Haney Creek East

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I often wander the Haney Creek North section but a few days ago I finally explored “East” shown on the map above highlighted in yellow. It’s located in Stuart, Florida north of the St. Lucie River.

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A trail leads away from the pull-off area along Dixie Highway.

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We can thank Stuart City Commissioner Jeffrey Krauskopf for helping save this land from development. There is a freshwater marsh on the right hand side here, and brackish swamp with mangroves on the other.

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An Osprey rested on top of a pine tree.

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Enjoy this good bird news: Ospreys Have Made a Remarkable Recovery

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Blue flag? It used to bloom by our New Hampshire pond in spring. I didn’t know it grew in this part of Florida.

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Boardwalk with plenty of cautionary signs.

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Got a good look at a young Little Blue Heron. Yes, they start off as Little White Herons.

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Little white.

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Maple? Also haven’t noticed that around here. Maybe swamp maple… which also grew by our old pond 1400 miles north of here.

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Palm Warbler in the trees.

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Unless you live in Canada, spring, fall, and winter are your best times to see Palm Warblers. They spend the winters in the Caribbean and in a narrow strip along the southeastern United States and occasionally along the West Coast. They’re a fairly common early migrant across much of the East, reaching New England by mid-to-late April. They start slowly heading south in late August.

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Weedy fields, forest edges, and scrubby areas are great places to look for them during migration and winter. Look through groups of birds foraging on the ground—they’re often with sparrows, juncos, and Yellow-rumped Warblers—so watch for their characteristic tail wagging to pull them out of the crowd. They also forage in low shrubs and isolated trees in open areas, where they sometimes sally out for insects like a flycatcher. Palm Warblers typically aren’t skittish, so if you find one, you should have enough time to get a good look.

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I like the way the light hit the bird’s eye in this shot.

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Also spotted a Downy Woodpecker, near the southern end of its range too.

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View walking back on the boardwalk over freshwater.

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Great Egret.

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Great Blue Heron, with “civilization” beyond.

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Sweet little Downy Woodpecker half hidden in the Spanish moss. Downies are the smallest woodpeckers in North America.

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I saw a pair here on busy South Sewall’s Point Road, between Palmetto and Emarita. This one’s the male, with the red patch on his head.

They were noisy and active – at a time of day (near noon) on a bright, humid day when I didn’t expect to see many, or any, birds.

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Hooray, Downy! My first Florida sighting of one of my faithful old friends from New Hampshire.

All Amy’s Bird posts tagged with Downy Woodpecker.

2016 is here!

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Female Northern Cardinal with a Downy Woodpecker beyond.

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New Year’s Resolution: keep an eye on the birds.

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Goldfinches, male cardinal and chickadee. The feeders are busy when it snows.

Adorable downies

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Dear little downy, the smallest woodpecker in North America.

This year we have a bumper crop of these sweet and fairly tame woodpeckers. When they were fledging they were all over the place, accidentally and on purpose.

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This one is a male, you can tell by the red patch on his head.

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They just love the Feathered Friend brand suet cakes I get at our local Agway.

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This female Downy Woodpecker is enjoying some homemade suet dough in the platform feeder.

According to Chipper Woods Bird Observatory

In addition to its popularity with backyard bird feeding enthusiasts, the Downy Woodpecker provides a valuable service to our ecosystems. Its preference for insects, especially wood boring larvae, is of great economic benefit as many destructive insects pests are consumed. Overall, census data indicates that populations are holding steady, although population declines are occurring in some areas.

The availability of suitable nest sites plays an important role in population distribution. Managing woodlands to retain dead trees and snags for nesting will go a long way toward maintaining a healthy population of these and other cavity nesting birds.

We certainly have plenty of dead trees out behind our house so I’m glad we never bother cleaning them up!

Fledgling downies

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Downy Woodpecker.

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Fledglings have been fluttering around, learning how to fly (easy) and how to land on things (harder).

As many as five at a time are coming in for suet, homemade suet dough, and sometimes peanuts.

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Parents are still feeding the fledglings, if the fledglings can get close enough and chirp charmingly enough. But the babies can feed themselves too – especially when the food is so readily available.

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Figuring it out.

Flickr photo album: Downy Woodpeckers all over the place