The number of Atala butterflies around Audubon House at the Oslo Riverfront Conservaton Area continues to increase as the introduced caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies like this individual foraging on the Lantana flowers.
I came upon at least three Brown-headed Nuthatches along a wooded trail at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. They appeared to be taking turns drinking water collected in the leaves of an epiphyte attached to the branch high in the tree. These birds are Florida’s smallest cavity-nesters and, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, “These birds often nest in small cracks and crevices that do not have noticeable rounded openings like woodpecker holes.” […]
A pair of White-tailed Deer passed my photo blind at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. The first one bounded by so energetically it looked like it was flying. According to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, there is a stable population estimated at 700,000 deer in Florida.
The long sinuous neck of the Anhinga lives up to its nickname of snakebird like this female at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. The long dexterous neck comes in handy when pursuing fish underwater for a meal but the waterlogged feathers don’t help. After emerging from the water, the bird opens its wings to help dry them faster. From the OspreyWatch project.
Newly emerged from the chrysalis hanging next to it, a fat red-and-yellow caterpillar has undergone metamorphosis to turn into this Atala butterfly colorful in its own right. The bright red on the wings and the orange abdomen are warnings to would-be predators that they may find the Atala a bit unpalatable due to the toxins it has incorporated into its body from its larval host plant, the prehistoric Coontie.
The intent was to photograph this Pileated Woodpecker flying by until a utility pole with transformers on it abruptly became part of the scene as the camera tracked the bird and the shutter fired. This is one of the more unique objects inadvertently photographed with flying birds. Usually a tree intervenes blocking the shot instead of an industrial contraption like this.
Though it can look quite stunning with its vibrant red berries on display during the holiday season, the Brazilian Pepper, like this specimen at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, is a wide-ranging invasive plant disrupting many Florida habitats as it takes over the landscape pushing out native plants. From the OspreyWatch project.
FLASHBACK FRIDAY: A look back at a visit to the beach from earlier in the decade. A brief late afternoon visit to the beach at Bob Bruce and Janice Broda’s house allowed for some quick captures of some passing birds. Naturally, the Pelicans flew by as I was putting the camera away so I missed them. And did I mention that these photos were taken in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, next door to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, […]
Categories: Nature • Tags: Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, beach, birding, Cormorant, Flashback Friday, National Wildlife Refuge System, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Ring-billed Gull, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, USFWS, Willet