Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Broadmoor section, Fellsmere

I am a Eastern Garter Snake,
In Florida, I'm one of two subspecies found
The other is darker with blue side stripes
We both slither harmlessly where we abound.

Sources: Florida Museum Bluestripe Garter Snake 

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I am an Eastern Phoebe
Cornell describes me as "plump"
They also say, I have a "large, flat head"
They make me sound like a hideous chump!

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Eastern Phoebe

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I am known as an Osprey
In flight, you can see a dark spot on my wrists
My secondaries and tail are barred,
Look at the photo, you'll get the gist.

Note: Make sure you click the link below, it has super handy labeled photos of Ospreys in different poses to really help you get to know the birds field marks.  

Sources: The Spruce - How Birders Identify Ospreys

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I am a female Tree Swallow
We're both iridescent, but my mate is more blue.
We like to hang out in very large flocks
We nest in tree cavities and nest boxes too.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Tree Swallow

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

It is amazing the things you find in nature
That sometimes you just don't see
Although this is exotic Common Water Hyacinth
It looked like an eyeball to me.

Note: I just about had a heart attack when I was scrolling through my pictures and came across this one. I could have SWORN that was a human eyeball. After closer examination, David determined it was a weird piece of the water hyacinth. 

Sources: Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Eichhornia crassipes

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

We are a Snowy, Cattle and Little Blue 
Sitting on the shore taking in sun
If we find a 4th guy, we might form a band:
Cattle, Blue, Snowy and Young

Sources: Teach Your Children

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I am known as a Palm Warbler
You can ID me cause my tail's always pumping
I like to eat bugs, but the way my tail pumps
You'd think I ate jumping beans or something!

Sources: What makes Mexican jumping beans jump?

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I  am known as a Limpkin
My girlfriend the Roseate Spoonbill is quite a fox
Unfortunately due to genetics
Our love is on the rocks.

Sources: Why Can't Different Species Mate With Each Other?

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I am a Great Blue Heron
My beak is sharp and thick like a dagger
It's breeding season so I'm all fancied up
And strutting my stuff like Jagger.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Great Blue Heron

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, March 22, 2020

March 22, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

We are a pair of Aramus guarauna
"Limpkin" is our common name
We are getting to be much harder to find
Due to habitat loss and Apple Snails in delcine.

Sources: FNAI Field Guide - Limpkin Aramus guarauna

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, March 21, 2020

March 21, 2020

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

I am known as a Bachman's Sparrow,
As sparrows go I’m fairly big
But I’m hard to see causes I’m quick and shy
But you know I’m there cause I tend to sing.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Bachman’s Sparrow

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson’s

Friday, March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

We are known as Sandhill Cranes,
In flight, here's some tips for ID:
Look for long wings, extremely slow flapping,
A thin neck, and large, round body.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Sandhill Crane

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

I am known as a great Great Egret
I'm here in the rookery with my socius
I start breeding around 2-3 years old
I guess you can call me precocious.

Sources: Audubon Guide  to North American Birds - Great Egret

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Location: Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area, Fellsmere

We are Roseate Spoonbills,
We're dressed up because we are breeding
Bright pink, orange and red all signify
That lovin' we be needing.

Sources: Cornel Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds Online - Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Location: My yard, Fellsmere

I am a New Guinea Flatworm
I'm a potential host for rat lungworm parasite
I can only infect you if you eat me,
Personally, I do not even bite.
But if your touch me, my puke and will irritate your skin
And I won't even pretend to be contrite.

Sources: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - New Guinea Flatworm

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

Location: Sams House Conservation Area, Merritt Island

I am a Carolina Wolf Spider
I hunt at night, which means I’m nocturnal
I’ve special hairs on my back that my babies cling to
When I am feeling maternal.

Sources: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - Carolina Wolf Spider

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, March 15, 2020

March 15, 2020

Location: Sams House Conservation Area, Merritt Island

I am a Scarab Beetle
I'm 1of 30,000 in my family
I probably am a Sugarcane Beetle
My tarsi and teeth are ways to ID me.

Sources: Bugguide.net - Species Euetheola rugiceps - Sugarcane Beetle

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, March 14, 2020

March 14, 2020

Location: Sams House Conservation Area, Merritt Island

I am a Shining Leaf Chafer,
I'm brown and metallic green
I am a species of Scarub beetle
And you can find me out eating leaves.

Sources: Insect Identification - Shining Leaf Chafer

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020

Location: My yard, Fellsmere

I am a Spined Green Stink Bug
I'm what scientists call a "True bug"
This means that I have a proboscis
But it's rigid, it does't rollup like a rug*.

* For example, butterflies are insects, but they are not a true bug. The butterfly's proboscis retracts or rolls up. 

Sources: Arizona State University Ask a Biologist: If all bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs, how do you tell them apart?

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

I am an American Kestrel,
As birds of prey go, I'm quite tiny
But that is alright, I see ultraviolet light
Which helps me track me voles by their pee.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - American Kestrel

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020

Location: Riverview Park, Sebastian

I am a Large Crane Fly
I'm in the Tipulidae family
You might mistake me for a big mosquito
But I'm quite harmless, actually.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Crane Fly

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

This is Orange Milkwort
They're orange when fresh, and yellow when dried
Another common name they have is Bog Cheetos
And it's inflorescence is raceme, or spiked.

Sources: North Carolina Extension Gardener Plan Toobox - Polygala lutea


Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am a female Vermilion Flycatcher
If I were male, my color would be less dappled
I usually live in Mexico and much further south
But I also am very well traveled.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Vermillion Flycatcher

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, March 8, 2020

March 8, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

We are baby American Alligators
At this age we still look cute
But don't get too close, or you might get a dose
Of angry mom gator in hot pursuit!

Sources: Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute Reptile Discovery Center - American Alligator

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, March 7, 2020

March 7, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

We are Black-crowned Night-Herons,
Hiding in this rookery, there are at least 2 of us.
The Audubon site calls us "chunky"
Although we prefer the term "robust"

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Black-crowned Night-Heron

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am a Northern Mockingbird,
I can mimic barking dogs and sirens
I can sing over 39 songs
And live in tree-lined and grassy environs.

Note: If you click to enlarge this photo, you can see that the poor bird has mites or some other parasite on his face.

Sources: University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web: Mimus polyglottos

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, March 5, 2020

March 5, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

We are Western Honey Bees,
If our eggs weren't fertilized, we are drones
If our eggs were fertilized, we are girls,
And if we eat royal jelly, we are queens without thrones.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - European Honey Bee

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

March 4, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am known as a Short-tailed Hawk, 
You won't spot me in Florida too often.
To hunt I drop down to surprise small birds
As described by Kenn Kaufman*

* The text on the Audubon site is adapted from Kenn Kaufman's Lives of North American Birds 

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Short-tailed Hawk

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am an American Bittern
Even in flight, I blend in with vegetation
Cornell says my call is "pump-er-lunk"
But I think something is lost in translation!

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Americal Bittern

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am known as a White-tailed Kite
I'm a small hawk with grey and black pointed wings.
I have red eyes, and when I fly,
I stop to hover to catch small things*.

*Those "things" being mammals, but not much rhymes with mammals and its pointy wings are one of this birds identifying features.  Make sure you click the link below, my photo does not do this bird justice.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - White-tailed Kite

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March 1, 2020

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am an Eastern Meadowlark,
In the summer, I like to eat insects
In the winter I tend to eat seeds
Year round, singing is one of my skill sets.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Eastern Meadowlark

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson