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 2020 Nature of Indian River Country Calendar!


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Location: Vero Beach, private residence

This is known of the Queen of the Night
It only blooms after dark
The flowers can be up over 8 inches wide
And its stamens look kind of like sparks.

Special thanks to guest photographer Heather Stapleton.

Sources: Biology Online - Selenicereus grandiflorus

Photo © 2020 Heather Stapleton,  text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway

I am a Red-tailed Flesh Fly
I am common throughout the US
The subarctic is the only place I don't live
I eat dead things with a touch of finesse.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Red-tailed Flesh Fly

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 28, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway


I am a Three-spotted Skipper
I lay eggs on leaves that my caterpillars eat
I have several broods from spring through the fall
The caterpillars hang out in nests made of rolled leaves.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Three-spotted Skipper (Cymaenes tripunctus)

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 27, 2020



Location: Indian River Drive, Sebastian

I am a Western Honey Bee
In Florida,  I pollinate 3/4 of all crops
I contribute millions to the US economy
And to almost all foods for which you shop.

Sources: UF | IFAS BugWeek@UF Incredibugs - Honey Bee

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are Horse's Paper Wasps
As shown here, we commonly nest on metal beams
Females malaxate liquid from prey that workers catch
And feed the remaining solids to the babies.

Sources: Wikipedia - Polistes major major

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, June 25, 2020

June 25, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Zebra Swallowtail
I'm black and white with a few red spots
I get moisture from sand and nectar
And I breed in woodlands near swamps.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Zebra Swallowtail Eurytides marcellus

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 24, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are a pair of Mourning Doves
We live throughout North America except the far north
We breed like bunnies - up to six broods a year
Especially in climates that are known for their warmth.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Mourning Doves

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

June 23, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Red-cockaded Woodpecker
I like to eat termites and centipedes
I also like arthropods, especially ants,
And will also eat fruit and pine seeds.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I'm known as a Green Heron,
I can look stout, or taller and thinner
I tuck my neck tight, when I'm in flight
And spring it out straight when I'm hunting for dinner.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Green Heron

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 21, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a juvenile Common Yellowthroat,
I don't look like my mom, I've no yellow on my chest
Nor do I have a black mask like my dad
I'm too young to determine my sex.

Note: David identified this bird as a juvenile Common Yellowthroat based on the bird's shape. Following the ID, we had a long discussion about the difference between immature versus juvenile. The short of it is that all non-adult birds are immature; juvenile birds are a subset of immature birds that are still in their first post-down plumage (as this bird is.) Click the link below for an interesting article from 1946 which describes in detail the names of age groups of young birds.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Common Yellowthroat
Names of Age Groups of Young Birds, Harold B. Wood, 1946 

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, June 20, 2020

June 20, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

This is Largeflower Rose Gentian
Also known as Sabatia grandiflora or Marsh-pink
It grows best in wet prairies and marshes
And is quite pretty, at least that's what I think!

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Marsh-pink

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

This is Polygala rugelii, 
"Polygala" means "much milk" or a higher yield -
It was thought that cows were more productive
With this growing out in their fields

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Yellow Milkwort 

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are baby White-tailed Deer
You can find us from Mexico all the way up to Maine
We are reddish now, in winter: gray-brown
Based on location and season, our color will change.

Sources: University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web - Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June 17, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am an Eastern Meadowlark
I'm known to sing quite beautifully
Unfortunately I'm vulnerable to climate change
My range might shift with an increase of just 3 degrees.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Eastern Meadowlark

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, my house

I am a wall crab spider
In the Selenopidae family.
I am hard to catch, because I run fast,
And I'm colloquially known as a "Flattie"
Because my profile is low, you won't see where I go
And I'm a champion at Hide-and-Go-Seek"!

Sources: Insect Identification for the Casual Observer - Selenopid Crab Spider (Selenops spp.)

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, June 15, 2020

June 15, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, my house

I am in the genus Trachelas
I am also called Running Spider
I don't build a web, I hunt prey like a pleb,
My venom won't kill you, but be warned, I'm a biter!

Note: As described in the article linked below, "All spiders (except Cribellate Orbweavers) have venom and use it to immobilize or kill prey. This particular genus of spider is said to have a pretty painful bite to humans, but its venom is not dangerous like a Black Widow or Brown Recluse's. That said, a few reports of an infection arising at the bite site (possibly from scratching or touching it) have been made, as well as a lengthy healing time for a wound to heal. As every body is different, see a medical professional if you think a spider bite is getting worse or more painful."

Sources: Insect Identification for the Casual Observer - Running Spider (Trachelas sp.)

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, June 14, 2020

June 14, 2020

Location: Little League Park, Sebastian

I am known as Ceraunus Blue, 
I'm a Neotropical butterfly
This means that I live in the "tropical terrestrial ecoregions of the Americas and the entire South American temperate zone"1
Science does not always make a good rhyme.


Sources: UF | IFAAS Featured Creatures Ceraunus Blue

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, June 13, 2020

June 13, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are two Bald Eagles,
An almost fledged baby and my parents
They've been feeding me fish for the last 5 months
So I can be a strong adolescent.

Sources: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Eagle Facts

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are Florida Scrub-Jays
Aphelocoma coerulescens is our scientific name
We live in the scrub and are endemic to Florida
Which is how we ended up with our name.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Florida Scrub Jay

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, June 11, 2020

June 11, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Juvenal's Duskywing
When I'm young I eat tree and shrub oaks
As a butterfly you can find me from Nova Scotia
To Florida, all the way down the coast.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America Juvenal's Duskywing

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

June 10, 2020


Location:
 Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

This is Hypericum tenuifolium
Also known as Atlantic St. John's-Wort
It is a short-lived perennial that propagates via seeds
And grows better in sand than in dirt. 

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Hypericum tennuifolium

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

June 9, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am a Marbled Grasshopper, 
I live in Florida and all the way up to the great lakes.
I stridulate and do fancy leg lifts
When I want to impress a mate.

Sources: UFL Entomology Dept - Bandwinged Grasshoppers Subfamily Oedipodinae (page 6) 

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, June 8, 2020

June 8, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
 
I am a Longhorn Band-wing Grasshopper
I live in Florida all year round
Sometimes I am known to crepitate, 
Which means that I make a crackling sound.

Sources: UFL Entomology Dept - Bandwinged Grasshoppers Subfamily Oedipodinae (page 6) 

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, June 7, 2020

June 7, 2020

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

This is Shortleaf Rose Gentian
It is known to attract butterflies
It has 5 white petals and a yellow-green pistil
And stamens the color of custard pies.

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Shortleaf rosegentian

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, June 6, 2020

June 6, 2020

Location: Grant-Valkaria Community Park

I am a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
Sadly, I have a defective left eye
I'm called a gnatcatcher because I eat bugs,
With bad vision, I probably will not survive.

Note: We noticed this bird has something wrong with his left eye. There wasn't anything we could do to help it. 

Sources:
Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Cornell Lab All About Birds - What Do I Do If I Find A Sick, Injured, Or Dead Bird?

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020


Location: Grant-Valkaria Community Park

I am a Dainty Sulphur butterfly
I'm known to be a migratory
My favorite nectars are marigold,
Asters, Rabbitbrush, and Labrador tea.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Dainty Sulphur

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

Location: Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, Melbourne Beach

The flower in the middle is a Paintedleaf,*
With red-tipped leaves, it looks a little chagrined.
Although Mourning Doves like to eat its seeds
Its toxic sap irritates human skin.

* Note: The plant surrounding the Paintedleaf is Coontie

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Paintedleaf

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

Location: Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, Melbourne Beach

These are the egg sacs of a Brown Widow spider
Each one contains over a hundred eggs
The sacs are white when first constructed
When the eggs inside hatch, the sacs look dark grey*.

Brown Widow spiders are venomous
They belong to the Theridiidae family
They are also known as comb-footed spiders
Because of the comb-like bristles on their hind feet.

Note: The sacs don't actually turn dark grey, what looks dark grey are the baby spiders inside the sac. 

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures: Brown Widow Spider

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020

Location: Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, Melbourne Beach

These are known as Forked Bluecurls,
They propagate via seeds.
The flowers only open in the morning
And are well loved, especially by bees.

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Forked Bluecurls

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020

Location: Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, Melbourne Beach

This is a Whitemouth Dayflower,
Birds like to eat its seeds
The flowers can be candied and eaten by humans
The leaves can be boiled or fried, as you please.

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Whitemouth Dayflower

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson