Florida Scrub Jay, little dinosaur, and other birds

Jan 21, 2018 by Janine |
Some time ago, there was a petition to change Florida's state bird from the Mockingbird to the Florida Scrub Jay. It never passed, but I think the scrub jay would make a much better state bird for us. I love mockingbirds, but several other states claim it as their state bird. The Florida scrub jay is endemic to Florida and would be much more unique. They are becoming harder to find unfortunately, so it is a special treat to see one.

This fierce little green anole was fighting with another male. I have seen the dinosaur-like crests before, but I have never seen the war paint!

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Cassius blue

White-eyed vireo checking out the bird bath in my garden

Garden birds and bugs

Jan 15, 2018 by Janine |
We had some unusually heavy rain this past week which is not normal for this time of year. The yard was soggy which was great for birds and bugs. We had a small flock of juvenile ibises foraging for worms.

Water levels are high in Riverbend Park

Usual visitors to the garden. So far the goldfinch count is holding at around 12. The flock of waxwings has increased to about 50 in number but I have not noticed them land in the yard yet.

I planted some giant milkweed for the Monarchs and got a customer right away! I do have the native milkweed too, but the caterpillars defoliate them too quickly. So the giant milkweeds are a backup food source :)

Friday night we braved the cold and stormy weather to see a cool local band called NZM, and the Graham Bonnet Band. We were front and center for a night of 80's metal!


Graham Bonnet Band

Happy New Year 2018

Jan 01, 2018 by Janine |
Wishing everyone a great year to come!

We wrapped 2017 with some nice birdwatching weather. Checked in at Jupiter Ridge to see how the Scrub Jays are doing. We haven't had a chance to see them since the Hurricane. We heard at least one but didn't see any. Other birds were abundant, including swarms of blue-gray gnatcatcher, palm warbler, and American goldfinch.

A cooperative Downy Woodpecker

We also took advantage of the cooler weather and time off work to do some gardening and enjoy our birds at home.

Yellow-rumped warbler

Abundant painted buntings

Carolina wren

Ovenbird and monarch

Female redstart

The goldfinches are increasing in number. Had 5 the other day. I bought a 50lb bag of nyjer seed in case more turn up!

Also, a flock of waxwings flew over the yard but didn't stop. Riverbend park had loads of robins.
We are supposed to see some even cooler weather this week, so I am hoping to see some more interesting visitors from the north soon!