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Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I am a female Boat-tailed Grackle,
Today my feathers look kind of slept in.
I too am molting, I'm not always revolting,
In fall you'll marvel at the gold that I'm dressed in.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I am a male Boat Tailed Grackle.
In Florida, I'm a native bird.
I usually more handsome, but I'm molting now,
Really, you just have to take my word.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August 29, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I am a Laughing Kookaburra,
The largest bird in the Kingfisher family.
I live in Australia and New Zealand,
Where I vex farmers by eating poultry.

Sources: Nat Geo Sites - Laughing Kookaburra

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I'm known as an Emu.
I live in Australia in the hot sun.
I have tiny wings, but I can't use them to fly
So I use my large calf muscles to run.

Sources: San Diego Zoo Animals - Emu


Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I am a Rainbow Lorikeet,
I'm a parrot and an Aussie bird.
I like to eat nectar and figs and bugs,
And in captivity I can learn to speak words.

Sources: World Parrot Trust - Rainbow Lorikeet

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August 26, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I'm known as a Scarlet Macaw,
As parrot species go, I'm the largest.
I can eat toxic fruit, but it don't make me puke,
Cause I eat clay that renders toxic fruit harmless.

Sources: Rainforest Alliance Species Profile - Scarlet Macaw

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I am a Scarlet Ibis
I'm in the same family as Roseate Spoonbill.
I'm bright pink cause I eat lots of shrimp,
And can be found from Venezuela to Brazil.

Sources: Animal Diversity Web - Eudocimus ruber Scarlet Ibis

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 24, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I'm a Chilean Flamingo
I was born grey but turned pink when I was three.
Sometimes you will see me stand on one leg,
To preserve my body heat.

Sources: Lincoln Park Zoo Chilean Flamingo Fact Sheet

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

Location: Melbourne, Brevard Zoo

I'm known as a Maribou stork,
I have a white tummy and my wings are black
You can usually find me in  Sub-Saharan Africa,
Where you can watch me inflate my red throat sac.

Sources: Encyclopedia of Life, Leptoptilos crumenifer Maribou Stork

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 22, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm a White Peacock Butterfly.
You can tell I'm young cause my colors are vibrant.
You can find me between Argentina and Florida,
Or central Texas, where I'm an occasional migrant.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - White Peacock

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

Location: Taylor Creek

I am the same White Peacock from yesterday,
But from a much different view point.
You can see that I've got eyes and a pouty mouth,
And legs with little, bitty,  knee joints. 

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20, 2017

Location: Taylor Creek

I am an Anartia jatrophae,
Better known as White Peacock Butterfly.
You can tell that I'm old as butterflies go,
Because the colors on my wings are not bright.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - White Peacock Anartia jatrophae

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, August 19, 2017

August 19, 2017

Location: Titusville, Playalinda Beach

I'm a male Seaside Dragonlet,
When I'm young I have stripes on my thorax.
Erythrodiplax berenice is my scientific name,
And I spend most of my life near where I hatch.

(Special thanks to Jim Eager for his positive ID of this dragonfly.)

Sources: NatureServe Explorer - Erythrodiplax berenice

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017

Location: Titusville, Playalinda Beach

I'm a female Seaside Dragonlet
I'm found in salt marshes by the beach.
I like to eat damselflies and other bugs,
And I lay my eggs in mats of algae.

(Special thanks to Jim Eager for his positive ID of this dragonfly.)

Sources: Bugguide.net, Erythrodiplax berenice - Seaside Dragonlet

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, my porch

I'm a male Pterophylla camellifolia,
Better known as a True Katydid.
I have veins on my wings that blend in with leaves,
And help me to stay well hid.

(Special thanks to Heather Stapleton for her help identifying this bug.)

Sources: Insect Identification for the Casual Observer - True Katydid

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I am a female Libellula auripennis,
Commonly known as a Golden-winged Skimmer.
If I was male, I'd have darker orange wings,
But we both like to eat insects for dinner.

Sources: Bugguide.net, Libellula auripennis - Golden-winged Skimmer

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm a Northern Mockingbird,
I've had my babies for the year.
Now my feathers are molting,
So it looks like I have really bad hair.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm known as a Green Heron,
I usually hide pretty close to the ground.
But sometimes I perch on a wire,
Just to let you all know I'm around!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

This is known as "Bastard False Indigo Bush"
Also known as "False indigo bush" commonly.
It is also known as Amorpha fruticosa,
By those who study florida botany.

Sources:  Florida Native Plant Societo - Amorpha fruticosa


Special thanks to Jim Stahl for identifying this plant. 

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I am a Viceroy Butterfly.
I like to eat thistle and aster.
I can be easily confused with a Monarch,
But my flight pattern is more erratic and faster.

(Mea culpa - I have tried really hard to keep this blog scientifically accurate. I just realized that I totally misidentified this butterfly as a Monarch in my original post. See the link below for differences other than flight pattern.)

Sources: Monarch or Viceroy?

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm the same Snail Kite from yesterday,
But I look a bit different now.
If my wings are covering the base of my tail,
I look like I'm solid brown.

(..and I meant to drop that stupid snail. I didn't want it anyway.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 10, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm known as a Snail Kite,
I've got a white stripe at the base of my tail.
I should learn not to talk with my mouth full -
Dang it! I just dropped my snail!

 (If you look close you can see his snail falling just behind the middle of the branch on which he is sitting.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I am a Red-shouldered Hawk,
An example typical of the Florida race.
I'm a little bit smaller than the northern hawks,
And a bit more pale on my tummy and face.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Red-shouldered Hawk (scroll through the pictures at the bottom of this page to see the very wide variations in color.)


Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August 8, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

These are Brown-headed Cowbirds,
They hang out in trees or on lawns.
They abandon their eggs in other birds nests,
Oh my! What terrible moms.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Brown-headed Cowbirds

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2018


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin WMA

I'm a Black-bellied Whistling Duck,
I'm a type of waterfowl.
My likes include eating plants and grains,
My dislike is being eaten by Great Horned Owls.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 6, 2017


Location:  Fellsmere, somewhere in my neighborhood

This is an American Robin,
It has a distinct rust-colored breast.
Robin males like to hang out in very large roosts,
While the females stay at home on the nest.

Sources: Cornell Lab - American Robin

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August 5, 2017


Location: Cocoa, Publix parking lot

I'm a Belted Kingfisher,
I'm known as an energetic flyer.
But with my short, stocky body and spiky hair,
I look like Bart Simpson when I sit on a wire.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Belted Kingfisher

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, August 4, 2017

August 4, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin WMA

I'm a baby Soft-shelled Turtle,
Like a tortoise, I won't win any race.
But I just might win a beauty pageant,
With my vaguely obscenely-shaped face.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 3, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I'm known as a Caspian Tern,
I am the largest species of tern.
I like to catch fish with my honking' red beak,
A feat which takes my babies a long time to learn.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Caspian Tern

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August 2, 2017


Location: Vero Beach, Environmental Learning Center

I am now a Coontie Hairstreak,
A beautiful adult butterfly.
I'll live a happy life of about a month,
Lay eggs, and then I'll die.

Welcome to the final day of my special series on the lifecycle of the Cootie Hairstreak butterfly. I hope you have enjoyed it!

Sources: UF/IFAS - Features Creatures: Atala Butterfly

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1, 2017


Location: Vero Beach, Environmental Learning Center

I am an Eumaeus atala,
Also known as Coontie Hairstreak,
As soon as I get out of my chrysalis,
My metamorphosis will be complete.

Welcome to day 5 of my special series on the life cycle of the Cootie Hairstreak butterfly.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson