Friday, October 14, 2011

Black & Yellow Argiope Spider

Black & Yellow Writing Spider (Argiope aurantia).
Looks dangerous, but harmless to humans.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Osprey: Recovered Raptor

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a large raptor that almost became extinct due to the use of DDT in the 1950's and 60's. 

Rachael Carson's seminal book, "Silent Spring," brought the public's attention to the horrid side effects of DDT and other pesticides.

Now, 50 years later, the Ospreys have recovered and are thriving and quite common here in SW Florida.

They are great fishermen...much better than Bald Eagles.

Much effort has been done by many volunteer groups to provide nesting platforms for Ospreys.  That, and the banning of DDT have made the species recovery possible.

Any kind of pollution or contamination eventually effects the top predators of a food chain or food web.  It's called bioaccumulation, whereby the offending substance is multiplied all the way up the food chain.

Here is a happy Osprey family on a nesting platform on Pine Island.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wild Parakeets of Florida

Nanday Parakeet (Nandayus nenday) a native of South America.  Photographed here in Sarasota, Florida.

Monk Parakeet (Myiospitta monarchus) is also a native of South America.  There is thriving flock here in Punta Gorda.

Learn more about our new avain neighbors.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

The Shrike has adapted well to our suburban neighborhood.  We've enough open areas for instect and lizard hunting, and enough woodland for cover.