Tag Archives: Northern Cardinal

Mangrove birds

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A Northern Cardinal among the mangroves? Wonders never cease.

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I was walking on this boardwalk next to a creek that flows into Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno a couple of days ago.

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I saw this immature cardinal hopping around in the mangroves with an adult. I guess cardinals really can live pretty much anywhere.

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Also in the mangroves: a Green Heron.

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Green Herons are common and widespread, but they can be hard to see at first. Whereas larger herons tend to stand prominently in open parts of wetlands, Green Herons tend to be at the edges, in shallow water, or concealed in vegetation. Visit a wetland and carefully scan the banks looking for a small, hunch-backed bird with a long, straight bill staring intently at the water.

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Across the creek, some sailboats. I am a collector of boat names and places.

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Did this one sail across the ocean??

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A short walk away, a large boat shed with a cool mural.

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Wikipedia Port Salerno

In the 1920s, a small settlement was created in the southern shores of St. Lucie river inlet. It was named “Salerno” because the main settlers were emigrants from the Italian city of Salerno.

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Also out for a walk, a couple of Mourning Doves.

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I do love a nice little stroll with my bird camera!

We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air. — Seneca

When the warblers were in town

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Wednesday morning I went out with my camera to see if the warblers that stopped over after the storms on Tuesday were still here. First, a cardinal in our driveway reminded me that resident birds are special too.

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Mourning dove on a morning walk through leaf litter.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker was dipping his beak into a giant white bird-of-paradise flower… for a drink of water? for insects?

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Black-throated Blue Warbler, a bird-photo first for me!

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A uniquely colored, midnight-blue bird of tangled understories, the male Black-throated Blue Warbler sings a relaxed, buzzy I-am-so-la-zee on warm summer days in Eastern hardwood forests. He’s aptly named, with a midnight blue back, sharp white belly, and black throat. The olive-brown females, while not as dramatically marked as the males, have a unique white square on the wing that readily separates them from other female warblers. This warbler breeds in the East and spends the winter in the Caribbean.

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Black-throated Blue in morning sun. Oh, you beauty.

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Another resident made an appearance on our fence, a Carolina Wren.

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In the banyan, a flash of color that can only be an American Redstart.

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Strike a redstart pose.

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Northern Parula, also a photo first for me.

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An acrobat.

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A small warbler of the upper canopy, the Northern Parula flutters at the edges of branches plucking insects. This bluish gray warbler with yellow highlights breeds in forests laden with Spanish moss or beard lichens, from Florida to the boreal forest, and it’s sure to give you “warbler neck.” It hops through branches bursting with a rising buzzy trill that pinches off at the end. Its white eye crescents, chestnut breast band, and yellow-green patch on the back set it apart from other warblers.

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I think this is a female or immature male Cape May Warbler.

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A few blocks from home, this big tree, banyan or strangler fig, was full of warblers.

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Northern Parula.

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  • Before this species received the name Northern Parula (a diminutive form of parus, meaning little titmouse), Mark Catesby, an English naturalist, called it a “finch creeper” and John James Audubon and Alexander Wilson called it a “blue yellow-backed warbler.”

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This Cape May Warbler was a bit disheveled. Molting?

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Like a teenager who just rolled out of bed.

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Northern Parula-palooza.

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Cape May.

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N.P.

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Cape May in a magnolia.

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Another Black-throated Blue Warbler.

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B-t B.

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That was a fine hour of bird watching.

Cardinals in the bird bath

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The cardinals have discovered the bird bath.

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They don’t just sip from it, or splash a little… they take nice long soaks.

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It’s got a solar fountain but they seem to prefer when the fountain is off, when it’s cloudy or the angle of the sun prevents the solar cells from powered the pump.

It’s in a corner of our yard that was overgrown with weeds and small trees. We cleared it, planted a few foxtail palms, some clumping (not spreading) bamboo, and we have been landscaping with butterfly friendly flowers.

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On this day the male and female took turns. I have also seen them in there together, which is adorable.

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She looks like she is anticipating the coming bath, like a human at the edge of a pool on a hot day.

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We don’t have a pool in the backyard for us, just for the birds. Hm.

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She was splashing then soaking.

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I got this bath for my birthday in March, ordered online from Hayneedle: Smart Somerset Verdigris Solar Bird Bath Fountain. I read that the sound of the water attracts birds.

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What a sweetie.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Providing Water for Birds

Cardinals abound

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Neighbor.

I spotted this familiar bird half a block from home this morning.

The male Northern Cardinal is perhaps responsible for getting more people to open up a field guide than any other bird. They’re a perfect combination of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off.

A pair of cardinals has discovered my backyard bird bath. They are also building a nest in the lemon bamboo near the bird bath. I will be keeping an eye on them and trying to get some pics.

Haney Creek list

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Green Heron!

Not an uncommon bird, but hard to spot. This is my first sighting since we moved to Florida.

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I went for a walk at Haney Creek yesterday late morning. I kept track of the birds I saw and heard and posted an eBird checklist for the first time in a while.

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The first to greet me: a couple of Gray Catbirds.

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Meow.

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Next, a non-bird.

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A slow-moving Gopher Tortoise was grazing at the edge of the path.

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On the fence at the dog run, an Eastern Phoebe.

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“Phoebe!” it said, helpfully.

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I expected to see more wading birds in the wetlands but only came up with this immature Little Blue Heron.

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That is a school just beyond the wetlands.

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The Little Blue is starting to get its adult colors.

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Why do they start off white and turn slaty blue-gray? I don’t know.

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On the hunt.

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Mirror, mirror.

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Last time I was at the dog park at Haney Creek (two days before), there were a pair of Sandhill Cranes and a pair of Great Egrets having a turf battle. I did not have my camera. I was hoping to see them this day but no luck.

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Next I walked a trail through sand pine scrub.

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There were little birds calling but I only got a good look at a few, including this Yellow-rumped Warbler.

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There have been a ton of butterbutts around this winter. I’m almost getting sick of them.

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More info on Florida sand pine scrub, an endangered subtropical forest ecoregion.

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Another gopher tortoise out for a stroll.

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Finally an animal that can’t outrun me, or fly away.

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Lots of Northern Cardinals around.

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I think it’s nesting season for them.

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Chestnut cap helps identify this (out of focus) Palm Warbler.

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Who doesn’t love a Green Heron??

Bird + paradise

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Northern Cardinal on a white/ giant bird of paradise flower.

The flower is named for the bird it resembles.

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Eating seeds?

There are a lot of cardinals living here in Sewall’s Point.

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I watched this cardinal on River Road this morning while out for a walk with my camera and a wide-brimmed hat. It’s hot and sunny!

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UV index is 12 today… on a scale of 1 to 10!

Red bird of love

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Valentine bird, this male Northern Cardinal is singing his heart out. Time for true love… or at least sexy mating rituals… in the bird world.

I have heard the cardinals now and then but not seen many since we arrived in early December, until recently. Now they are noisier and more visible. Go for it, guys!

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Also in the neighborhood, bougainvillea in Valentine’s Day colors.

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Sewall’s Point has wonderful vegetation, layers of trees and shrubs to keep the birds and my eyes happy. Neighborhood walks are so nice.

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I am still learning what is growing and blooming around me. That’s the fun part about moving to a new place.

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Lots of Zebra Longwing butterflies here. (I just learned that one.)

The species is distributed across South and Central America and as far north as southern Texas and peninsular Florida; there are migrations north into other American states in the warmer months.

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Gray squirrel, I know that one.

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Bird lover mailbox.

Understory glows

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Female Northern Cardinal on an alder branch.

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Male Northern Cardinal on the garden fence.

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Hello, bird.

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Eating winterberries.

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The one time a male cardinal is sort of camouflaged.

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Such color!

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View of the pondhouse from across the pond.

Leaves are mostly gone from the treetops. Now the understory glows.

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Radar carries a small log on the leafy path back up to the house.

New England autumn beauty persists well into November. Time change last weekend and now it starts to get dark around 4 p.m.

Moving date is set for Nov. 28, closing Nov. 29.

Election day. I will be doing my civic duty and working as a ballot clerk in our small town for the last time. I stay to tally the write ins too.