Archive

Birds

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Great Egret (Ardea alba)

walking between the Florida native White Waterlilies in my pond.

diet: “eats mainly small fish but also eats amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals and invertebrates such as crayfish, prawns, shrimp, polychaete worms, isopods, dragonflies and damselflies, whirligig beetles, giant water bugs, and grasshoppers”

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

Learn more: http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Ardea_alba.htm

My take: Big Winter Birds
http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/big-winter-birds/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

My winter visitors have returned!

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-bellied_Sapsucker/id

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

My take: Solving Garden Mysteries
http://web.archive.org/web/20140701011549/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/solvinggardenmysteries.html

From May 2014, a tell tale sign of a Sapsucker visit:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker wells in a Live Oak tree.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker wells in a Live Oak tree.

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Beautiful song from this state bird of Florida who mimics others. Big on berries, especially holly and winged sumac.

They stir up insects to feed their young during nesting season and I’ve had them nest many times in the native groundsel tree and wax myrtle (bayberry) shrubs. Territorial, they will battle each other and other birds including those much larger than themselves.

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

babies in nest: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/northern-mockingbird-baby-mimus-polyglottos/

fledge: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/northern-mockingbird-fledge-mimus-polyglottos/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY (Callicarpa americana)

My take: Mockingbird: Melodious but Mean

http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/mockingbird-melodious-but-mean/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

Male left, female right

You generally hear this species before you see them.  They give a loud rattling call prior to diving into the water for a meal.  I find them mostly positioned in the long leaf pine trees over the pond.  This pair was monitoring the culvert using the electric wires as a perch.

…”mostly on a diet of fish….also eat crayfish and may eat other crustaceans, mollusks, insects, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, small mammals, and even berries…”

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Belted_Kingfisher/lifehistory

Female are the more colorful in this species showing a rust coloring below a blue stripe

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

A pair flew over and this one landed in the top of a Red Maple that I transplanted from a single leaf sapling found in my driveway back in 2007.

Learn: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Green_Heron/lifehistory

Diet: consists mainly of fish but can include insects and frogs and other invertebrates.

Shown on Florida Native Plants:  RED MAPLE (Acer rubrum)

My take: http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/being-green-in-the-wildlife-garden/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

White Ibis

White Ibis

Hanging out in Florida native Baldcypress tree at my neighbors place, overlooking their pond.

Diet:  mostly insects but also aquatic fauna.

From June 2010, a juvenile in my pond.

From June 2010, a juvenile in my pond.

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

My take: Treetops to Marsh: The White Ibis

http://web.archive.org/web/20140702215223/http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/treetops-to-marsh-the-white-ibis.html

September 2013 Across the street in a marshy lot.

September 2013 Across the street in a marshy lot a mix of adults and juveniles.

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