volunteer organization that is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing Tigertail Beach and surrounding natural areas with service and educational outreach.

Three Tommie Barfield Fourth Graders win Conservancy Camp Scholarships
see pictures on our photos page

On Friday, March 2, in the Tommie Barfield Elementary School media room, three talented fourth grade students were awarded 1 week camp scholarships to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida summer program. The ceremony was broadcast to all of the classrooms by fifth graders learning media skills.

The winning students competed in the annual challenge by the Friends of Tigertail, submitting written work describing an environmental topic related to southwest Florida, and explaining why they would be a good candidate to attend the camp.  Judged by the Friends of Tigertail board, who were impressed by the quality of the work, the three winning submissions were outstanding and unique. Sara Geddis created a poem, named "Joe's Adventure", describing a manatee trying to find a new, safer home in the Everglades, complete with a drawing of Joe. Ella Riley submitted a 5 scene play entitled "The Rescue" in which Julia, age 11 and Sam, age 12 discover a turtle washed up on the beach suffering with a plastic bag around it's neck. The children help in the rescue and follow the turtle to the wildlife hospital, where doctors treated the animal successfully. A week later, after naming their rescue "Super Turtle",  Julia and Sam were elated to help with the release of the animal back to the Gulf. Kayleigh Kemmish wrote an essay describing experiences that created her love, passion, and dedication for marine life.

The winners will enjoy the Conservancy camp July 23-27, where the topic for the week will be "Marsh Mania". They will be able to explore marine life through games, crafts, and field trips.

How do the winners plan to use the camp experience? Sara hopes to become a wildlife photographer, and is anxious to learn more about animals in their natural habitat. Ella is excited to learn more about area wildlife, a topic of great interest to her. Kayleigh's goal is to be an engineer designing ways to preserve and protect the marine environment.

The Friends of Tigertail, a group committed to the preservation of the beach and surrounding environment through education and service, has provided two camp scholarships for eight years. For the last two years, board member Mary Ann Maniace has donated a third scholarship in memory of her deceased father, Anthony Pampalona, honoring his special love for children.

The Friends of Tigertail Beach hosted their annual “Discover Tigertail” event on Saturday, February 24, and 187 participants enjoyed learning about the treasures of this beach.

Tigertail is home to a wealth of wildlife of all types. At the Discover event, eight interactive stations manned by experts imparted information regarding shells, fish, birds, gopher tortoises, sea turtles, plants, butterflies, and wildlife rehabilitation. Both children and adults participated in scavenger hunts, with children able to collect their treasures in decorated beach pails.  A fun and informative day was had by all.

The Friends of Tigertail is a group committed to preservation of the beach, as well as education of the public about all that the beach has to offer. Their next event will be on Saturday, April 14 when they host a beach clean-up in conjunction with the annual Keep Collier Beautiful/ Bay Days initiative.

Injured Wildlife?
You can report sightings of injured or distressed wildlife to the Von Ark Wildlife Rehab Hospital in Naples.  The link to the Rehab Hospital is

Early on Saturday morning Tigertail beach was a busy scene with members of the Friends of Tigertail Beach preparing for their annual event – “Discover Tigertail”.

Seven hands on exhibit stations with educational materials were laid out from the boardwalk to the lagoon. On the beach members of Tommie Barfield Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization set up a fun exercise area for children adadjcent to the lagoon. Their contribution to the event has enhanced the family fun atmosphere. 

Over 130 adults and 70 children participated in the free event.  Adults could participate in a question quest while the children had a picture search activity. Each child received a colored pail to decorate and to collect their souvenirs at the exhibits. The adults were not left out of receiving a prize. Those who handed in their quest received a souvenir green Friends of Tigertail Beach nylon back sack. When you see them being used in the community ask them how they enjoyed the event at Tigertail Beach.

The Friends of Tigertail Beach will be presenting three one week summer camperships to the SWFL Conservancy this year. They will be awarded to three Tommie Barfield Elementary School fourth graders who choose to submit an essay.  All essays will be judged by the Friends of Tigertail Beach’s board.

Check out the Friends of Tigertail website at the face book page. For more information you can contact the group on the website.

How Tigertail Beach Was Named

For our local and out-of-town members who may have missed the following article written by Craig Woodward, President of the Marco Island Historical Society, that was published in the March 11-25, 2010 issue of the local newspaper Coastal Breeze.

People wondering why Marco Island’s Tigertail Beach is located where it is and how it got its name usually reach the wrong conclusions that: 1)that the property was given to Collier County to be a public beach by the Deltona Corporation because of its environmental issues related to the lagoon, protected wildlife, etc. and, 2)its given name has something to do with the shape of the existing beach.

First, its location is solely a factor of it being the least desirable beach that Deltona owned (in contrast to “Resident’s Beach” which was the best area - dead center of the beach and accessible by two major roads).  The reason the Tigertail Beach area was the poorest beach had nothing to do with its condition or any environmental issues, nor did anyone  have the vision to foresee that someday there would be a lagoon formed in front of this beach.  But, it was the least desirable beach because at the time it was the most inaccessible beach that Deltona owned.  In 1969, this portion of beach was bounded to the south by water rushing directly through the beach into Clam Bay (the bay between N. Collier Blvd. and South Seas Condos) which was the only means that Clam Bay had of flushing.  In the 1960s and early 70s, one walking along the beach could not walk north of the future South Seas Condo Tower 4 (which was not yet built) without forging through the water in Clam Pass which, at high tide, was deep and rushing.  Also, to the north of the future Tigertail Beach was the large parcel of land not controlled by Deltona - 211acres of land owned by the Marco Island Corporation (the Ruppert family heirs) which would become part of the future Hideaway Beach.  So, the future “Tigertail Beach” was not accessible for development by Deltona from either the north or the south and really only accessible from the east - over a future bridge on Hernando Drive built to cross the waterway to the west of Spinnaker Drive.  In the early Deltona “Master Plan” of Marco Island, the area of Tigertail Beach, is shown on the development maps as an “island” for these reasons.

Later, Clam Pass filled with sand and closed, so today no one would know there was once a pass cutting through the beach and it is now possible to walk the full length of the beach.  The closure of this Pass required Deltona to eliminate several platted home sites to construct two unplanned bridges: the flat bridge on N. Collier Blvd. and one on Hernando Drive to flush Clam Bay and keep it from stagnating.

Second, the shape of the beach had nothing to do with the naming of it as there was no “tail shape” of a beach in those days.  I camped on this part of the beach in the late 1960s (when I was in Boy Scouts) and there was an off shore sand bar that we often swam to, but was totally under water, and was so full of sand dollars that we could pick them up with our feet. “Sand Dollar Island” later rose up and after a few years, connected itself to the main beach, creating the lagoon and beach as it is now.

In February of 1969 the Marco Island Development Corporation (the joint venture between Deltona and the Collier Family) deeded to the County approximately 32 acres of beachfront property as part of the legal obligation of Deltona to provide public beach access.  The property deeded was rectangular in shape and had no “tail”.  At the time Collier County took title to this area of beach, the adjacent Marco Beach Unit 11 had already been platted (in late 1964), with the first street coming off of Collier Blvd. heading toward this beach being Tigertail Court.  The County Commission named the beach for this street avoiding other possible names of “Kendall Beach” or “Hernando Beach,” other major roads in the area when, clearly, Tigertail Beach sounded the best.  Other county beaches are also named by their locations.

The street was named “Tigertail” by James Vensel, Deltona’s chief land planner who named all of the streets on the Island.  As a longer street, it received a longer name (so that the names would fit on the maps), and the street fits the name “Tigertail” as it runs northwest and then loops to the right.  Vensel chose Indian names for some of Marco’s streets, such as Arawak, Algonquin, Calusa, Seminole, and Osceola.  Tigertail is also an Indian name, being the nickname of a famous Florida Seminole Indian leader during the Second Seminole Indian War, whose real name was Thlocklo Tustenuggee.  Tustenuggee being an honorary title as a “war leader.”  He was the Chief of the Tallahassee Indians who lived near Florida’s present day capital.  Tigertail received his nickname from the U.S. Army soldiers because he wore a long strip of panther skin from his waist (note that while it was quite a fashion statement at the time, but it is not politically correct today!)  “Tigertail,” while perhaps an unusual name in other parts of the country, is a common street name along the east coast of Florida including Miami, where Vensel lived most of his life.

Copyright © 2010 Coastal Breeze Publishing Company.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Coastal Breeze.