Leaffooted Bug

I mistook this insect for a type of Assassin Bug, which has a potent sting. For this reason, I used a telephoto setting to photograph this penny-sized insect, and then enlarged the photo using photo-editing software. It is actually a Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus), which gets its name from its flattened back legs. The malesContinue reading “Leaffooted Bug”

Observing Small Species at GTM Reserve

The birds seemed unusually skittish. So I turned my attention to smaller creatures.

Obsessed with Spiders – From Fear to Fascination

I was sitting on the couch, enjoying a bowl of popcorn as I surfed YouTube. I came across a video about keeping Jumping Spiders as pets. “People do that?” Well, that video led to another and another and another. Before long I’d consumed innumerable videos on Jumping Spiders, which led to additional videos about otherContinue reading “Obsessed with Spiders – From Fear to Fascination”

Mannerly Laughing Gulls

One day, I came out of a sandwich shop juggling a soft-drink and a single slice of pizza draped precariously across a paper plate. As I stepped through the door, something large and white whooshed past my shoulder. I looked down to discover every bit of cheese had been lifted from my pizza. Although manyContinue reading “Mannerly Laughing Gulls”

Is it a Mallard or Mottled?

David W. Foster is one of the top birders in Duval County, Florida. He is also a regional reviewer for ebird.org, and follows-up on data submitted to the web site. I recently submitted a list that reported 33 Mottled Ducks at Spoonbill Pond (Big Talbot Island State Park, Duval County, FL). David was kind enoughContinue reading “Is it a Mallard or Mottled?”

Fiddler Crabs

One of my favorite places to go birding is Spoonbill Pond at Big Talbot Island State Park (Jacksonville, FL). Over the past two weeks, the pond has had a greenish cast. Today there was algae along the bank, and the water level seemed low. Although I spotted forty species, there were few birds in theContinue reading “Fiddler Crabs”

Winter Peeps in Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns County, FL

Peeps are the little birds that dart along a shoreline. They often intermingle and look similar. They vary in size, but often only slightly. When identifying these birds, I look at the legs first, then bill length. KEY:Very short bill = tiny and chick-likeShort bill = less than the length of the headMedium bill =Continue reading “Winter Peeps in Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns County, FL”