Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 21, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, my house

I am a Leucauge venusta
In Latin, "venusta" means "pretty"
Despite that, many people still fear me,
Which really is quite a pity.

Like many spiders, I won't hurt people,
But I will help you get rid of insects.
I trap them in my complex, angled web,
I'm also quite the architect!

Sources: Common Spiders of North America, Richard A. Bradley

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 20, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Vero Beach Wetlands

I'm a North American River Otter
I know where there's a happening scene.
I meet all my friends and we do a poop dance
Down at the communal latrine.

Sources: For River Otters, Social Life Is Shaped by the Latrine

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Vero Beach Wetlands

I am known as a Palm Warbler.
I like to eat caterpillars, flies and beetles.
But in the winter I also eat berries,
And occasionally, I'm also a seed eater.

Sources: Cornell Labs - Palm Warbler

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Vero Beach Wetlands

We are female Northern Shovelers
Named because our bills are shaped like shovels.
Our boyfriends all have bright green heads,
But our plumage is more subtle.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Northern Shoveler

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 17, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Vero Beach Wetlands

I am a Green Heron.
I can be confused with a Bittern.
But I hold my beak horizontally,
Which makes me easier to discern.

The Bittern has a similar color and shape,
But he holds his head vertically.
When he stands among tall grasses and reeds,
He is almost impossible to see.

(Trust me, there is a Green Heron here on the left side of the picture. He is facing right. Click through to enlarge the picture, and look for the horizontal beak.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Vero Beach Wetlands

I am a Little Blue Heron.
When I see my mate "eh-ohh-ah" is what I say.
Then I erect the feathers on my shoulder, crest and neck,
This is called the "greeting" display.

Sources: Little Blue Heron Breeding Behavior

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Vero Beach Wetlands

We are a group of White Ibis
You often see us in city parklands.
Where people think they are doing us a favor,
By feeding us bread by hand.

This really, seriously a terrible idea,
It is bad for both my health and yours.
We are known to carry and shed Salmonella,
Which is easily passed to both humans and birds.

Sources: Urbanized White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) as Carriers of Salmonella enterica of Significance to Public Health and Wildlife

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson