Archive

Monthly Archives: December 2016

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) Juvenile

littleblueheronpinedec2016

Despite the name, these birds are white during their first year.

Hanging out in Florida native long leaf pine tree (Pinus palustris) at my neighbors place, overlooking their pond.

Diet: “Little Blue Herons eat mostly small fish, supplemented by a variety of small amphibians as well as crustaceans, grasshoppers, dragonflies and other invertebrates. Types of fish prey vary by region, and may include anchovies, killifish, gobies, perch, darters, bass, minnows, carp, and others. Invertebrate prey may include crayfish, prawns, isopods, crabs, and a wide variety of insects.”

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Little_Blue_Heron/id

My take: A Heron By Any Other Name Would Be Easier To Identify

http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/a-heron-by-any-other-name-would-be-easier-to-identify/

 

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

catbirdpalmettoblackberrygrapedec2016

Favors insects but does eat fruits and seeds. Secretive. Non-breeding in Florida.

Learn: www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Catbird/lifehistory

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  In SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens) scrub with MUSCADINE {GRAPE} (Vitis rotundifolia), SAWTOOTH BLACKBERRY; PENNSYLVANIA BLACKBERRY (Rubus pensilvanicus)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/when-a-yard-cat-is-ok/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carlinensis)

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Considered a foe by many. They are cute and their antics are captivating.

“Preferred foods include bark, berries, seeds and acorns.”

Learn: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/mammals/land/squirrels/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: LAUREL OAK; DIAMOND OAK (Quercus laurifolia)

My take: Squirrelly Squirrels in the Garden
http://web.archive.org/web/20140709132013/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/squirrelly-squirrels-in-the-garden.html

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus)

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Adult is a mimic of the milkweed butterflies (Monarch and Queen).

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=39

subspecies info: http://bugguide.net/node/view/548

Larval host: Larvae feed mainly on leaves of willow (Salix) and poplar and cottonwood (Populus); other hosts include apple (Malus) and cherry (Prunus) (source: bugguide.net)

Adults feed on: Early in the season when few flowers are available Viceroys feed on aphid honeydew, carrion, dung, and decaying fungi. Later generations feed more often at flowers, favoring composites including aster, goldenrod, joe-pye weed, shepherds needle, and Canada thistle (SOURCE: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus)

Range: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus?quicktabs_8=0#quicktabs-8

Shown on Florida Native Plant: LAUREL OAK; DIAMOND OAK (Quercus laurifolia)

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20121018012351/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/viceroy-butterfly-puts-up-a-smokescreen.html

viceroyoakdec2016a

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

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Scavenger. Smaller size, pale head, white legs and wings with only the underside tips showing white distinguish this one from its Turkey Vulture cousin. This guy and a few cohorts were here to clean up a deceased marsh rabbit that one of the setters got hold of. Sad day for me, but as a part of the circle of life I left it in the non-dog area so the vultures get to feed.  If only bunny had stuck to that area to begin with 😦

Diet: mainly carrion

Shown in Florida native plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris)

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black_Vulture/id

My take:  Nature’s Cleanup Crew
http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/natures-cleanup-crew/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

turkeyvulturepinesnagdec2016spreadwing

Large scavenger. This guy is here to clean up a deceased marsh rabbit that one of the setters got hold of this morning. Sad day for me, but as a part of the circle of life I left it in the non-dog area so the vultures get to feed.  If only bunny had stuck to that area to begin with 😦

Diet: mainly carrion

Shown in Florida native plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris) SNAG

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Turkey_Vulture/id

Learn to avoid conflict with vultures: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/wildlife_damage/content/printable_version/fs_vulture_damage_man.pdf

turkeyvulturepinesnagdec2016

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