Janine's Blog

Summer

Jul 22, 2018 by Janine |
Summer is not my favorite time of year to be in Florida, but there are still some interesting wildlife sightings.

For example, I learned that swallow-tailed kites do not get along with vultures. These two had an aerial battle right over the house!

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The frogs love the heat and rain.

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Blue Jays and Brown Thrashers continue to hang out in the garden.

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The cardinal family has fledged at least one chick. It begs to be fed even though it is perfectly capable of eating on its own.

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On the plus side, the hummingbirds should be back in less than 2 months!

Montana

Jun 30, 2018 by Janine |
Last week I visited Montana for the first time for work. Pretty cool place. Got to go on a field trip to see the sagebrush. Saw some sage grouse!

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Couldnt escape the mosquitoes though!

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Lark Bunting

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Red Wing Blackbird

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Horned Lark

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Ruddy Duck

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Cliff Swallows

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Back home, the bigger mosquitoes were waiting.

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Tiny toad

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Leopard Frog

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Swallow-tailed Kite

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Garden wildlife

Jun 02, 2018 by Janine |
This marsh rabbit disapproves of the 30" of rain we had over the month of May!

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The blue jay family managed to cope with the rain and raise at least 3 fledglings.

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May passed in a blur of concerts, rain, travel, and work. We did have a few late migrants pass through the garden earlier in the month.

Female black throated blue warbler

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Rose breasted grosbeak

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Black racer hunting frogs and lizards

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Black swallowtail

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Hammerfall!

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Caught Ghost again in Asheville. They put on a good show.

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Now we just have to survive the summer until the fall migrants (both birds and musicians) come back!

Owl Graduation 2018, Tucson trip

May 20, 2018 by Janine |
All 3 owlets successfully fledged earlier this month! They grew up so fast.

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No room in the box!

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A rare glimpse of Dad.

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Peeking out

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Right after the owls fledged, I headed out to Tucson for some birding and music. It was an awesome trip!

My first destination was Patagonia.

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Ladder-backed and Gila woodpecker sharing the feeder

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Gambel's quail

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Inca Dove

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Broad-billed hummingbird

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Next destination: Saguaro National Park.

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Black-tailed gnatcatcher

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Red-tailed hawk with dinner

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Desert Cardinal (Pyrrhuloxia)

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My first wild Gila Monster sighting!!!

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After the wildlife excursions, it was time to see Ghost. Front and center for a killer show.

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Using this sassy gentleman for my phone wallpaper :)

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Kind of wish I had taken more pics, but I was too enraptured by the whole thing!

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The pinnacle of the evening. And I thought that the best thing to happen that day would be the Gila Monster ;)

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Almost graduation time!

Apr 29, 2018 by Janine |
The screech owlets are enormous. We have noticed them peering out of the nest box during the day. Last year's chicks left the box a few days after they started doing this, so it won't be long now!

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Mom spends very little time at the box. She came by to check on them the other day during a rainstorm. Other than that, we rarely see her now, other than rapid food deliveries. The male is still roosting in the yard keeping watch.

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In other bird news, most of the painted buntings have gone north. We have a few green birds but they are dwindling each day. Still have catbirds and the occasional warbler visiting. We have also been seeing a ground dove, which is a nice sighting. They tend to be more common closer to the coast in the dune and scrub environment.

Ground Dove

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Worm-eating warbler

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Female redstart

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Owlets at one week

Apr 15, 2018 by Janine |
They are growing fast!

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Hello world!

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Mom looks tired

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Birdbath has been popular lately

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Female bunting playing peek a boo

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I see you!

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3 Owlets!

Apr 08, 2018 by Janine |
This week all three Screech owl eggs hatched.









In other garden happenings, the hummingbirds have all gone north. Most of the goldfinches have gone as well. Painted buntings and ovenbird are still here.





The butterfly garden is functioning as designed. I am over run with caterpillars of all kinds!

Monarch



Cloudless sulphur



Queen



Other wildlife happenings include a recent visit to a bald eagle nest. A very distant view showed both parents and a fledgling!



Tree swallow



Lastly, Udo Dirkschneider at Kelsey Theater.









Opener- Australian band Elm Street





Bittersweet Spring

Mar 30, 2018 by Janine |
Spring for us in South Florida means that the wintering birds like painted buntings, hummingbirds, goldfinches, catbirds, warblers, etc etc, move north to breed.

They are still here now but decreasing in number. Within a week most will be gone. The cardinals and bluejays will stay all summer though!

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The good thing about this time of year is that the screech owl nesting is well underway. We hope that the eggs will hatch any day now!

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An unusual bird, the B2 Bomber! Did a flypast at the Melbourne air show last week.

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Jet Truck

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Thunderbirds are always a good time

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Screech owls and other garden birds

Mar 11, 2018 by Janine |
It has been a busy week for the owls! Three eggs have been laid so far.







We got a good look at the female in daylight and realized that she is not the same bird from the past two years. The last female was more of a reddish brown color, and only laid two eggs each season.



We have no idea if it is the same male from last year. He doesn't spend much time in the box and we only get quick glimpses of him transporting food.



Other birds have also been abundant. We are nearing "peak goldfinch" because they are swarming all around the yard. We have a flock of at least 50 that visit. I think there are probably more .





All the activity attracts the attention of predators. The red-shouldered hawks nest up the road and are taking advantage of the food source to feed their chicks. This little goldfinch was a bit too slow.



The other usual suspects are still around. Fewer hummingbirds lately, but more painted buntings and warblers.















Springtime

Feb 25, 2018 by Janine |
All the indicators point to springtime in Florida. Cars yellow with pollen? Check. Everywhere crowded with snowbirds? Check. Birds and butterflies all over the garden? Check! :)

The atala butterflies are doing well.





This unusual Northern Parula has been visiting for the past week or so. The yellow throat does not normally extend above the bill.







This male painted bunting has been quite the poser.







Yellow-rumped warbler bathtime





The hummingbirds are loving the coral bean blooms.