Wildlife Cohabiting Together — Great Egret, Anhinga, Softshell Turtles

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I love seeing different species of wildlife resting together, feeling safe.  Getting to see size comparisons is a big plus.

Even if they don’t want to look at each other.  😉

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“Getting Along”
Anhinga, Great Egret, Softshell Turtles

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Blue-gray Gnatcatchers

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The energetic Blue-gray Gnatcatcher rarely slows down, zipping from branch to branch, bobbing it’s tail to flush up and chase small insects.

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the shade

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the sun

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This last one is a bit of a ‘change in scenery’ for a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

After I lucked out with the above two photos, the foraging pair shot up to a roof, looked around, then took off.

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Blue-gray Gnatcatchers on a Seminole chickee hut

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Osprey in Flight

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Building activity is going strong at the many Osprey nest locations within Everglades City.

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Osprey

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Series: Take A Moment and Enjoy A Sunset

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Time for a pause to reset.  🌞

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Ibis at sunset over the Barron River, Everglades City

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“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.”  ~ Richie Norton

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Great Egret Reflection

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Trekking into the Fakahatchee Strand and peering into the areas of dark waters can yield some exciting finds and great reflections.

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Great Egret

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Typical Pelican Scene

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Just a typical Brown Pelican’s lazy afternoon scene you’ll find around marinas and bulkheads along the coast.

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Brown Pelican

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They still make for a pretty photo!

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Blue-winged Teal

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Blue-winged Teal are one of the first ducks in North America to migrate south in the fall, with most going to Central America.  There are some, though, that only migrate to the U.S. southeast, southwest, and Gulf of Mexico coastlines.

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Blue-winged Teal (female on left, male on right)

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The Blue-winged Teal are here at 10,000 Islands NWR, in the exact location I found them last year.  Right now with the large amounts of water, they are at a distance from the trail and observation deck; but as the water slowly disappears over the winter, the Blue-winged Teal will get closer to stay in water and, I hope, for some more close-ups.  I got lucky with these.  🙂

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Blue-winged Teal “Shadow Play”

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North America’s Smallest Falcon

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Being both the smallest and most common falcon of North America, it is said the American Kestrel is also the most colorful!

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Male American Kestrel (identified by his wing’s slate blue/gray color that the female lacks)

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Their size:
–  Length: 8.7-12.2 in (22-31 cm)
–  Weight: 2.8-5.8 oz (80-165 g)
–  Wingspan: 20.1-24.0 in (51-61 cm)

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Kestrels are most commonly seen on fences, telephone poles, and utility lines.  So when I saw this kestrel atop a palm tree spike, I knew I had to get the shot.

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American Kestrel (male) with a big view

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Cool fact:
Unlike humans, birds can see ultraviolet light.  This enables kestrels to literally see the trails of urine that voles leave as they run along the ground.  Like neon Diner signs, these bright paths highlight the way to an instant meal for the American Kestrel!

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American Kestrel at sunset

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird Enjoying the View

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I’ve been revisiting the Hong Kong Orchid trees growing around Everglades City, taking in their beauty.

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Hong Kong Orchids

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There was another reason as well.  I was looking for the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds who also love these trees.

Although most Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, including from Florida, spend their winter in Central America, those from the farthest points of North America will migrate no further than the tip of Florida.  I saw them in Everglades City last winter drinking the nectar from these orchids and perching so pretty.

And, by golly, I spotted a female my first visit this year!  😁

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird (female) at the top of a Hong Kong Orchid tree

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These hummingbirds are tiny at only 2.8 – 3.5 inches (7 – 9 cm) long, with a wingspan of 3.1 – 4.3 inches (8 – 11 cm).

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds beat their wings about 53 times a second!  That is almost imaginable, isn’t it?

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird (female)

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird sticking her tongue out

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I’m tickled to keep finding this female sunning on top of the same tree several times now.  There are four other orchid trees in that immediate vicinity, it is most definitely a perfect spot for hummingbirds.  Hopefully, I’ll continue to see her and others during the next couple months around all those trees.

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Series: Take A Moment and Enjoy A Sunset

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Even Great Blue Herons take a moment to enjoy a sunset!

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Sunset over the Barron River

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“Never go too long without watching a sunset.” – Atticus

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