Tricolored Heron

What an awesome bird.. well all wading birds are awesome! Have you ever thought about how in the world all these birds have so many different characteristics? Like some have legs that are green, some birds have yellow feet, different colors, differently shaped becks, a variety of color patterns and it goes on and on!

 

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Tricolored Heron shallow brackish water, scurry their feet in the mud to scatter small fish.

 

They are fun to watch when they are seeking small fish in the shallow brackish waters, they kind of dash around and chasing them.

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Tricolored Heron landing

 

 

Links:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Tricolored_Heron/id

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/tricolored-heron

https://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Egretta_tricolor.pdf

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The Beautiful Wood Stork

There are so many people that I have come across that cannot identify wildlife that is common to Flordia. “Ya, that big white bird.” and that is concerning.

One thing about wildlife/nature photography is to LEARN as much as you can about what you are photographing, or at least know what species it is.

This is not just a white bird, this is a very uniquely created wading bird, and is on the threatened species list due to loss of habitat.

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Wood Stork

The Wood Stork is a beautiful bird, just a simple wading bird with a powerful profile.

 

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Wood Stork perched on a snag limb. 

 

Links:

https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/waterbirds/wood-stork/

http://fl.audubon.org/birds/wood-stork

https://www.fpl.com/environment/pdf/wood-stork.pdf

https://www.fws.gov/northflorida/WoodStorks/wood-storks.htm

 

Call of Survival

Walking along the path I heard a croaking sound, a frog… I looked for at least 5 minutes going up and down the path trying to find where this frog was.

Looking more and more, focusing on the croaking sound, I noticed glistening within the grasses.

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Southern Leopard Frog trying to escape from the Peninsula Ribbon Snake

It was a call of survival. The frog had both front arms out for leverage to make it more difficult for the snake from swallowing it, the frog was fighting for its life. The snake was in much need of food to survive through the Florida winter season. It was difficult to watch, but this is nature, this is the survival of the wild, naturally. The fate of the Southern Leopard Frog is unknown.


About the Peninsula Ribbon Snake, a threatened state species

Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Peninsula Ribbon Snake

-Habitat:   Generally near water, including mangroves and spartina (is a perennial deciduous grass which is found in intertidal wetlands, especially estuarine salt marshes )marsh as well as freshwater depressions and ditches.
-Florida Distribution:   The state-protected Lower Keys population is known from No Name, Big Pine, Middle Torch, Cudjoe, and Upper Sugarloaf keys.
-Range-wide Distribution:   T. sauritus, the eastern ribbon snake, inhabits non-mountainous areas throughout the eastern U.S.  The peninsula ribbon snake, T. s. sackenii, ranges from southeastern South Carolina through Georgia and the Florida peninsula to the Keys.
-Conservation Status:   Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge protects some habitat, but much habitat is threatened by development and drainage.
-Protection and Management:   Protect all Lower Keys wetland habitats, from drainage, pollution, and disturbance by surrounding them with broad, terrestrial buffers.  Protect underground freshwater lens from overconsumption, which would lead to saltwater intrusion.

Links:

-https://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Thamnophis_sauritus_sackenii_-_lower_Keys_population.PDF

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/thamnophis-sauritus-sackenii/

Southern Leopard Frog

I am used to seeing Bullfrogs, and tree frogs, so this is the first Southern Leopard Frog I was able to photograph.

Links:

http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/southernleopardfrog.shtml

http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/image_index.php