Cute Baby Animals

Here are some cute baby animals for you to enjoy.  All of the photos were taken in or around Circle B Bar Preserve in Lakeland Florida and Pine craft Park in Sarasota. 

Baby Barred Owl

Baby Barred Owl

Gator Baby

Gator Baby

Great Blue Heron Baby

Great Blue Heron Baby

Baby Fawn

Baby Fawn

Anhinga and Chicks

Anhinga and Chicks

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Brilliant Indigo Buntings

Male Indigo Bunting

Male Indigo Bunting

Its brilliant blue color accompanied by its unique song make the Indigo Bunting a highly prized wild bird. Sometimes nicknamed “blue canaries,” these brilliantly colored yet common and widespread birds whistle their bouncy songs through the late spring and summer all over eastern North America.

bunch indio During breeding, indigo Buntings eat small spiders and insects such as grasshoppers, bugs, beetles and caterpillars. They also eat seeds of grasses, herbs and berries. In winter, Indigo Buntings eat small seeds, buds and some insects. Their main sustenance is small seeds of grasses. They can also be found at feeders and in rice fields consuming rice seeds. They do not drink often but obtain adequate water from the food they eat. They feed alone during breeding season and with flocks during winter.

sharper indioIndigo Buntings migrate at night, using the stars for guidance. Researchers demonstrated this process in the late 1960s by studying captive Indigo Buntings in a planetarium and then under the natural night sky. The birds possess an internal clock that enables them to continually adjust their angle of orientation to a star—even as that star moves through the night sky.

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Beautiful Buntings

 

Male Painting Bunting

Male Painting Bunting

With its blues, reds, oranges, yellows and greens, the male painted bunting is a feathered rainbow. You almost have to see it for yourself to believe that a bird is this colorful The Painting Bunting is nicknamed “Nonpareil”, which in French means “without equal”, which I think is highly appropriate for such a spectacular bird.. I was lucky enough to have seen these beauties each time I have visited Felts Preserve in Palmetto, Florida.

Female Painted Bunting

Female Painted Bunting

Painted Buntings are found in the United States in the spring and summer, and migrate south to spend their winters in Cuba, Mexico, and Central America.  Florida is the only state that consistently has a breeding population in the spring and summer (in northeast Florida) and a wintering population (in central and south Florida).

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 Painted buntings are not listed by any government agency as either endangered or threatened, but the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers it “near threatened” through loss of habitat and capture for the pet trade.

pbMale Painted Buntings are often surprisingly difficult to spot despite their plumage because they are shy. They  spends much of their time hidden among dense cover outside the breeding season. If you would like to attract Painted Buntings, consider purchasing a caged feeder which is a tube-type feeder surrounded by a wire cage that allows small birds through but keeps bigger birds from accessing the seed.  Another alternative, especially in the breeding range is to provide several feeders with plenty of space in between them.

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Raptors of Fort De Soto

Fort De Soto  Park  is becoming one of my  favorite  spots to see wildlife. Ospreys seem to be flying everywhere you look with fish grasped in their talons and  spoonbills are foraging through shallow waters, sweeping their bills from side to side. But my favorite birds to see are the great horned owls.

Great Horned Owls
Great Horned Owls

The great horned owl is one of the most stunning and powerful of the owls.  Their range includes most parts of North and South America. Great horned owls raise their young in the abandoned nests of crows, hawks, and eagles.

DSC_0398Ospreys are one of the most common raptors can are  found on every continent except Antarctica..Ospreys eat a diet that consists almost entirely of fish. This earned them the nickname “sea hawk.”

Osprey

Osprey

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Beautiful Wildlife of Robinson’s Preserve

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 Yellow Capped Night Heron Mid Shake

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Adorable Juvenile Night Heron 

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Juvenile White Ibis

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Circle B Bar Preserve

Located in Lakeland Florida, Circle B Bar Reserve is among the best birding and wildlife viewing spots I have been to in  Central Florida. The preserve is a  former cattle ranch that today features impressive numbers of ducks (Black-bellied Whistling-, Mottled, Blue-winged Teal and sometimes Ruddy Ducks) and shorebirds (Long-billed Dowitchers, Wilson’s Snipe and both yellowlegs) in winter and wading birds are present all year long. 

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Circle B Bar Preserve

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

 

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Beautiful Great Blue Herons

The Venice Rookery is one of the country’s  best  destinations for Bird Photographers. This bird sanctuary sits quietly amidst the busy strip malls.  During nesting months (usually beginning in December and lasting through May), you can see a vareity of birds cincluding Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Anhingas  building nests, courting, and raising chicks.

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heron flight best

 

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Enticing Everglades

Everglades National Park is one of the largest and most well-known of America’s national parks. It covers  1,506,539 acres, it is the third largest national park in the lower 48 states,  only Death Valley and Yellowstone National Parks are bigger. The park contains sawgrass marshes, hardwood hammocks, mangrove swamps, and lakes.

everglades

 Everglades National Park is the only ecosystem in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist side by side.  Alligators do not eat human beings.  But, they will protect themselves, attacking humans if they get too close or endanger their young.

Alligator

Alligator

The Everglades name is synonymous with birds.   In the 1800s, the well-known naturalist and artist, John James Audubon, wrote during a visit to South Florida, “We observed great flocks of wading birds flying overhead toward their evening roosts… They appeared in such numbers to actually block out the light from the sun for some time.”   Over 400 species of birds have been known to occur in southern Florida.  Birds are usually placed in one of three groups:  wading birds, land birds, and birds of prey.   One of the prettiest wading birds is the purple gallinue seen below. 

Purple Gallinue

Purple Gallinule

A common land bird found in the Everglades is the Red-bellied Woodpecker.  The red-bellied woodpecker often creates “caches” of food by drumming rows upon rows of small holes and wedging a single nut or seed into each one.

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The little blue heron  is unique among  herons as it is the only species with two distinct colour morphs for mature and immature birds, with the adult bird being mostly blue and the immature almost entirely white.

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

And best of all we saw Bigfoot and his son pulling into the Everglades!

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Beautiful Beer Can Island

Beer Can Island at LongBoat Key is one of my favorite places to visit when I am in Florida. Please enjoy a few photos of this beautiful area.

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

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Stump Pass Beach Park

I recently discovered this secluded beautiful beach and preserve area in Englewood Florida.  Hiking trails pass through five distinct natural communities and provide homes for many species of wildlife including osprey flying overhead, gopher tortoises, snowy egrets, and great blue herons.

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Female Osprey

RedHeaded Woodpecker

RedHeaded Woodpecker

Sea grapes, mangroves, and bay cedars create an authentic Florida experience. carbon-grasped-mangrove-roots-vastly-underestimated_54 The sea grasses shelter numerous marine creatures including lovely spiny sea urchins. Shelling is extremely popular along this stretch of the beach and I was happy to find numerous fossilized sharks’ teeth estimated to be 4-5 million years old.  A single Tiger shark can produce as many as 24,000 teeth in ten years, which means literally billions of teeth have been deposited in the Gulf. shark              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are in need of solitude or enjoy viewing wildlife at a pristine beach and surrounding marshland community, I would highly recommend you visit Stump Pass Beach State Park.

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