Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mangroves, birds, spiders, butterflies and a racoon

This morning we went on an extended hike through Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. Our first wildlife refuge was established in 1903 through an executive order by Teddy Roosevelt, protecting shore birds from the plumage industry.

A bandit watching us from the mangroves
A Great blue Heron, an Egret, and a Little blue heron perched in the mangroves

An immature Yellow-crowned night heron hiding. 

A Great blue heron, 2 Yellow-crowned night herons and a Little blue heron.

Florida orb weaver

Spinybacked orb weaver
Black mangrove with aerial roots (pneumataphores)

The seeds of many mangrove species germinate while still attached to the parent (viviparous) and begin growing a root structure. After detaching the seeds float about randomly and when the root touches the bottom they grow into the substrate.

The Common buckeye butterfly
 And of course, the pelicans:

American white pelican
Brown pelican

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