It was hot this morning! We arrived at the Circle B Bar Reserve at 7:00 and hiked the Alligator Alley trail loop. This Great Blue Heron was trying to cool himself with the funky wing position – he wasn’t the only one who was hot!
We checked on the Great Crested Flycatcher nest by the Nature Center. A very tolerant flycatcher let us get pretty close to him as he brought food in to his babies. It’s a shame that there’s not a window on the side of the nesting box!
We came across a Pileated Woodpecker down by Lake Hancock. There were several new woodpecker holes, and we wondered if any of them would soon house babies. This bird was pecking away at the back of a tree, and he had stripped a long section of bark away.
We heard the baby hawks at their nest before we saw the nest itself. Two weeks ago, I thought these guys were the Odd Couple, with one baby significantly older than the other. Now that older baby has fledged, and he spent his morning sitting on a branch not far from the nest. The small baby is still in the nest. Both babies fussed for their mother: “bring us food! where’s our snake?”
There are other nests along the trail with older hawks. It was hilarious to watch one of the older fledglings as he hung out in a tree, begging for his breakfast. He fussed and fussed…and then an Anhinga flew by. Then that poor little guy really fussed – “Mommy, mommy! A bird flew by!” I guess Mommy hasn’t taught him yet that he’s a raptor!
I heard Northern Parula song several times along the trail. Around “The Bend,” I finally located one of the little birds. He was flitting between treetops, singing loudly. Luckily for me, he stayed on this branch for about a minute, allowing me to get his picture. His colors are so fun.
Rich insists that I post one of today’s turtles, in honor of World Turtle Day tomorrow. :)
The heat got to us and we headed back to the parking lot. As we passed the Osprey nest in the palm tree off the Heron Hideout trail, I was so excited to see a small baby sitting up in the nest! It’s been weeks since Herman reported seeing small heads, and I haven’t seen babies. I was starting to wonder if something had happened to them. I didn’t want to see another failed nest like last year’s. But this baby is healthy and happy – he even stuck his tongue out at the camera! Here are some family pictures:
The dad flew in with a fish, stayed at the nest for a minute, then flew off with the fish again. Mom and Baby both seemed to protest as the tasty morsel left the nest…
Species List: Anhinga, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Moorhen, Double-crested Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great-Crested Flycatcher, Green Heron, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, Northern Parula, Pileated Woodpecker, Osprey, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbird, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis