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User / Gary Helm
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N 127 B 1.2K C 53 E Jan 15, 2020 F Jan 22, 2020
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The Great Egret is a large, all white, wading bird common in Florida. Body length to 39 inches, with a 55 inch wingspan.
One of several white members of the Ardeidae (Heron) family present in Florida the Great Egret is distinguished from the white morph of the Great Blue Heron by having black legs and feet, the Snowy Egret has a black bill and yellow feet and the Reddish Egret, (white morph) which has a black tipped bill and smaller stature. Breeding individuals have long plumes on their backs, and will display a pretty greenish to blue/yellow lore.

I found this one "sporting" its breeding colors in my backyard. Polk County, Florida.

Tags:   bird birds Great Egret backyard Looking out my backdoor outside outdoor nature wildlife image photograph water wading Bird Breeding Breeding Colors animal fly flight feathers marsh lake Lake Pierce Polk County Florida Florida Wildlife Lake Wales canal white canon Camera SX60HS PowerShot Bridge Camera U.S.A. North America lore ghelm4747 Gary Helm

N 110 B 1.2K C 49 E Jan 15, 2020 F Jan 20, 2020
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The white-winged dove is predominantly a bird of southwestern states and Texas. It also occurs in Florida and some of the Gulf states. Most of the global population occurs throughout Mexico and Central America as well as the West Indies. The American population often migrates south of the border in September and returns in March. Some remain in suburban areas throughout the winter.

The white-winged dove is a common resident in arid regions with dense thickets, saguaro cacti, mesquite groves, chaparral, open oak woodlands, or riverine forests. Yet they also occur in human-altered areas like open farmlands, citrus groves, tree plantations, and cities.

The increase in agricultural areas and suburban ornamental trees in the south seem to have provided additional habitat for the white-winged dove further north than its historic breeding range. While doves in the Sonoran desert meet much of their water needs by feeding on the saguaro cactus, water features are a critical habitat element for the white-winged dove in other arid regions.

I found this one in my Backyard in Lake Wales, Florida.

Tags:   Dove White-winged Dove birds animal bird wildlife nature outside outdoor tree seed fly flight feather perch image photograph ghelm4747 Gary Helm USA Florida Polk County Lake Wales Florida Wildlife canon camera SX60HS PowerShot backyard sky water Lake Pierce

N 146 B 1.5K C 60 E Jan 16, 2020 F Jan 18, 2020
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The head is red; the belly is on the pale side. But despite the obvious, this is the red-bellied woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, not the red-headed woodpecker.

The red-bellied is, by our observations, the most common of the woodpeckers likely to be seen in Florida. It roams pretty much anywhere there are trees, in the woods and in the 'burbs. You might come across one in your backyard.

The red-bellied is found throughout much of the eastern United States as far north as Minnesota and New England and as far west as Texas and Nebraska. It does not migrate anywhere in its range. It has the same combination of reds, blacks and whites that most other North American woodpeckers have. What differentiates the red-bellied from the red-headed are two obvious features. The head on the red-headed is completely red, face and all, and the back is completely black. The face of a red-bellied is mostly white with only a hint of red, and its back has black-and-white stripes. The red-headed, by the way, is the only member of the woodpecker family with a completely red head.

The red-bellied is a medium-sized woodpecker, with a body length of about nine inches and a wingspan of less than 18 inches. It has a fairly long and stout bill and a slightly red tinge to an otherwise pale underside.

Dinner for the red-bellied includes insects and spiders, nuts, seeds and various fruits and occasionally small fish and nestling birds. They can be acrobats of sorts, maneuvering, up, down and around, even upside down as they hunt for food.The bird in the photos above and to the left was eating the fruit of a strangler fig. Red-bellied are more likely to pick through the surface of a tree in search of food than to pound a hole in one.

Red-bellied woodpeckers are notorious for drumming on metal and wood siding around houses. When trying to attract a mate they will tap on anything that resonates, including metal gutters, TV antennas, and even cars.

I found this one in my backyard in Lake Wales, Florida.

Tags:   Bird birds fly flight trees plants seeds insects perch water nature wildlife outside outdoor image photograph Florida Wildlife ghelm4747 Gary Helm Florida Lake Wales, Florida Polk County Lake Pierce Red-bellied Woodpecker animal canon SX60HS PowerShot Camera backyard USA

N 151 B 1.6K C 68 E Jan 16, 2020 F Jan 16, 2020
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This common year-round resident of the deciduous and mixed forests of eastern North America is also found in older urban and suburban areas with mature trees and vegetation. The Tufted Titmouse's gray-crested head, rust-colored flanks, black forehead and large eyes make it easily identifiable, even for casual birders. It is a frequent visitor to bird feeders during fall and winter where individuals prefer sunflower seeds and suet, and often cache many of those seeds throughout their territories. This is an active bird, moving along branches, and often searching under them, for arthropods. It is also a vocal species, frequently uttering contact calls and chick-a-dee calls and, in spring and summer, singing its ‘peter-peter-peter' songs.

Tufted Titmice and chickadees are ‘nuclear' species, often joined in winter flocks by a variety of ‘satellite' species. As a ‘nuclear' species, titmice influence the paths that flocks follow, are aggressive mobbers of potential predators, and often take the lead during mobbing events. The calls that titmice utter when mobbing provide information about the presence of predators for heterospecifics as well as conspecifics

During the past 70 years, the range of this species has expanded northward into New England and southern Canada, with climatic warming likely the most important factor, but bird feeders also a factor. The northern distribution of titmice is likely limited by average minimum temperature rather than food availability.

I found this one in Lake Wales, Polk County, Florida.

Tags:   Tufted Titmouse bird birds common outside outdoor wildlife nature fly flight wings feathers image photograph animal Lake Wales Florida Florida Wildlife backyard Looking out my back door nuclear nuclear Species ghelm4747 Gary Helm perch tree bushes shrubs Lake Pierce Polk County water canal lake

N 148 B 1.5K C 57 E Jan 12, 2020 F Jan 15, 2020
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The coloration of the blue jay comes from light interference due to the internal structure of their feathers - if a feather is crushed, it will not maintain its blue coloration.
Blue jays are highly curious birds, and young blue jays have been known to play with bottle caps and aluminum foil.
Blue jays breed from mid-March to July.
Blue jays prefer to nest in evergreen trees and shrubs 10 to 35 feet off the ground.
Blue jays typically form monogamous pairs and stay together for life.
Blue jays normally fly at speeds of 20-25 miles per hour.
Blue jay eggs may be predated by squirrel, cats, crows, snakes, raccoons, possums, hawks, and various raptors and mammals.
There are four subspecies of blue jay: the northern blue jay, which live in Canada and the northern U.S. and has fairly dull plumage and pale blue coloration; the coastal blue jay, which lives on the southern coast of the eastern united states and is vivid blue; the interior blue jay, which lives throughout the midwest U.S.; and the Florida blue jay, the smallest subspecies, which is similar in color to the northern blue jay.

Blue jays are highly beneficial to other flora and fauna in their ecosystem: their characteristic 'jay' call warns other birds of predators, and their fondness of acorns is credited with spreading oak forests across North America.

I found this one in my backyard, in Lake Wales, Polk County, Florida.

Tags:   Blue Jay bird birds blue song bird backyard Looking out my backdoor Florida animal Florida Wildlife Polk County Lake Wales Lake Pierce fly flight feathers wildlife outside outdoor image photograph ghelm4747 Gary Helm SX60HS PowerShot canon camera canal


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