Red-shouldered Hawks – Monogamous and Opportunistic Florida Residents

The Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) is one of my favorites to watch, particularly during breeding season. This is when pairs circle together, heavily‑banded feathers stretched wide. The Red-shouldered prefers mature forest adjoining small areas of open land. My own neighborhood adjoins a section of forest, and Red-shouldereds routinely fly through the closely packed trunks andContinue reading “Red-shouldered Hawks – Monogamous and Opportunistic Florida Residents”

Turkey on the trail

Recorded at Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park, Jacksonville, FL (7000 Roosevelt Boulevard) Transcript: That was an unusual experience. I’m near the junction of the [second] spur trail and, to my right, maybe 10-15 feet away, a wild turkey was sleeping in the sun. And it was just dozing. And when it realized I was here,Continue reading “Turkey on the trail”

Black Vultures: Clever Carrion-eaters and Hunters

Although Black vultures feed on carrion, they also hunt slow, injured, or newly-born animals. I once  saw three vultures surround a large pond turtle, which strayed too far from the water. First they ripped off its legs, and then they devoured the body. I’ve also seen them loiter around a doe and her newly-born fawn,Continue reading “Black Vultures: Clever Carrion-eaters and Hunters”

It’s May and wild birds are nesting at the Jacksonville Zoo (Florida)

In spring, Wood Storks, Great Egrets, and Black-crowned Night-Herons nest in the mature oaks and bamboo stands of Jacksonville Zoo (370 Zoo Parkway), so be sure to take binoculars while visiting. Black Vultures can also be seen year-round.

Three Bird Calls

The bird in the foreground is a Cardinal. Someone once described it to me as sounding like a ray gun. In the background, a White-eyed Vireo is also heard. The remaining background calls are made by another Cardinal and a Carolina Wren, which sometimes sound like a car alarm. Photo by theSOARnet with Pixabay

Trails at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

Where is it? There are two trailheads a few miles apart. The trailhead for hiking is at:  11101 Millhopper Road, Gainesville, FL.The trailhead for equestrian and bike use is at:  13201 Progress Blvd., Alachua, FL. Note that bicycles and horses are not allowed on the hiking trails. Likewise, hikers are not permitted on the bicycleContinue reading “Trails at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park”

Flooding at Big Talbot Island

I glanced at the weather app over breakfast. The morning would be in the mid-70s (around 24 C), and no rain until eleven. Partly sunny. A perfect morning to go birding. I raced through my chores and then headed toward Big Talbot Island in Jacksonville, Florida. A cool breeze met me as I stepped outContinue reading “Flooding at Big Talbot Island”

Observing Small Species at GTM Reserve

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

Big Talbot and Fort Clinch – a birding twofer

Big Talbot Island State Park (Duval County, FL) opens at sunrise – perfect for birders. I often start here, bird for a couple of hours, and then drive north to Fort Clinch State Park, which opens at 8:00 AM. At Big Talbot, wading birds are returning to Spoonbill Pond. This week there was a smallContinue reading “Big Talbot and Fort Clinch – a birding twofer”