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 view my nature videos on YouTube


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April 30, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area

I am a Roseate Spoonbill
In South America I'm a resident breeder
In Florida I breed in three areas,
And I'm a crayfish, shrimp, and crab eater.

Sources: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 29, 2019

April 29, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am the larva of a Sweet Potato Moth
Spodoptera dolichos is what scientists call me.
At this age, I am considered polyphagous,
Which means there are many different foods I can eat.

Sources: Bugguide.net - Sweet Potato Moth

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 28, 2019

April 28, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

This is Tropical Soda Apple
It's fruit is eaten by cattle, hogs and deer.
They poop out the fruit, which contains hundreds of seeds,
And the plant can produce 50 thousand seeds in a year.

Sources: USDA National Invasive Species Information Center - Tropical Soda Apple

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 27, 2019

April 27, 2019

Location: Fort Pierce, downtown

I am a female Peter's Rock Agama
I don't have a red head like my mate
I was brought to Florida via the pet trade
Now I'm established cause people let me escape.

Sources: FFWCC Nonnative Iguanas and Relatives

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 26, 2019

April 26, 2019

Location: Fort Pierce, downtown

I am a male Peter's Rock Agama
I like to eat insects and bugs.
I also eat small mammals and reptiles
Which I catch with my mucousy tongue.

Sources: Wikipedia Agama Agama

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 25, 2019

April 25, 2019

Location: Fort Pierce, downtown

I'm a Northern Curly-Tailed lizard
I like to eat Brown Anoles
This is actually good thing
They are non native and need population control.

Sources: Wild Florida - Norther Curly Tailed Lizard

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April 24, 2019

Location: Jensen Beach, Hawk's Bluff Trail

We are a flock of Cedar Waxwings
Note our black masks and yellow tips on our tails
Our wings have red tips,
How we get our kicks
Is eating lots of fruit, we don't eat, we inhale!

Note: Make sure you click to enlarge this picture, they are an incredibly pretty bird.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Cedar Waxwing

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

April 23, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area

I'm a non-breeding adult Palm Warbler
You can see my little red cap
If I were breeding, I'd be brighter yellow
And my cap would be a much fuller hat.
Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Palm Warbler

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am an air-breathing land snail
I like to hang out in grass that is weedy
Scientists call me Bulimulus sporadicus
But you can call me "speedy"

Sources: Bilimulus, Wikipedia
Bulimulus sporadicus (d’Orbigny, 1835) - JaxShells.org

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 21, 2019

April 21, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, my house

I am a male Painted Bunting
My wife looks nothing like me
I am beautiful like a rainbow
She is boring and yellowish-green.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Painted Bunting

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 20, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Memorial Island

We are a pair of Eastern Screech Owl
Although it looks like a mom baby-feeding
In fact we are both adults and we are
Pair-bonding by allopreening.

Sources: Social Behavior of North American Owls

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 19, 2019

April 19, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Memorial Island

I'm an adult Eastern Screech Owl
Trying to chill during the day.
Unfortunately our peace was disturbed
By incredibly annoying Blue Jays!

Note: In the Pish-free Birding class that we teach, one method of finding birds without using calls that we talk about is to let other birds tell you what is there. This picture is a great example of that - While playing Pokemon, my friend Rhett heard some Blue Jays screaming their heads off. Eventually, he realized that there was this pair of very well hidden Eastern Screech Owls sitting in the tree above the bench in the park. Although the Owls were minding their own business, eventually they got tired of being annoyed by the Blue Jays and flew off. Fortunately, I was able to snap a couple pictures before they left. Thanks to Rhett for the great find!

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds: What’s Going On When I See Little Birds Going After A Big Bird?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am a Cuban Brown Anole
In Florida, I am ubique
I have not changed in 20 million years
I've reached my evolutionary peak.

Sources: Reptile Magazine: Cuban Brown Anole No Longer Evolving, Scientists Say

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

April 17, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I'm known as a Marsh Rabbit
My tail is small and grayish-brown
I'm a good swimmer and like to hang out near water
But not-so-much Watership Down.

Sources:
Marsh Rabbit - Sylvilagus palustris
Watership Down

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Eau Gallie, Pineapple Park

I'm a Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth
I can be found from Florida to Maine
And as far west as New Mexico
But I'm rare in the western part of my range.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Virginia creeper sphinx 
Darapsa myron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 15, 2019

April 15, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

This is a native Sea Grape
It has large leathery leaves and bright red veins.
Female Sea Grapes produce flowers and fruit
But the males aren't fruitful like dames.

Sources: Coccoloba uvifera: Seagrape

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 14, 2019

April 14, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a female wild Turkey
I am a popular dinner time food.
As is my lazy husband
Who never helps me out with our brood.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Wild Turkey

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 13, 2019

April 13, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a male Northern Bobwhite
I'm short and plump and my tummy's white speckled.
My face is black and white striped,
And my wings have darker brown freckles.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Northern Bobwhite

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I'm a American White Pelican
I'm one of the largest North American birds.
But due to habitat loss and human disturbance
I'm a species of moderate concern.

Sources: Cornell Lab - All About Birds - American White Pelican

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Tricolored Heron
I found a stick to take back to my mate.
She will arrange it to make the nest pretty
And we'll hatch eggs in our palatial estate.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Tricolored Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Roseate Spoonbill
This is how I feed:
I swing my beak side-to-side in the water
Trying to find a treat.

Sources: Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute - Roseate Spoonbill 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

April 9, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am known as a Black Vulture
Check out my pretty white legs
Humans say it's gross that they are covered in poop
But I've known I'm pretty since I was an egg.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Black Vulture
Eating a large dead fish.
I find fresh flowers on the table
Makes the dead fish smell extra delish'

Note: Last week I held a contest, Guess whose wing? The winners were Joy Handley (Facebook) and Rochelle Hood (email subscriber). I had one person guess Black Vulture, and here is my explanation about how it can be tricky to identify the difference in their wings:

This is a little tricky - when you see vultures fly, you only see them from underneath. From that vantage point, it is easy to see that black vultures have black wings, but wear white gloves, but turkey vultures have white from their finger tips to their arm pit. On the ground though, you will notice that the white on the black vulture is on both the top and bottom of the wing, but on the Turkey Vulture, the white is only on the underside of the wing. Notice in the 2 pictures below - in the first one, the Turkey Vulture is facing us, so you see the whitish underside of the wing. But in the second picture, he has his back to us, so you hardly see the white.





Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 7, 2019

April 7, 2019

Location: Sebastian, Rails to Trails

We are baby Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers
We hatch in large numbers, all at one time.
When we are adults we eat and eat and eat
And eat just about everything in sight!

Sources: UF|IFAS Features Creatures - Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 6, 2019

April 6, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I am a Great Southern White butterfly
Biden's Alba is the plant that I'm on.
I also like nectar from Verbena.
I only life a short time, then I'm gone.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - How long do butterflies and moths live?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 5, 2019

April 5, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I'm known as a Limpkin
I like to eat Apple Snails
I use my beak to pull them from their shell
But occasionally I fails.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Limpkin

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 4, 2019

April 4, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

Now let's see how well you have
Been paying attention to my blog.
Tell me who owns this wing -
Hint: It totally is NOT a hawk!

(The first person to email or text me who owns this wing wins either a 2019 Nature of Indian River Calendar, or if you already have one, a 2020 Nature of Indian River Calendar, to be delivered in the fall.)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

April 3, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a non-venomous Red Rat Snake
Sometimes also called a Corn Snake
My back is dark and light orange,
And my tummy's for what I am named.

Note: I found this Corn snake, immediately after it had been hit and killed by a car. On the one hand, it was sad to see such a beautiful critter die. But on the other, it is rare to be able to get this good of a look at a snake. For example, I never knew why they are called "Corn" snakes, until I turned the snake over and saw his tummy that looks very much like Indian corn. 

Sources: Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute Reptile Discovery Center - Corn Snake

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I'm known as a Garter Snake
I have a dark body and three yellow stripes.
You cannot tell that I'm non-venomous
By looking in my eyes.

Note: Although Garter snakes are non-venomous, it is a myth that you can determine if a snake is venomous based on the shape of their pupils. For example, although venomous pit vipers can be usually be identified by the fact that their pupils are vertical slits, the Coral snake has round eyes but is also venomous. 

Sources:  Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia - Eastern Garter Snake
What shape are venomous snakes eyes?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 1, 2019

April 1, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am known as a Ring-neck Snake
I'm generally more active at night than the day.
I'm an important part of the food web
As both predator and prey.

I'm completely harmless to humans
I've got venom, but it's really quite weak.
But it's strong enough to take down the Earth worms
And Salamanders that I like to eat.

Sources: University of Georgia Sarannah River Ecology Laboratory - Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson