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  • Day9

    Garden Wildlife

    May 4 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Like most gardens, various types of wildlife are attracted to them. Here is what we saw at the Botanical Gardens:
    - Brown Anoles (Lizards) Not only will these lizards eat their own molted skin and detached tails, but they will also eat their own hatchlings and the hatchlings of the Green Anole. Since this invasive species arrived in Florida from Cuba, there’s been a decrease in the Green Anole population. Brown Anoles have wider heads and shorter noses than other Anoles. They have long toes that enable them to move quickly, and they can attach to any surface as they climb, even glass. Their bodies are light brown with black-and-white markings on their backs and light tan lines on their sides. Like the Green Anole, the Brown Anoles have dewlaps, which are reddish-orange. They’re active during the day and love humidity. These lizards can thrive in any environment but prefer ground vegetation and places that they can bask in the sun.
    - Little Blue Heron This small, grayish blue wading bird is wide spread throughout the entire Florida peninsula yet rarer in the panhandle. Its entire range extends outside of Florida northeast and west in North America and in many locations throughout Cuba, South and Central America. Little blue herons feed on a varied diet of fish, insects and amphibians and prefer to forage alone. Their nesting behavior is far more communal, however. Little blue herons often nest in colonies in the company of other wading bird species.
    - Osprey, also known as "fish hawks," are expert anglers that like to hover above the water, locate their prey and then swoop down for the capture with talons extended. In Florida, ospreys commonly capture saltwater catfish, mullet, spotted trout, shad, crappie, and sunfish from coastal habitats and freshwater lakes and rivers for their diet.
    - Wasps
    - Brown Pelican is a comically elegant bird with an oversized bill, sinuous neck, and big, dark body. Squadrons glide above the surf along southern and western coasts, rising and falling in a graceful echo of the waves. They feed by plunge-diving from high up, using the force of impact to stun small fish before scooping them up. They are fairly common today—an excellent example of a species’ recovery from pesticide pollution that once placed them at the brink of extinction.
    - Yellow Crowned Night Heron. Although it's name implies otherwise this bird is also quite active during daylight hours. The Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron has an average body length of 24 inches with a wingspan of 44 inches.
    Adults are slate grey, have a black head, white crown and cheek stripe, reddish eyes and yellow legs. Breeding adults have a yellow fore-crown with white plumes from nape and orange legs.
    Juveniles are grayish brown with amber eyes, white spotting and streaks above, gradually acquiring adult characteristics over a two year period.
    The Yellow Crowned Night-Heron hunts crustaceans, insects, & invertebrates in Mangroves, fresh and salt water swamps and marshes, mainly near the coast.
    - Great Blue Heron Largest of the North American herons with long legs, a sinuous neck, and thick, daggerlike bill. Head, chest, and wing plumes give a shaggy appearance. In flight, the Great Blue Heron curls its neck into a tight “S” shape; its wings are broad and rounded and its legs trail well beyond the tail. Great Blue Herons appear blue-gray from a distance, with a wide black stripe over the eye. In flight, the upper side of the wing is two-toned: pale on the forewing and darker on the flight feathers. Hunting Great Blue Herons wade slowly or stand statue-like, stalking fish and other prey in shallow water or open fields. Watch for the lightning-fast thrust of the neck and head as they stab with their strong bills. Their very slow wingbeats, tucked-in neck and trailing legs create an unmistakable image in flight.
    - Red Ants of the three types of red ants in Florida this is the Fire ant and gets its name from the extremely painful sting and bite. One fire ant can sting and bite its victim repeatedly. These ants build mounds, and when a fire ant mound is disrupted, workers make their way to the surface to attack the intruder. Attacks by fire ants are coordinated as hundreds of workers sting at the same time. Feeding on almost any plant or animal material, fire ants also feed on other insects.
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    Traveler

    Keith. Copy and paste 😉

    5/7/22Reply
    Jayne Eckersall

    😂😂😂😂😂😂. All Keith has done all holiday is taking photos & writing up on find penguin 🐧 I haven’t hardly seen him 🤣

    5/7/22Reply