FJ4 - Collier County Excursion

On March 25th, 2020 I went on a birding trip for 90 minutes. I was in Naples, Florida and began observations at 5:18pm EST. The weather was partly cloudy, breezy, humid, and the temperature was ~84 degrees Fahrenheit. The surrounding habitat was man-made as I was in a gated community sitting on a bench near one of the many retention ponds. There were a few tall trees (i.e. palm trees), shorter brush bushes, and smaller shrubby bushes. There were many houses around, groomed landscapes, roads, and sidewalks. Human activity was present in every direction of this area.

Sadly, there were not many birds to see during my time outside. I was not able to witness much interaction between birds. The one interaction I saw were between 4 birds of the same species (was not able to identify). These birds seemed to be "chasing" each other around in a playful manner. They were making calls during this time to which I assumed was a sort of "come and get me" call, or some sort of playful communication. Another assumption is that they were foraging in a group and using their calls to signal about food availability.

The bird I spent the most time observing was the Snowy Egret. This bird was by himself on the shore of the retention pond. His (assuming it was male) plumage was all white. I assume the color white is preference due to the scorching sun and the white may deflect some of the heat. When he first landed he stood still in the same spot for about fifteen minutes. I think this was to scope out the area and check for any predators. After this he browsed the edges of the pond to forage for small water animals/insects. His movements were slow and stealthy, but moved quick when chasing something. Since it was close to sunset I believe this birds daily circadian rhythm was influencing the foraging behavior.

The last birds I saw today were two male Red-bellied Woodpecker's. These two birds flew into the same tree but kept distance between them. They moved around the branches "inspecting" different parts of the tree. They did not make any vocalizations. After about twenty minutes these two left the tree and I can only assume followed one another to another tree to investigate.

Overall this was an interesting excursion due to the fact I was watching birds that are native to a state across the country from Vermont. It was interesting to see species similar to ones in Vermont (woodpecker) and ones not found anywhere close to Vermont (Egret). I developed many questions about bird behavior and weather. The local birds here only encounter warm weather, so I wonder how this contrasts with bird behavior up north. If it wasn't for mandatory quarantine I would love to explore the Everglades here in Florida and all the birds that inhabit the area.

Posted by aalderman aalderman, March 26, 2020 01:48

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Observer

aalderman

Date

March 25, 2020 05:27 PM EDT

Description

One single Egret, browsing near a retention pond.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus

Observer

aalderman

Date

March 25, 2020 05:44 PM EDT

Description

Two males observed in the same tree

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