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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

September 17, 2019

Location: Fort Pierce Inlet State Park

This is a Florida Strangler Fig
Growing on a Palm, you can't split one from the other.
I guess you can say that the Strangler Fig
Is truly the ultimate tree-hugger.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Ficus aurea

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, September 16, 2019

September 16, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, private residence

I am a Gaudy Sphinx Moth
I am known to migrate quite far
I'm mostly green with colored patches but
When I'm a caterpillar I look a bit bizarre.

Very special thanks to today's guest photographer Heather Stapleton.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Gaudy sphinx

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019

Location: Indialantic Beach, James H. Nance Park

I'm known as a Sandwich Tern
My bill is black with a yellow tip
I like to eat invertebrates and small fish
Despite my name I don't eat Miracle Whip.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Sandwich Tern

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September 14, 2019

Location: Indialantic Beach, James H. Nance Park

I am known as a Sanderling
Right now I'm a non-breeding adult
When I'm breeding I get rusty on my head and back
And baby sanderlings are the result.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Sanderling

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Location: Indialantic Beach, James H. Nance Park

I am known as a Royal Tern
But John James Audubon called me a Cayenne
He thought I was the same as a Caspian Tern
At least he knew I'm not a Carolina Wren*

*Note from Dee: Inside joke for my sweetheart on his birthday. And I still don't know the Carolina Wren calls.

Sources: Cornell Lab Birds of North America - Royal Tern
John J. Audubon's Birds of America - Cayenne Tern

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

Location: Indialantic Beach, James H. Nance Park

I am known as a Heermann's Gull
I'm found only on the Pacific shore
Unlike most other gulls, I breed in the south
Then when I'm done, I migrate to the north.

(Despite "only" occurring on the Pacific coast, there have been a few sightings of this bird in Florida, including this one recently.)

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Heermann's Gull

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11, 2019

Location: Bridge Plaza Drive, Vero Beach

This used to be a Northern Curly-tailed Lizard, Despite being headless, you can identify him
His body is wider than a Cuban Anole
And Carolina Anoles are green and thin.

(Note: Bookmark the site below for a great quick-lookup of Florida lizards.)

Sources: Florida Museum - Florida Lizards

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September 10, 2019

Location: Island View Cottages, Sebastian

I am known as a Mottled Duck
My species is in peril because of the Mallards
We are closely related and can mate
Leaving only hybrids is the hazard.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Mottled Duck

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I am known as an Osprey
I can live to be 30 years old
I live on every continent except Antarctica
I don't mind the cold, but not that cold.

Sources: National Geographic - Osprey

Austrailian Government Department of the Environment and Energy - Antarctic Weather

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, September 8, 2019

September 8, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I am a some kind of a hornet
But you are probably looking above
I'm in the middle,  left, at the top of the rope
You are looking at the Eurasian Collared Dove

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Eurasian Collared Dove
UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Yellowjackets and Hornets

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, September 7, 2019

September 7, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

This looks like it could be a Muskrat
Or maybe Manatee dressed up fancy
But in fact, it actually is
A Palm Coconut covered with algae.

Sources: University of Florida IFAS Extension - The Coconut Palm in Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I am a Brown Pelican
I've almost gone extinct twice
I was saved once by the Migratory Bird Treaty
And banning DDT also halted my demise.

Sources: Smithosonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute Species Profile: Brown Pelican

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, September 5, 2019

September 5, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

This is Royal Poinciana
Also called Flamboyant or Flame Tree
Although not native to Florida
It's not considered an invasive species.

Sources: University of Florida IFAS Extension Solutions for Your Life: Delonix regia: Royal Poinciana

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

September 4, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I am a Spotted Sandpiper
Shown here hiding amongst some roots
I sometimes lead a polyandrous lifestyle
But try to avoid Jerry Springer-type disputes.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Spotted Sandpiper

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

September 3, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I am a Great Blue Heron
I eat fish and other small prey when I get the chance
My hobbies include combing my "powder down"
And as shown here, interpretive dance.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Great Blue Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, September 2, 2019

September 2, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I'm known as an Osprey
I am a bird of prey
My prey are fish, but sometimes my chicks
Are prey, it's just nature's way.

(Caution: Video linked below shows an Osprey nest being predated by a Great Horned Owl. I thought it was interesting though because I never really think of birds of prey as being prey themselves, but in the end, I guess most critters are.)

Sources: Hog Island Osprey Chick Snatched From Nest by Great Horned Owl

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019

Location: Merritt Island, Indian River

I am a Rock Pigeon
Sitting on a roof
I'm quite the contortionist, check out my tail!
Just kidding, we are actually two.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Rock Pigeon

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson