Baby Woodpeckers

The baby Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be seen in the nest cavity. Regis got some video today. If you listen carefully, you can hear at least one of them. We can see two babies in the video. Very cute!!

Baby Red-bellied Woodpeckers in a tree cavity and being fed by both parents regularly.

You can see that the parents are sometimes feeding bird seed from either our feeder or the neighbor’s feeder.

Tree Frog

We have a tree frog that shows up regularly on our screened lanai. The first time we noticed the frog, we had guests over for the evening. One of our guests spotted the frog on the lanai and captured it and put it outside.

We had a screened lanai in our last house. We saw anoles regularly on the lanai but never any dead ones. Occasionally, we saw dried up frogs. It bothered me that I hadn’t noticed them sooner to save them.

Tree frog sleeping on the top of the post on our screened lanai. This is where it hangs out every day.

I, therefore assumed, the frogs couldn’t figure their way in and out of the screened lanai but the anoles could.

Regis saw a tree frog on the lanai after the first one was “rescued” and he also removed it and let it outside.

I later found a tree frog in the same area and “rescued” it and put it outside.

We began to noticed something. At the top of the post on the lanai is a very small ledge. We see a tree frog resting/sleeping their every day. When the sun sets, the tree frog ventures down the post. This is when we usually “rescue” it, but we’ve been leaving it alone lately. All night it does whatever it does and the next morning it can be found sleeping on the ledge.

I have no way of knowing for sure, but I think it is the same frog and it has its routine. Our constant “rescuing” it probably messes up its day.

I’ve become fond of the little guy and I would miss it if it I didn’t see it resting on the ledge when I woke up in the morning.

Tree frog as it ventures its way down the post on our screened lanai after the sun sets.

Snake in the House

Rat Snake/Corn Snake in our house

Pretty cool! We had a snake in our house this evening. I’m pretty sure it was a rat snake (corn snake). I knew it wasn’t a venomous snake, so I took the time to take a photo. Regis wanted to get it out of the house and he was aggravated that I wouldn’t let him until I got a picture. It’s night and the light is dim so I needed a tri-pod, yada, yada, yada. He had to wait.

We’re not entirely sure how this snake wound up in our house, but we left one of the doors open for Dart this evening. Who knows? Pretty cool though.

Pileated Woodpecker in our backyard.

Brown-headed Nuthatches

Brown-headed Nuthatch in Florida.

Yesterday I was sitting on the lanai and relaxing when I heard a bunch of squeaky sounds. I recognized them as Brown-headed Nuthatches. We haven’t seen them yet since we moved into the house in late February. I got out the binoculars and saw that there were at least three chicks flying around with their parents. So cool!!

Today, I managed to get a couple pictures. It is very hard to photograph these birds because they don’t stay still for a second. Nevertheless, it was great fun watching and listening to them.

Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch feeding young.
Brown-headed Nuthatch feeding young
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch feeding young

Great Egret Mama Drama

Three Great Egret chicks harassing mom for a meal.

While at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida the other day, I was witness to some unruly Great Egret chicks harassing the parent. With mother’s day coming, I decided this was a mom. After viewing the following photos documenting the drama, all those mom’s out there with multiple children may identify with this poor mama egret.

(It makes me wonder if my mother-in-law went through this while raising three sons close in age.)

The chicks are almost as big as mom and she doesn’t seem to stand a chance with all of them after the meal she has to provide. She can only feed one at a time.
Let’s all grab mom’s head.
More tussling.
Wait, one chick is going to bully the other.
As the bullying continues, the other chick is getting a meal.
I wonder if the chick getting bullied will make it out of the nest alive.
Mom is contemplating making a break for it.
She didn’t escape fast enough. Can you find the head to all the birds in this tangled mess?
This is mom getting out of there. She’s going to let dad deal with this bunch.
In the same tree, the Wood Stork mama is thanking her lucky stars she’s a Wood Stork.
And the Snowy Egret babies are either waiting patiently for the next meal or relaxing while digesting the last one.

Butterflies, Flowers, Birds, and Reptiles

Butterfly in our backyard. I think it is a Gulf Fritillary. If you know something about butterflies and think it is something else, please comment below. Photo by Regis

Yep, that’s a boring title but I don’t know what to say since we have quite a variety over the last two days. It’s a good thing we have two cameras since Regis went his way and I went mine.

An anole displaying on our fence. The anoles are everywhere!!!! Photo by Regis

Regis took some pictures of the backyard activity while I went to the Alligator Farm with some friends. I love the Alligator Farm. There are LOTS of nesting birds, flowers, and other things to see.

This is a monarch on the butterfly plants I put in to attract them. Photo by Regis
An albino alligator at the Alligator Farm. These guys are very hard to photograph well because they are in the shade while they are white. Of all the times I have tried to take a picture, this is the best I’ve done.
Galapagos Tortoise at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida. Usually, they are sleeping and mostly tucked into their shells when I visit. I was excited to capture one with his head up.
One of the many baby birds at the Alligator Farm. This is a baby Tri-colored Heron. They often nest in the boots on the palm trees.
A hibiscus at the Alligator Farm.
A beautiful Macaw at the Alligator Farm.
Another flower at the Alligator Farm
The female Bluebird poking her head out of the nest box in our backyard. She is sitting on four eggs. I can’t wait to see the chicks hatch. Photo by Regis

Bumblebees

The orange stuff is pollen in the bee’s pollen baskets.

Yesterday and today I spent time trying to get pictures of the bumblebees visiting my purple Salvia. If I thought photographing birds in flight was tough, it’s nothing compared to trying to capture a flying bumblebee. It’s interesting to get a close up look at what’s going on. They move very quickly so I had to really shorten the shutter speed.

I love how they really tuck into the blossom.
There is a drop of liquid on the front of this bee.
Look at how this bee is grabbing onto the blossom.

We’ve had baby Bluebirds hanging around our yard. They visit the bird bath and the bird feeder regularly. Bluebirds will eat sunflower chips (seeds without the shells) and these little guys are regular customers.

Baby Bluebird at our bird feeder.

The nesting box in the backyard has a bluebird nest with eggs in it. I don’t know how I missed that. I’ve been watching birds do walk-throughs of the box but no takers. Then, boom, we have Bluebird eggs.

Regis got more video of the Red-bellied Woodpecker pair. When mom goes into the nest cavity for a few seconds, you’ll notice her coming out with debris. She was obviously cleaning up.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding their young. Mom Woodpecker obviously does some cleaning of the nest cavity a little over half way through the video.

Stitch the Pelican and the Dancing Gull

Stitch the Pelican.

Stitch is a pelican that required surgery to close up a tear in his pouch. That happened in 2004. Stitch was released into the wild after undergoing rehabilitation at the Ark in St. Augustine, Florida. Stitch chose to come back and spend his remaining days at the Ark. Unbelievable. The owner of the rehabilitation facility recognized the scar on Stitch’s pouch and realized she had seen him before.

I went to get a few pictures of Stitch in hopes that the St. Augustine Record would do a story on him. They did a story back in 2004. The caretakers weren’t sure how much longer Stitch will be with us, so they needed pictures in a hurry.

While we were there, my dear friend pointed out that the Laughing Gull was doing some fancy footwork. I was so busy trying to get a picture of Stitch in bad lighting, that I wasn’t paying attention. (Stitch is not doing well and should not be moved.) After my friend mentioned it, I realized that I heard drumming. This little gull is hilarious.

Dancing Laughing Gull.

Regis and I went into St. Augustine this evening to get a look at the Santa Maria. This is a replica of the original Santa Maria. I have to wonder how bad things must have been for a bunch of guys to jump on this little ship and head out across the ocean to the unknown.

Great Egret checking out the Santa Maria.
At the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine with the Santa Maria in the background.
Really? This is what we found walking down the street in St. Augustine.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers Feeding Young

Regis got some more clear video of the Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding their young. I’m looking forward to when the little ones are big enough to peep out of the hole!

Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding their young.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Red-bellied Woodpecker pair at an active nest cavity.

While I went to a photography festival today to learn how to take better pictures, Regis took great pictures and video of the Red-bellied Woodpeckers nesting in a tree cavity behind our house. This is the same woodpecker pair that we showed a few posts ago (“Fiddler Crabs”) making the cavity.

You can see the long, sticky tongue occasionally. The male has red on his forehead and down the back of his neck. The female only has the red on the back of her neck.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding their young in a nest cavity.
Red-bellied Woodpecker poking her head out of a nesting cavity. Note her tongue.