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08/14/12
Backyard birds and fun in Florida
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Grandchildren, Birding "Patches", Alaska, Wild Bird Wednesday
Posted by: Ken @ 6:15 am

We left hot and dry Illinois for hot, humid and rainy Florida a few weeks ago. Most days the weather and other obligations have kept us from getting out into the wetlands.

This sunrise was typical on most days, and the rain was not far behind.

Sunrise HDR 20120810

Happily, there were a few clear days that permitted us to take our visiting granddaughters to our clubhouse pool or to explore the wonders of our lawn and garden.  The girls had fun chasing after anoles and geckos in our back yard pineapple patch.

Nietas catching anoles 20120726

Clutching a poor captive lizard, our older granddaughter does not appreciate the irony of this situation as her eyes communicate her displeasure about the Peacock Bass that our next door neighbor just caught. He quickly obeyed her firm command and immediately returned it to the water.

Nietas with Peacock Bass 20120726

The girls found this odd creature that was carrying what looked like the bodies of a bunch of dead insects on its back. I had no idea of what it was, except that its jaws looked like those of an ant lion. My guess was close. An Internet search revealed that it was the larval form of the related Green Lacewing  http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/enpp/ento/entcirc/ent400.pdf  . It collects the debris to hide it from its prey, mostly aphids, as well as from any enemies such as ants.

 Lacewing larva 20120727

With the girls acting as spotters, our back patio has produced a few nice finds. This Tricolored Heron was its usual busy self, dashing here and there in search of prey.

Tricolored Heron 20120808

This plunge into the lake yielded hardly an appetizer.

Tricolored Heron with tiny fish 20120808

An Anhinga dried its wings next to the lake.

Anhinga 2-20120728

A Great Blue Heron did not fit into the viewfinder.

Great Blue Heron 20120728

A neighbor’s rooftop hosted a White Ibis.

White Ibis on rooftop sharpened 20120724

A couple of mornings we got out at sunrise, and were pleased to see a lone White-tailed deer. A bit smaller than those up north, they are not very numerous in the local wetlands. The young eight-point buck posed nicely. My monopod was not ready for this hand-held shot in the morning haze, so I processed it to make up for the blur.

Whitetail buck Indian Summer 20120724

An adult Bald Eagle flew overhead from its nesting territory towards the large lake in our subdivision.

Bald Eagle 20120724

At the heron rookery, this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron chick represented the third breeding cycle of the season. In all, over a dozen broods were successfully raised this year.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nestling 2-20120724

An older fledgling stood at an adjacent nest.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron immature 20120724

A female parent stood watch nearby. Ready for the molt, her feathers show wear and tear at the end of the nesting season.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron female 20120724 

Green Herons were also quite successful, raising broods in at least four separate nests. This immature bird has a streaked breast and shows a few tufts of natal down.

Green Heron immature 20120724

8 Responses to “Backyard birds and fun in Florida”

  1. Boom & Gary Says:
    Another great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
  2. Mick Says:
    As usual - great photos of all the birds. I had a good chuckle at your grand-daughters demanding the fish be put back in the water! I’d say also a very good neighbor!
  3. Eileen Says:
    Ken, another great post. Your birds are wonderful there. I love the all the different herons and the Ibis. Great photos, thanks for sharing.
  4. Brian King Says:
    The first photo is absolutely gorgeous! A wall hanger! Love all the herons! I wish we had Tri-colored Herons here. They’re handsome birds!
  5. Pat Says:
    Your “typical” sunrise is gorgeous! The girls made a fascinating find in that strange insect.
  6. Stewart M Says:
    Great set of pictures - that really is a look of disapproval on the smaller girls face!! Cheers - Stewart M PS: World Bird Wednesday ceased to be about a month ago - I took up the idea with the less than original title of Wild Bird Wednesday!
  7. Mary Howell Cromer Says:
    All are wonderful and I especially liked the selection you shred of the Anhinga drying it’s wings, just beautiful~
  8. Ken Says:
    Thanks, all, for your kind comments!

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