Archives for posts with tag: Florida wetlands birds

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Egretta Caerulea

Habitat:    Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico.                    Fresh water swamps, marshes; forages by wading in shallow water.

Diet:  Fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles and crustaceans; when water is scarce, grasshoppers and other insects.

Nests:  Nests in colonies, stick nests in shrubs and small trees, 3-5 pale blue-green eggs.

During first year of its life, a young heron will be white and are likely to be seen feeding with snowy egrets.  In this company they are more likely to catch more fish and may be subject to less predatory interest.   Approaching adulthood, the white changes to patchy white-blue until the bird becomes the adult color of blue with tones of purple.

According to the 2016 State of North America’s Birds’ Watch List, the population declined 55% between 1966 and 2015.  Little blue heron is listed 14 out of 20 on the Continental Concern List.

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May 25, 2014. This much larger owl (and mate across the creek) remained on the same perch as we went up the creek and down back again. It was much larger than the barred owl seen over a year ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strix varia

18-22 inches long, common in woodlands.  Gray-brown, large liquid brown eyes, streaks (barring) on breast and belly, spotted white back.

Hoot:  hoohoo-hoohoo…hoohoo-hoohooaw, with the “aw” dropping at the close.

Range:  Newfoundland/Quebeck/Saskatchewan to Florida through Texas, in wet or swampy woodlands (also ranged of Red-shouldered hawk). (Peterson)

This photo on 4/13/2013 caught by a solo paddler on the creek.  Owl flapped loudly to a branch about 14 feet downriver from kayaker and while the paddler was fumbling to get to the camera flew over the paddler to a tree just upstream.   Paddler turned upstream and with a strong single stroke paddled under the tree.  The owl turned from facing downriver to upriver where it was caught on camera.   We hear these owls from late afternoon throughout the night while camping at the Womack Creek campground.

Critters.