World’s Most Endangered Canid

  Wolves have been vilified by humans for centuries from children’s fairy tales – “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” – Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf in a sheep’s clothing to the haunting howl of a wolf played in the background of scary shows to werewolf movies. […]

Wild Cats in Florida

Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, opossums and birds beware. There is a predator on the loose in Florida. It is a large cat with a short tail and dark spots. It is a skillful and stealthy hunter; it has keen eyesight, razor-sharp claws and sharp teeth. If it catches you, you will be dinner. The Florida bobcat […]

The Florida Peninsula Cooter Turtle

This freshwater turtle is common in the coastal plain of southeast of U.S. and is found in just about any pond in Florida. A larger turtle than the red-eared slider, it grows on the average of 9 – 15 inches. This cooter is primarily a herbivore eating aquatic plants including algae and underwater herbs. It […]

The Red-eared Slider: A Southern U.S. Native and an Invasive Species Elsewhere

A native of Mexico and the southern U.S. the red-eared slider can be found in just about any lake. They are easily identified with a distinct red strip on both sides of their head. When young, these turtles eat insects and other aquatic organisms, but as an adult the red-eared slider becomes a herbivore (vegetarian). […]

Wintering Chipping Sparrows

One of my favorite winter birds is the chipping sparrow. These petite sparrows are easily identified by a rusty-brown cap on an otherwise dull underbelly with brown striped wings and back. A black stripe through the eye is another identifying feature of this bird. Chipping sparrows migrate south for the winter and each year they […]

Florida’s Winter Warbler

Each winter yellow-rumped warblers flood into Florida to escape the wintry weather of northern U.S. and Canada. In Florida these warblers are ubiquitous; I almost always see them when I hike in the woodlands here. If you look closely at the bird’s bill, you will see that it is pointed. This is indicative of insect-eating […]

Hooded Mergansers in Winter

When I worked at Connetquot River State Park Preserve on New York’s Long Island, I looked forward to seeing the many species of ducks that came from the freezing lakes and rivers of the north. The Island, being surrounded by water and  bordering the Atlantic Ocean, usually had a moderate winter making it an ideal […]