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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017


Location: Dry Tortugas

I am an immature male Summer Tanager,
I'm brightly colored, a real humdinger!
My favorite foods are bees and wasps,
Which I whack on branches to remove their stingers.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - Summer Tanager

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30, 2017


Location: Dry Tortugas

I am type of thrush known as a Veery,
I'm cinnamon brown with a belly that's spotted and white.
I forage for food hopping around on the ground,
And can fly160 miles just in one night.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - Veery

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017


Location: Dry Tortugas

I am a female American Redstart,
I'm grey with yellow and black on my tail and wings.
I use my bright colors to startle insects,
Which my mate and I feed to our nestlings

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - American Redstart

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28, 2017


Location: Dry Tortugas

I am known as a Brown Booby,
My feathers are brown and white and I have a white nose.
I am known to plunge dive from, sometimes, great heights,
And I have webbing between my toes.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - Brown Booby

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 27, 2017


Location: Key West, Boca Chica Beach

We are White-rumped Sandpipers
We're part of a group that is known as "peeps"
We migrate from the Canadian Arctic,
To South America, where we breed.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - White-rumped Sandpiper

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017


Location: Key West, Boca Chica Beach

I am known as a Blue Grosbeak,
"Gros" is a French word that means "really big"
I breed along roadsides in shrubbery,
My nest is cup-shaped and made up of twigs.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - Blue Grosbeak

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017


Location: Key West, Boca Chica Beach

I am a Black-bellied Plover
When I'm breeding, I live up to my name.
I have a distinct black face and tummy,
But when not breeding, all shorebirds look the same.

(With apologies to Mr. Sibley.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017


Location: Key West, Boca Chica Beach

I am a Great White Heron though -
It's controversial if I'm just a Great Blue colored white,
But do not confuse me with a Great Egret,
My beak is thicker and and my legs are colored light.

Source: Sibley Guide - "Great White" not just a color morph

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017


Location: Key West, Key West Botanical Gardens

I am a Red-tailed Pennant
I have a red body and my wings are see-thru.
I eat flying insects so I sit
On twigs over water to get a good view.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017


Location: Key West, Indigenous Park

I am a Red-eared Slider,
I have bright red marks on the sides of my face.
I am not native in the United States,
I was introduced in the '30s by the pet trade.

Sources: USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species - Red-eared Slider

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 21, 2017


Location: Key West, Indigenous Park

I am a male 6-Lined Racerunner,
My tummy is a pretty blue hue.
I have six yellow stripes running down back,
And I can probably run faster than you.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 20, 2017


Location: Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

I'm a White-crowned Pigeon
I'm grey and I wear a white hat.
I like to eat fruit from hardwood trees,
And am known to fly incredibly fast.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds - White-crowned Pigeon

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017


Location: Gulf Stream Shores

I'm a Common Ground Dove
I'm mostly brown with black spots on my wings.
I'm much smaller than Mourning or Collard Doves,
And I feed crop milk to my nestlings.

Sources: Cornell All About Birds: Common Ground Dove - check out this article to learn what crop milk is!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017


Location: Gulf Stream Shores

I'm a Eurasian Collared Dove,
My feathers are mostly tan and grey,
I have a black crescent on the nape of my neck,
And I eat mostly seeds and grains.

(Welcome to Tortugapalooza! I spent the last 4 days in Key West and the Dry Tortugas. For the next month,  my daily picture and poem will be birds and critters from that trip. Enjoy!)

Sources: Cornell All About Birds: Eurasian Collared Dove

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 17. 2017


Location: Melbourne Beach, Maritime Hammock Sanctuary

I am a Bahama Woodstar,
I've traveled from very very far away.
I fly very fast, and like all hummingbirds,
Have a super fast metabolic rate.

(Check out my other blog for lots more pictures of the Bahama Woodstar.)

Sources: Bahamas Natural Trust: Woodstars

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 16, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I am a Great Blue Heron,
I'm the largest heron species in the US.
I have greyish-blue feathers and wear a black and white cap,
And when I'm young, I have white on my chest.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017


Location: Vero Beach, Veteran's Park

I'm an immature Little Blue Heron,
When I grow up, I'll be blue, not white,
Sometimes I hang around with Snowy Egrets but,
You can tell me apart by my blue beak and yellow eyes.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I am an adult Little Blue Heron
My feathers are mostly purplish-blue.
I hunt by stalking fish in the water,
And I hang out in wetlands, swamps and lagoons.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 13, 2017


Location: Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

I'm a Soft-shelled Turtle
I live in water in sand and mud.
I'm mostly carnivorous and will even eat birds,
And have a face only a mother could love.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm an American Alligator,
Here is a handy tip:
You don't need to be able to run faster than me,
Just faster than the person you're with!

(Check out my other blog to see the reject pictures from today!)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 11, 2017


Location: Sebastian, North County Regional Park

I'm a baby Osprey
Being fed by my mom.
She brought me fish, it tastes delish
Now I'll nom-nom-nom!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10, 2017


Location: Sebastian, North County Regional Park

I'm a Common Grackle
I'm iridescent and have white eyes.
Compare me with a Boat-tailed Grackle,
Who has dark eyes and his tail's much bigger sized.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017


Location: Indrio Savannahs

I am a Gulf Fritillary,
I'm orange and white with some spots of dark brown.
You can find me in fields, pastures and yards,
And I'm common in Florida all year-round.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017


Location: Vero Beach, Veteran's Park

I'm a Blackpoll Warbler,
I am mostly black and white.
Of all the songbird warblers,
I have the longest migration flight.

Sources: Cornell's All About Birds,  Blackpoll Warbler

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 7, 2017


Location: Lake Apopka Restoration Area Wildlife Drive

I am a male Bobolink,
I'm black and white with a yellow patch on my neck.
I hang out and grasslands and pastures,
And when I breed, my eggs have dark purple flecks.

Sources: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds, Bobolink

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 6, 2017

May 6, 2017


Location: Sebastian, Riverwalk

I'm a Bombus occidentalis
Commonly known as Bumble Bee
I'm black and orange, and although I sting,
I'm mostly sweet as honey.

(Disclaimer: Technically, I didn't take this picture today. Today is my birthday and I took the day off from photography. This picture was taken a few days ago.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 5, 2017

May 5, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

I'm a Tillandsia Utriculata,
At least I think I am.
Dee's waiting for confirmation
That I really am a Wild Pine air plant.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017


Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, red trail.

We are circling vultures,
But that doesn't mean something died.
It means that we found a warm air current
That makes it easy for us to glide.

(We teach beginning birding, and almost all new birders think that vultures circle over dead things. This is a myth spread by TV and movies.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 3, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

I am a Calliandra surinamensis,
Also called the Powder Puff tree.
I’m an exotic, not native to Florida,
But the bees and Hummingbirds love me!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017


Location: Sebastian, Sebastian Yacht Club

I'm a baby Northern Mockingbird
I am camouflaged so it can be hard to detect me.
But if a squirrel or bird tries to come anywhere near,
My mom will fiercely protect me.

(As I was taking this picture, the mom bird was whomping the tar out of a squirrel who was too close to the baby.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017


Location: Sebastian, Stormwater park

I’m a Sylvilagus floridanus
But they call me Cottontail.
I’ve got light brown fur and a fluffy white butt,
And owls and hawks think I make a nice meal. 

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson