The Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida is a showcase for Florida’s wildlife. I spent the day indulging in one of my favorite hobbies – photography.
Here’s a dozen of my Florida wildlife images along with a few interesting tidbits of information about each.
All images Copyright 2019 Brad Saum – All rights reserved.
American White Pelican
The American White Pelican has a unique horn on their top bill, but only during breeding season. Both males and females have the odd horns on their bill, which are shed by the end of the breeding season. These birds have the second largest wingspan of any North American bird, after the California condor.
Bald Eagles do not develop the distinctly white feathers until they are five years old. The sounds made by Bald Eagles are actually a weak chirping whistle, and the movie and TV industries are known to subsitute the call of a Red-Tailed Hawk when showing a Bald Eagle. Whn a Bald Eagle sheds a feather, it will automatically shed the same feather on the opposite side to maintain balance.
The fox leverages the earth’s magnetic field to hunt. Scientists believe there is a dark ring in its eyes that reacts to magnetic north. When this shadow is aligned with the sound of their prey, they pounce.
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.~ St. Francis of Assisi
To feed, the Flamingo stirs the mud with their feet and then rotate their head upside down to scoop the muddy water. Their beaks are designed to strain the critters while the muddy water flows through.
Good teeth are critical for the Alligator to survive. As their 80 teeth wear down, they fall out and are replaced. An alligator can go through 2,000 teeth in its lifetime.
Red-tailed Hawks use their amazing eyesight to locate their prey. They can see a small rodent from over 100 feet away, whether perched on a branch or soaring overhead.
Great Blue Heron
Specialized feathers on the chest of the Great Blue Heron continually grow and fray. During preening, the heron comb this area down over their bodies with a fringed claw on their middle toes. This helps clean the slime from the water from their feathers.
Black-crowned Night Heron
These night herons typically hunt at night and early morning, and then rest throughout the day. The baby chicks are vulnerable to predators during the month they spend in the nest before taking flight. Once flying, the Black-crowned Night Heron has virtually no predators as it roosts high in the trees and hunts at night.
The strange shape of the bills on the Roseato Spoonbill are uniquely designed to capture small fish. The bill moves side to side and the very sensitive bills clamp closed very quickly when food is detected.
Brown Pelicans are frequently found living in small groups. They will fly in a single file line and tend to fly very low over the surface of the water. This helps them to be able to recognize various sources of food that may be available. They are very social and they develop a hierarchy within those groups.
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