#WildlifeWednesday – An Overview

Last week, I gave you a lighthearted (sorta) look at what living with alligators sometimes entails. This week, I’m going to give you a quick(ish) overview of the kinds of things you can expect on #WildlifeWednesday. Hope you see some birds and critters you’d enjoy learning more about.

The following images are the opening slides from my local wildlife presentations. I thought that would give you a good idea of some of the subjects I’ve talked about, and already have lots of info and pictures for.Β 

Let’s start with some of Florida’s gorgeous and interesting birds. They are always a popular subject among folks who enjoy nature, and I’ve amassed quite a lot of information on some of the most beautiful and fascinating ones. I usually divide my 90- minute talks into specific varieties of birds. And while I’ve done a lot of them, there are SO many more I haven’t gotten to yet, I could do these talks for a long time to come.

I will definitely be sharing some photos and information on some of our many wading birds that call Central Florida home. Here are some examples of what you can expect. Everybody loves our herons and egrets, partly because they are big birds and easy to spot, even without binoculars. They are also pretty common, for the most part, though some prefer fresh water habitats and some salt. The bird pictured below is a snowy egret, one of the smaller waders, and is easy to identify because of its black legs that contrast vividly with those bright yellow feet. Known as “the bird with the golden slippers,” this one isΒ  a frequent visitor to both fresh and salt water habitats. When I talk to you more about this bird, I’ll include information on our other herons and egrets, too.

I also want to share some information on two of our larger waders, sandhill cranes, and wood storks. Wood storks are the only true storks in North America, and sandhill cranes are widespread throughout other parts of the country, though there are several subspecies of them. More detail will be forthcoming in future posts, including how to tell which birds are which.

Of course, not everyone is interested in hiking around the state birdwatching, but most folks do enjoy seeing birds in their own backyards. I’ve done several programs on backyard bird identification and other interesting tidbits, on both commonly seen species and those more rare to spot at your feeder or birdbath. Here are some examples.

#WildlifeWednesday won’t always deal with birds, though. Nope. Furry critters are just as interesting and entertaining, so there will be posts on lots of those, as well, including, but not limited to the following. (And before you ask, yes, armadillos DO have fur. It’s just carefully hidden.) πŸ˜€

So, this should give you some ideas about the types of things I’ll be featuring on my new #WildlifeWednesday series. Hope it sounds like there will be things you’ll enjoy learning more about. (And I didn’t include our reptiles today, because I just teased you with alligators last week, but there WILL be posts on those, as well.)

I’ll end today with one more bird slide which I saved for last just because who can look at owls and not admire their beauty? Not me, anyway!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little overview of the kinds of birds and animals I’ll be sharing with you in the weeks ahead. You might be amazed at some of the information and photos I’ve put together over the last few years, so be sure toΒ  mark your calendars for #WildlifeWednesdays. It’s gonna be fun, I promise!Β  πŸ™‚

(See?)

47 thoughts on “#WildlifeWednesday – An Overview

  1. Wow, I didn’t know there was so much diversity in Florida. I’m torn between loving Those Squirrely Guys and the Fantastic Owls the most. Owls have a bit of a special place in my heart (I fell in love with them the first time I watched Labyrinth). But who can’t adore squirrely guys?
    Looking forward to the whole series πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Jessica! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Wait. This is Florida. We don’t have icebergs! Hmmm. I’ll just go with “you aint’ seen nuthin’ yet!” πŸ˜€ Seriously, I’ve been doing these talks for at least 3 years (2 or 3 a month, often) and haven’t begun to cover all the birds, mammals, and reptiles we share our state with. It’s kind of amazing, really. So glad you’re looking forward to this series. I’m excited about sharing some of what I’ve learned with you, and hope everyone will enjoy it. πŸ™‚ And thanks for stopping by to let me know you’ll be following along. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Robbie. I’m glad you’ll be especially interested in the birds. We have LOTS. And by the way, that’s an alligator in the surf. They don’t usually do salt water, but now and then you’ll see one at the shore. We’ll definitely be covering the differences between alligators and crocodiles, and there are quite a few, really. Hope you’ll enjoy that, even if they aren’t quite so beautiful as birds. πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by this morning! πŸ™‚

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        • Understandable, Robbie! Funny thing, though. We used to have exchange students from Europe every year, and every one of them always thought alligators and crocs were the same animal. (Even some of the accompanying adults.) But crocs are far more widespread than gators, and there are quite a few other differences, too. I’m going to enjoy talking about crocodilians as a whole. Interesting animals. πŸ˜€ Glad you think this sounds like a fun feature, but I am discovering it takes a lot to put posts together, so it might be every other week, if I can’t keep up. Still, I think it’ll be fun. πŸ™‚

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    • Hahahaha. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s a reason I NEVER swim in any body of water that isn’t enclosed in turquoise concrete! πŸ˜€ But as I just mentioned to Robbie, that’s actually an alligator in the surf. Not a common sight at all. Crocs do like salt water, but alligators prefer fresh. And there are a lot of differences between the two, something I’ll cover in a post, for sure. πŸ˜€ Hope you’ll enjoy these posts, Cathy, and so nice to see you here today! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

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    • Indigo buntings are absolutely stunning. Well, the males are, anyway. The females are just LBJs. (Little Brown Jobs.) πŸ˜€ I’m looking forward to sharing some info on these guys, especially on that lovely blue color you see. But I can say no more here. I’m saving it for a special post on blue birds. (Not to be confused with bluebirds. πŸ˜€ ) Thanks for stopping by, Denise, and I hope you’re going to enjoy these posts. πŸ™‚

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    • I’m so happy to know I’ve made your day. We have some very interesting (and varied) species of owls native to Florida, of which there are three in that picture: Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, and Barred Owl. I love them all, too. Can’t wait to share them with you, and hope you’ll enjoy meeting them, as well. Thanks for stopping by, Olga! πŸ™‚

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    • Now and then, alligators are spotted in salt water, but it isn’t common at all. Unlike crocodiles, which prefer salt to fresh, alligators like rivers, streams, and lakes. (And retention ponds, and drainage ditches, and maybe even large rain puddles. πŸ˜€ ) Thanks so much for stopping by, Harmony, and I hope you’ll find the posts fun as well as educational. I do my best to be entertaining with them, too. πŸ˜€

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    • I’m glad you’re looking forward to them, Craig. I need to look up which species you have out your way. We might share one or two, but I know there are a lot of different owls in the western half of the country from those we have here. I hope you’ll enjoy finding out a bit more about the critters that call Florida home. We have some pretty interesting things sharing this peninsula with us. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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        • Sounds about right, Craig. Screech owls are too small, and barn owls make a reallyreallyreally strange sound. GHOs definitely hoot, among other calls. And about screech owls? They are very poorly named. They should have been called Trill Owls. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ You no doubt have the western one, while we have the eastern ones, of course, but I’m guessing the calls are pretty similar.

          We had some lovely barred owls in our neighborhood when we moved in, but they were nesting in a tree across the street and the lady had the tree removed. 😦 Don’t see them in our yard these days, which is sad. I can call barred owls and they will fly right up to get a look at me, just to be sure I’m not really a weird sounding rival on their turf. πŸ˜€ Owls are amazing! More to come on them, for sure. πŸ™‚

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    • Hahahaha. I wondered if anyone would ask about that. They are mammals and one of the distinctions of being a mammal is fur–or hair in the case of people and armadillos. πŸ˜€ I can say no more! You’ll have to tune in for that one. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ So glad you’re looking forward to these posts. I’m excited about doing them. HOPING I can make it weekly, but there may be times when my schedule makes that hard. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jeanne. Stay tuned for hairy armadillos and more! πŸ˜€

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  2. This was great, Marcia, and that last photo was super cool. Yikes!!

    I loved the owls (I’m a fan) and the indigo bunting is gorgeous. Did you know that some people believe Point Pleasant’s Mothman may have actually been a sand hill crane? At least that’s one theory among many out there. Personally, I don’t buy it, but when I saw your post today, the sand hill crane immediately had my mind going to my favorite cryptid πŸ™‚

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    • Hahahahaha. Really Mae? Somehow I can’t get my mind around mistaking a sandhill crane for Mothman, even in a pretty thick fog. I mean it would take a bleary-eyed stoner straight out of the 60s or the like to think that bird looked humanoid in any way. Nope. Not buying that explanation. Paranormal beings, aliens, demons, spirits … any of the above would make more sense than that, if you ask me. But I wasn’t there, so what do I know. (Well, I DO know a sandhill crane when I see one. I think. ) πŸ˜€

      Glad you liked Surfin’ Gator, and I hope you’ll enjoy this new series. There will be owls at some point, I promise. πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by, Mae! Always a treat to see you, my Penderpal and fellow Dresdenphile. πŸ˜€

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    • There’s a reason I don’t swim in the ocean, Teri. There are far worse things than this alligator in those waves. Eeeek. I love my wildlife, but some of it I prefer to love from a distance. πŸ˜€ And yep. Armadillos do have some fur. Well, actually, I’d call it more like hair. That’s one of the key ways to know an animal is a mammal, which they are. I’ll be sharing some pictures to demonstrate just what I mean at some point. And I’m delighted you are looking forward to this feature. I’m excited about sharing some of the good stuff I’ve learned over a lifetime in Florida.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and stay tuned. I haven’t decided what’s coming next week, but I’ll try to make it fun and informative. Hope to see you then. πŸ™‚

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    • Glad you liked it, Staci. And wait until you learn the secret behind that brilliant coloration of the indigo bunting. I bet you’ll be surprised. πŸ˜€ (I can say no more! πŸ˜‰ ) Thanks for stopping by today, and stay tuned for all sorts of goodies in the weeks ahead. πŸ™‚

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    • I can confirm that you don’t have armadillos up your way, yet. They are primarily a southwestern migrant from South America, and the Florida population was an accidental introduction (manmade, but they are all over the state now.) I suspect they might never reach Virginia. However, while uncommon, alligators have finally begun to cross the line from North Carolina, which was the northeastern most part of their range, into the eastern parts of Virginia. I think they moved into the area from the Great Dismal Swamp. But they are quite adept at surviving winters in NC, even when lakes are frozen solid. I’ll share some pictures that will likely astound you. (They sure astounded me.)

      But for the most part, you don’t have to look over your shoulder every time you go swimming in a Virginia lake. πŸ˜€ Birds are a different story. Many of our Florida favorites are also found in Virginia, especially during migration. More on those another day. πŸ˜€

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll enjoy this series. (Don’t go swimming in the Great Dismal Swamp, though. It’s dismal for a reason. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ )

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  3. Genuinely excited about the forthcoming series! These pics make great appetisers and, like Jeanne, I’m amazed at armadillos coming under the ‘furry’ banner. I just know that I’m in for some surprising facts, sparkling humour and clear explanations. Yay!

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    • I will aim for all of the above, Trish! πŸ˜€ I do love sharing fun and interesting things about our wildlife and wild places. I hope you’ll enjoy these, though I’ve decided I need to do them every other week, alternating with #FirstLineFriday. I just don’t think I’ll be able to keep up if I aim for both every week. But, still, it’s a lot more than what I’ve been able to do in recent months, so I’m determined to do it. πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to let me know your thoughts! πŸ™‚

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