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Birds

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

Mimus polyglottos

Beautiful song from this state bird of Florida who mimics others. Big on berries, especially holly and winged sumac.  This youngster is waiting patiently for the elderberries to ripen.

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/

adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/northern-mockingbird-mimus-polyglottos-4/

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

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: Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Juvenile

I think this one may be a earlier brood sibling of those nestlings found this week in one of my wax myrtles.

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

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

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

My take: Gardening Payoff
https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/gardening-payoff/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)

VERY vocal birds but quite secretive.  You’ll often hear them but not see them.

I was lucky a few years back to have them nest in one of my pine snags using an old woodpecker’s hole.  Since the snags have disintegrated, they also routinely give the bluebird box a once over as a potential nesting site, but realize that the hole is too small for them.

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

Shown on Florida native plant SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera) in a tangle of MUSCADINE {GRAPE} (Vitis rotundifolia)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronatagal)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

a.k.a. Butter Butt.

Beneficial
Diet: insects, bayberry, seeds

“The Yellow-rumped Warbler is the only warbler able to digest the waxes found in bayberries and wax myrtles.”

Learn: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-rumped_Warbler/lifehistory

Are they on their way out? https://www.allaboutbirds.org/goodbye-yellow-rump-will-we-see-a-return-to-myrtle-and-audubons-warblers/

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE (Myrica cerifera)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/warblers-if-one-is-a-butterbutt-should-the-other-be-a-butterhead/

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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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