Nature’s Reflections – Florida’s Gray Squirrel

Nature’s Reflections – Florida’s Gray Squirrel

Nature’s Clowns – Clever and Entertaining – or Nuisance   The small gray squirrel found throughout our state is the Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis. It is the most common of the three squirrels found in Florida.   This squirrel is salt and pepper, grizzled with tan hairs in its body coat, and a buff […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Florida Osprey

Nature’s Reflections – Florida Osprey

The Fish Eagle – Master of the Catch   The osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Florida’s fish eagle, gets its name from the Latin word for sea eagle. These eagle-like birds of prey catch fish with impeccable precision and finesse. Measuring 21 to 24 inches in length, ospreys have long, pointed wings spanning six feet. The head, […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Florida’s Burrowing Owl

Nature’s Reflections – Florida’s Burrowing Owl

A pint-sized owl that’s active both day and night   The burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia floridana) is one of our smallest owls, standing just nine inches tall with a wingspan of 21 inches. Unlike other owls, this owl is a ground dweller, preferring open fields and prairie-type areas well away from trees. It spends most […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Eastern Meadowlark

Nature’s Reflections – Eastern Meadowlark

Easily identified by the black “V” on its chest   Florida’s Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) is a songbird found throughout rural areas of Florida. Its breeding range covers most of eastern North America and parts of South America. Experts say it is difficult to distinguish between the Eastern and Western species as it can be […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Whooping Crane

Nature’s Reflections – Whooping Crane

This large bird still on the endangered species list The whooping crane (Grus americana), is named for its unique trumpet-like call that can be heard for several miles. It is North America’s largest bird, standing 45 to 50 inches tall with a wingspan of 90 inches. Mature birds are pure white with black wing tips, […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Living with Alligators

Nature’s Reflections – Living with Alligators

Keep your distance and NEVER feed them   Florida’s official state reptile is the American Alligator (Alligator mississippensis). This largest North American reptile is a common site in Florida’s waterways. Our state is home to 1.3 million of them. People are intrigued by alligators, but they are dangerous creatures if someone attempts to handle or […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Nine-Armed Sea Star

Nature’s Reflections – Nine-Armed Sea Star

Once called a starfish, although it is not a fish   Sea stars are Echinoderms (Echinodermata) —a group of animals whose name means “spiny skin,” which includes sea urchins, feather stars, sand dollars and sea cucumbers. About two thousand species exist exclusively in oceans worldwide. None are found on land or in freshwater. Sea stars […]

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