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03/07/09
Eagles, Warblers and Butterflies
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Birding "Patches", Bald Eagle Nest
Posted by: Ken @ 12:49 pm

Paige And Crowd 20090306

Friday, March 6, 2009: This evening, Lynda White, EagleWatch Coordinator for Audubon of Florida, accompanied by “Paige,” a 14 year old non-releasable Bald Eagle, completed a round of appearances in Broward County with a presentation at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines. In her beautifully-illustrated talk before a large audience, Lynda reviewed the natural history of the Bald Eagle, and provided many interesting anecdotes about its life cycle. Following her presentation, members of the audience gathered around to photograph Paige and exchange eagle stories.

Earlier in the day, eagle watcher Jill provided these observations:

“I was there from a little before 8 (the work crew was already there removing the temporary fence) until 10:10.  When I returned a little before 4, the new fence was finished and the work crew was gone.  I stayed until 6:15 when I left to go to the Bald Eagle presentation at the school (which was great!).

“During my afternoon watching, there was not very much to see.  Most of the time, the adults were in the melaleucas to the west down low and far away.  The chicks were usually too low to be visible or behind some leaves that moved only when there was a strong gust of wind.  I saw one very short feeding.  It’s amazing how big the chicks are getting.”

Eagle watcher Trisha went on to attend Lynda White’s presentation to the Middle School students. She writes:

“Being there, right beside Paige, was a once in a lifetime! The slide show was so interesting, although Lynda did have to speed through it as we were late starting. I didn’t realize there was so much variance in the size of bald eagles…..twice as big as Paige….just amazing!  (Not to mention the eaglets needing 50 pounds of food each a week) Seeing how excited the students were and listening to their great questions was wonderful also.”

Fence Construction At Eagle Nest Site Beginning 20090306

This morning (Saturday, March 7) I took a break from eagle-watching and hiked our local birding “patch,” the West Miramar Environmentally Sensitive Land (ESL). I saw but missed photographing two Common Ground-Doves. A single Northern Harrier held out, where only two weeks ago I saw four or five. While birding was slow, there was still quite a bit of color.

More of the Palm Warblers are of the brighter yellow eastern race, probably representing arrival of some migrants:

Palm Warbler 20090307

A Queen butterfly displays two distinctly different views. From above, the lack of black in the veins distinguishes it from the similar Soldier:

Queen 20090307

A member of the Monarch group, the Queen’s underwing pattern is very beautiful:

Queen Underside 0090307

Lantanas were in bloom, showing all shades of yellow, orange, red, white and pink:

Lantana 20090307

Invasive pests, the beauty of the Lantana is undeniable. Like a bouquet, several different colors may appear in the same flower cluster:

Lantana 20090307

The Gulf Fritillary also shows differing patterns topside and underneath:

Gulf Fritillary Dorsal View 20090307

Here is the same Gulf Fritillary’s striking underwing view:

Gulf Fritillary Underwing View 20090307

One Response to “Eagles, Warblers and Butterflies”

  1. Larry Jordan Says:
    Aren’t those large raptors like the Bald Eagle absolutely amazing? The Northern Harrier Hawk is another of my favorites but I have yet to get a real good capture of one. I really enjoyed your colorful butterfly and flower photos and the exceptional Palm Warbler capture. Very nice job!

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