Where: In and near shallow water. Identification: Large, all white (body length 39 in, 55 in wingspan), with black legs and feet, yellow bill. Best Time of Year: Fun facts: Catches fish while standing or walking in shallow water; may forage in open fields. Waits for fish to come near then catches them with their bill. Eats […]
Where: Close to fresh water. Identification: Thorax is green, males have pale blue abdomen – females don’t have blue Best Time of Year: Spring & Summer Fun Facts: The green darner is one of the largest extant dragonflies: males grow to 3.0 inches in length with a wingspan of up to 3.1 in. Adult darners […]
Where: Plants are rooted in water-saturated soils or submersed soils near the water’s edge. During low-water conditions, emersed plants can grow in exposed, damp, sediments. Identification: Swollen nodes where the leaves meet the stems. Leaves are lance-shaped, narrow, willow-like, and alternately attached. Knotweed flowers are small and pinkish or white, and grow in terminal spikes that […]
Limpkins are a very special bird for Florida because Florida is the only state in the U.S. where they live. They are found year-round there, where apple snails, insects, worms, and mussels can be found in abundance. These birds are the only members in their taxonomic family and they have a very distinctive call, making […]
Where: Found in and along waterways and coasts. It establishes a burrow close to the water’s edge. Identification: An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: The […]
Palm Warblers are a unique bird, even among its fellow warblers. They nest on the ground and are much easier to spot than other warblers thanks to their bobbing tails. Despite its name, the Palm Warbler is primarily a resident of Canada and the northern U.S. and spends time in the southern United States, including […]
Where: Often found basking on the banks of lakes and ponds. Identification: Distinct yellow stripes on head – often mistaken for sliders, which have a red stripe.
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of many birds that inhabit Florida year-round. They take up residence in mixed woodlands and swamps throughout the state as well as much of the East coast, the South, and well into Canada. The only area in Florida where the Pileated Woodpecker is not found is in the Keys. They […]
Where: Found in swamps, coastal swamps, and floodplain forests (hydric ecosystems) Identification: Small stature of a tree often has base submerged. Best Time of Year: Flowers in spring Fun facts: Undesirable for lumber: Wood is light and weak Native Americans (Miccosukee tribe) used pop ash wood for bows and arrows (light) and its bark for “women’s medicine”.
Where: Close to fresh water. Identification: Red and Black Saddlebags have wing colorations that look just like saddlebags. Best Time of Year: Spring & Summer Fun Facts: Nymph (naiad) stage can last 2.5 years Fossils of the dragonfly date to more than 325 million years ago though its then wingspan was more than 30 inches. […]
Where: Epiphyte that grows on forest trees or rocks (often found on live oaks). Can grow in full sunlight or partial shade. Identification: Fronds 25 cm high by 5 cm wide. Leathery yellow/green leaflet. Appears dead during dry periods. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: Can withstand periods of drought by curling up and rolling inward (exposes less surface area […]
Where: In shallow water Identification: Large pink bird with spoon-shaped bill. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: The spoon-bill is used to forage and sift through muck for food. They present sticks to each other during courtship. Males bring materials for the nest and the female builds it. The oldest Roseate Spoonbill in Florida […]
Locals and tourists alike may find these tall, elegant birds sauntering across the road or producing their famous trumpeting calls that can be heard for miles. It is not uncommon to see sandhill cranes in Sarasota and as such the residents of this artistic beachside city have come to love and appreciate them, even if […]
Saw palmetto is a small palm, growing to a maximum height of around 7–10 ft. Its trunk is sprawling, and it grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal lands or as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood hammocks. Saw palmetto is a fan palm and the teeth or spines are easily capable of breaking the skin. […]
Where: Prefers swamps, but has been seen in the open prairie. Identification: Appears human in stature, but is unclothed and hairy. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: It is named for its appearance and for the unpleasant odor that is said to accompany it. In 2000, two photographs said to be of the skunk […]
Slash pines and longleaf pines are both integral elements of Florida’s pine forests. Because its canopy isn’t as thick as other canopy trees, like oaks, lower plants can still absorb sunlight while still being sheltered by the slash pine. Many birds also love to call this tree home, including owls, eagles, and egrets. Pileated woodpeckers […]