Follow Birding with David Simpson on Meetup or see our calendar if you want to come out and join us to see the birds you see on my blog!


Click here to purchase our 2019 Nature of Indian River Calendar!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 23, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

Special video edition of the poem of the day!

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, September 22, 2018

September 22, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Rails to Trails trail

This is a Cuban Tree Frog
Although he is somewhat dead
We can identify him by his large toe-pads
As well as the shape of his head.

Sources: UF Florida Wildlife Extension - Cuba Tree Frog

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, September 21, 2018

September 21, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Rails to Trails trail

This is known as Ceasar Weed
It's an exotic, but Florida's been invaded.
It spreads when it's seeds stick to clothing
So it's best to just walk around naked.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Urena lobata

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, September 20, 2018

September 20, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Rails to Trails trail

This used to be a Southern Short-tailed Shrew,
But he is no longer among the living.
Shrews have a crazy high metabolism
And eat like every day is Thanksgiving.

So how he died - I can't say for sure,
He might have been hungry and not found food.
Or he could have been attacked by a preditor
Who decided he wasn't in a shrew-eating mood.

 (Thanks to David Simpson for the ID on this - I have never seen a shrew before in my life.)

Sources: Florida Nature: Shrews

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

September 19, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Little League Park

I am known as a Black Vulture
My legs look white, but they're not.
My legs appear white because I poop on them
To help me keep cool when it's hot.

In addition, because I eat dead stuff,
I come in contact with toxins and such.
My poop is acidic and kills bacteria
That might be on something I touched.

Sources: The Wildlife Center of Virginia - Vulture Facts

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 18, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, City Hall

I am known as a Lark Sparrow
You know I'm not a house sparrow cause my markings are different -
I have a chestnut cheek patch and a black spot on my breast
I'm different, but still quite magnificent.

But I am not native to Florida, I am
The only Lark sparrow here, but I'm not alone
I hang with House Sparrows, but we can't inter breed,
I am destined to live my life in the "friend" zone.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Lark Sparrow

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17, 2018

Location: Location

I am a Anisota virginiensis
"Pink-striped Oakworm moth" is what I'm usually called.
When I'm a caterpillar I like to eat oak leaves
When I'm a moth I drink, but don't eat at all.

(Make sure you click the picture to enlarge this one, his little tiny feet grasping the pine needle are soooo freaking adorable!)

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Pink-striped Oakworm Moth

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, September 16, 2018

September 16, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Rails-to-Trails trail

This is known as a Whitemouth Dayflower
It is tiny and inconspicuous.
Except for the one day it flowers - 
Bright blue and white petals are hard to miss.

Sources: Wild South Florida - Whitemouth Dayflower

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, September 15, 2018

September 15, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, MY HAIR!

I am a Red-humped Caterpillar
Schizura concinna is my scientific name.
When I grow up, I will be a moth,
But for now, chowing leaves is the name of my game.

(Note: I actually found this in December, when I was putting up my holiday lights, but it took me a while to ID it. Special thanks to Jeffrey Eickwort on the Florida Entomology facebook page for the ID assistance. )

Sources: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes - Red-humped Caterpillar

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, September 14, 2018

September 14, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

I too, am a female Boat-tailed Grackle,
But my feathers are shiny and new.
I recently completed my molt -
I replaced my feathers with ones I just grew.

Sources: Cornell Labs - The Basics: Feather Molt

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, September 13, 2018

September 13, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

I am a Female Boat-tailed Grackle
I'm in the middle of my molt,
I usually don't have a pale stripe down my chest,
And my hair is usually combed!

(Today is a very special day. Be sure to wish my favorite bird guide and sweetheart,  David Simpson - a very happy birthday!)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September 12, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

I am known as an Anhinga
But my colloquial names can be quirky -
I'l also called Darter, Snake, or Devil bird
And some people call me Water Turkey.

Sources: Wikipedia - Anhinga

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September 11, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

This is known as Water Hyacinth
It's an invasive exotic and somewhat evil
But insect bio-controls can help -
There's been some success with water hyacinth weevils.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants -  Eichhornia crassipes

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

I am an immature Four-spotted Pennant
You might confuse me with a Tawny Pennant adult.
But I have four spots and am prettier,
So I consider that an insult.

Sources: Odonata Central - Four-spotted Pennant

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, September 9, 2018

September 9, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

I am a male Four-spotted Pennant
I like to perch on twigs and stems.
I have large spots on the middle of my wings.
That you can see without a long camera lens!

Sources: Odonata Central - Four-spotted Pennant

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, September 8, 2018

September 8, 2018

Location: Lake Okechobee

I'm a male Boat-tailed Grackle,
And I look like a hot mess
My feathers are messy cause I'm molting,
And I have one leg - why is anyone's guess.

I might have encountered a predator,
Like an alligator or snake
Or maybe I got tangled in fishing line,
That someone left here in the lake.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Boat Tailed Grackle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, September 7, 2018

September 7, 2018

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

I'm a House Sparrow with my baby,
He's begging for a treat.
Whether in Florida or across the sea,
A chick has got to eat!

Very special thanks to today's guest photographer, Paul Claessen.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, September 6, 2018

September 6, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Riverwalk

This is Melothria pendula
Creeping Cucumber is its common name.
You can eat it's fruit when it's still bright green,
But if the fruit is black, it's not the same.

The taste and texture of the fruit changes and becomes toxic when it is ripe. 

Sources: Wild South Florida - Creeping Cucumber

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

September 5, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Riverwalk

This is Wedelia trilobata
Commonly known as Creeping Oxeye.
It is a category 2 invasive exotic,
That can only be killed using herbicides.

Sources: UF | IFAS Gardening Solutions - Wedelia

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September 4, 2018

Location: Sebastian, North County Regional Park

We are known as Lined Earwigs
We have wings, but we rarely fly.
We have pinchers that we'll  use to defend ourselves,
And we shoot stinky liquid from our side.

Sources: Project Noah - Lined Earwig

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 3, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Little League Park

I am a male Pileated Woodpecker
You can tell by the red stripe on my cheek.
My mate has the same stripe, but hers is black,
And we both have a chisel-like beak

Sources: Cornell Lab - Pileated Woodpecker

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September 2, 2018

Location: GLAD Northlake Estates #163, Glades County

I’m a mother Mockingbird,
I don’t own a shop vac.
So I have to use my beak instead
To clean away my young’s fecal sac.

Very special thanks to my guest photographer, David Simpson for this amazing and perfectly timed shot.

Sources: What Are Fecal Sacs? Bird Diapers, Basically

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 1, 2018

Location: Merritt Island, Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area

This is the Everglades Tomato
It is small, about the size of a cherry.
Its taste is bold and incredibly sweet,
I ate some - that opinion's not arbitrary.

Sources: Everglades Tomato Association

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson