CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)

Secretive, colorful bird. This male spent quite a bit of time noshing on the Spanish needle seeds. I took the photo through the kitchen window since any attempt to open the door for a clearer shot would have resulted in the bird flying off.

They are primarily seed eaters, except during breeding season. Migratory in Central Florida.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens Alba

My take:

Take II:



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

Scavenger. Smaller size, pale head, white legs and wings with only the underside tips showing white distinguish this one from its Turkey Vulture cousin.

Diet: mainly carrion

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


My take:  Nature’s Cleanup Crew


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:   Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)


Over the past few days I have heard this guy (gal?) calling loudly. Is it a mating call?????? I’ve had a nest in this particular tree two years.  Could they make it three?

The tree overlooks my pond so I suspect it is prime real estate.  Time to practice my drone skills so hopefully I can check out the nestlings without knocking them out of the tree.


Shown on Florida Native Plant Longleaf Pine  (Pinus palustris)


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

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) juveniles under cloudy skies

This juvenile pair was somewhere around my pond but flew up into the Pine when I opened the gate to enter the pond area. I’m guessing they are near adulthood since the beaks were pink.  Their mottled feathers will soon turn all white.

Diet:  mostly insects but also aquatic fauna.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: LONGLEAF PINE TREE (Pinus palustris)

My take: Treetops to Marsh: The White Ibis

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) pretty close to be a full fledged adult as the feathers are close to being all white.


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)

Distinct yellow eye.

They nest in low dense shrubbery or sometimes on the ground. Secretive, they like my place because I leave dense patches of grasses around so they can safely hide.

I have been lucky to have had this species nest at my place in a tangle of Virginia Creeper and Wax Myrtle.


Diet: insects (including many pest species such as grubs and tent caterpillars), lizards and berries…I see them quite often close to the elderberry and the virginia creeper.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: WINGED SUMAC (Rhus copallinum)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)


Beautiful bird with distinctive call. The males are bright red, the females a more subdued reddish brown.


Male Shown on Florida Native Plant: AMERICAN ELDER; ELDERBERRY (Sambucus nigra L. subsp. canadensis)

My take: Gardening Payoff


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

It’s that time of year in Central Florida when the swallows show up.

Fascinating behavior.  Hundreds will gather together and perform an aerial show right out of the Alfred Hitchcock book of bird swarming.

A cavity nesting bird. Non-breeding in Florida

Diet: Tree Swallows may supplement their insect diet with berries, such as fruit from bayberry and wax myrtle shrubs.


My take:

video from 2013, landing in a Wax Myrtle: