Saturday, October 30, 2010

White Ibis at Busch Gardens Tampa

White Ibis




I just love the blue eyes of the White Ibis.


Did you Know?


  • When feeding, White Ibis often give a soft, grunting croo, croo, croo as they forage. They may fly up to 15 miles a day in search of food.

  • Around their colonies, ibises eat crabs and crayfish, which in turn devour quantities of fish eggs. By keeping down the numbers of crayfish, the birds help increase fish populations.

  • The main conservation concerns for white ibis are hunting and habitat loss. Birds and eggs are hunted for food. When the colony is disturbed by hunting, adults will leave their nests and the young may die.

  • A group of ibises has many collective nouns, including a "congregation", "stand", and "wedge" of ibises.

Did you know SOURCE


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis at Busch Gardens Tampa




The Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) is a species of ibis that inhabits tropical South America and also Trinidad and Tobago. It is the national bird of Trinidad and is featured on the Trinidad and Tobago coat of arms along with Tobago's national bird, the Rufous-vented Chachalaca.

Adults are 56–61 cm long and weigh 650g. They are completely scarlet, except for its black wing tips. They nest in trees, laying two to four eggs. Their diet is fish, frogs, reptiles and crustaceans. A juvenile Scarlet Ibis is grey and white; as it grows the ingestion of red crabs in the tropical swamps gradually produces the characteristic scarlet plumage.

The life span of Scarlet Ibis is approximately 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.

This species is very closely related to the American White Ibis and is sometimes considered conspecific with it.

While the species may have occurred as a natural vagrant in southern Florida in the late 19th century, all recent reports of the species in North America have been of introduced or escaped birds. Eggs from Trinidad were placed in White Ibis nests in Hialeah Park in 1962, and the resulting population hybridised with the native ibis, producing "pink ibises" that are still occasionally seen.

Reference
Photo by Craig Glenn

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mystery Critter Wednesday Solved 13

Asian Elephant at Busch Gardens




Thanks for playing everyone. Scooter takes the prize once again. Check's in the mail!

Craig

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mystery Critter Wednesday Round 13

Mystery Critter



I am sure I made this much too simple, but in the spirit of resurrecting my Mystery Critter series, here we go.

The poster with the most accurate and detailed identification of this critter will be the winner!


Have fun and thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Great Migrations - National Geographic

Great Migrations


Don't miss this show! I know I wont. I think they might be using some of my photos.... no not really!


Great Migrations
PREMIERES
NOV 7th, 2010 - 8PM et/pt
A Global Television Event

Monday, October 25, 2010

American Flamingo

Flamingo at Busch Gardens Tampa




The American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large species of flamingo closely related to the Greater Flamingo and Chilean Flamingo. It was formerly considered conspecific with the Greater Flamingo, but that treatment is now widely viewed (e.g. by the American and British Ornithologists' Unions) as incorrect due to a lack of evidence. It has also been known as the Caribbean Flamingo, but the species' presence in the Galápagos makes that name problematic.

The American Flamingo breeds in the Galápagos Islands, coastal Colombia, Venezuela and nearby islands, besides the Guyanas and Cape Orange in Brazil. It also breeds in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, and in the northern Caribbean in the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Most sightings in southern Florida are usually considered to be escapees, although at least one bird banded as a chick in the Yucatán Peninsula has been sighted in Everglades National Park, and others may be genuine wanderers from Cuba.

Its preferred habitats are similar to that of its relatives: saline lagoons, mudflats, and shallow brackish coastal or inland lakes. Like all flamingos, it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound, between May and August; incubation until hatching takes from 28 to 32 days; both parents brood the young for a period of up to 6 years when they reach sexual maturity. Their life expectancy of 40 years is one of the longest in birds.

The American Flamingo is 120–140 cm (47–55 in) in length; males weigh 2.8 kg (6.2 lb) and females 2.2 kg (4.9 lb) kg. Most of its plumage is pink, giving rise to its earlier name of Rosy Flamingo and differentiating adults from the much paler Greater Flamingo. The wing coverts are red, and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. It is the only flamingo which naturally inhabits North America.

The bill is pink and white with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking.

The American Flamingo is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


Reference
Photo taken by Craig Glenn


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Long-tailed Skipper

Long-tailed Skipper



The Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) is a spread-winged skipper butterfly found throughout tropical and subtropical America, south to Argentina and north into the southern part of the United States of America. It cannot live in areas with prolonged frost. It is a showy butterfly, with wings of light brown tinted with iridescent blue, and two long tails extending from the hindwings. The robust body is light blue dorsally. It has a large head, prominent eyes, and a wingspan between 4.5 and 6 centimeters.

It lays white or yellow eggs, singly or in small clusters, which hatch into a caterpillar with a yellowish body and large, dark head. After two to three weeks, the caterpillar forms a pupa. Its pupa is contained in a rolled leaf and covered in fine bluish hairs. The pupa stage may last from one to three weeks, after which the adult emerges.

The caterpillar of this skipper is a common pest of crops, especially beans, in the southern United States. For this reason, it is sometimes called the bean leafroller in that area. The caterpillars are also known to attack ornamental plants in the legume family such as wisteria and butterfly pea. The caterpillars feed on leaves and then roll the leaves around themselves, lining the cavity with silk, to pupate. The adults feed on nectar from flowers.





Reference
Butterfly picture by Craig Glenn

Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wood Stork

Wood Stork




Taken at Busch Gardens

Wood storks are tall, white denizens of freshwater or brackish wetlands and swamps. They can be identified by their long legs, featherless heads, and prominent bills.

These waders feed on minnows in shallow water by using their bills to perform a rare and effective fishing technique. The stork opens its bill and sticks it into the water, then waits for the touch of an unfortunate fish that wanders too close. When it feels a fish, the stork can snap its bill shut in as little as 25 milliseconds—an incredibly quick reaction time matched by few other vertebrates.

The storks prefer to employ this technique in isolated pools created by tides or falling freshwater levels, where fish congregate en masse. In some areas, such as Florida, breeding begins with the dry season that produces these optimal fishing conditions.

Though wood storks eat small fish, they eat a lot of them. An average nesting pair, with two fledglings, may eat over 400 pounds (181 kilograms) of fish during a single breeding season.

Wood storks are social animals. They feed in flocks and nest in large rookeries—sometimes several pairs to a single tree. Females lay two to five eggs, which both sexes incubate for about one month. Young fledge about two months after hatching.

Wood storks breed in the southeastern United States and are the only stork to breed in the U.S. They also breed in Central and South America from Mexico to Argentina. Though U.S. populations are endangered—probably because of the loss of optimal feeding habitat—the South American stork populations are in better shape.

Research from National Geographic.


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker


(click to enlarge)

This is a new photo lifer for me!

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in most of North America. Its loud ringing calls and huge, rectangular excavations in dead trees announce its presence in forests across the continent.

These birds mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae, fruits, and nuts. They often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects.

Pileated Woodpeckers raise their young every year in a hole in the tree. In April the hole made by the male attracts a female for mating and raising their young. Once the brood is raised the Pileated Woodpeckers abandon the hole and will not use it the next year.

These holes, made similarly by all woodpeckers, when abandoned provide good homes in future years for many forest song birds. Ecologically, the entire woodpecker family is important to the well being of many other bird species.

They usually excavate large nests in the cavities of dead trees creating habitat for other large cavity nesters. A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate floaters during the winter.

The Pileated Woodpecker also nests in nest boxes about 15 ft off the ground.

Pileated Woodpeckers make such large holes in dead trees the holes can cause a small tree to break in half. The roost of a Pileated Woodpecker usually has multiple entrance holes. Pileated Woodpeckers have been observed to move eggs that have fallen out of the nest to another site, a rare habit in birds. The cavity is unlined except for wood chips. "Both parents incubate three to five eggs for 15 or 16 days. The young may take a month to fledge."

Research from Wiki and All about Birds.


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Female Downny Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker


(click to enlarge)

Did you know:

Downy Woodpeckers hitch around tree limbs and trunks or drop into tall weeds to feed on galls, moving more acrobatically than larger woodpeckers. Their rising-and-falling flight style is distinctive of many woodpeckers. In spring and summer, Downy Woodpeckers make lots of noise, both with their shrill whinnying call and by drumming on trees.

Did you know source.


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Male Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker



(Click image to enlarge)

The Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, is the smallest woodpecker in North America. Adults are mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. There is a white bar above the eye and one below. They have a black tail with white outer feathers barred with black. Adult males have a red patch on the back of the head whereas juvenile birds display a red cap.

It is virtually identical in plumage pattern to the much larger Hairy Woodpecker, but it can be distinguished from the Hairy by the presence of black spots on its white tail feathers. These species are not very closely related, and they are likely to be separated in different genera (Weibel & Moore, 2005; Moore et al., 2006); the outward similarity is a spectacular example of convergent evolution. Why they evolved this way cannot be explained with confidence; it may be relevant that the species exploit rather different-sized foodstuffs and do not compete very much ecologically.

Research from Wiki.


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn