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Great Horned Owl
This large owl is both native to and the most widely distributed owl in the Americas. In snowy areas, these owls may take on lighter colored plumage. Great Horned Owls often attack animals heavier than themselves, including skunks and porcupines, but also eat other birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
This species of Caracara is threatened both federally and in Florida. In the United States, they can also be found in Texas and Arizona. They eat almost any other type of animal, and will scavenge on the ground. Caracaras are usually silent, but during the mating season, males will make a call.
This macaw, also known as the Blue-and-Gold Macaw, is native to the rainforests of South America. Macaws can fly up to 35 miles per hour. They form lifelong pair bonds with their mates. They can learn to talk, and are very playful. These birds can live up to 80 years.
The Barn Owl can be found in many different continents, and is also referred to as the Common Barn Owl. Barn Owls are often found nesting in buildings, pastures, and farmland. These owls live closer to humans than any other type of owl. Barn owls have excellent hearing, and can capture prey without needing any light at all.
The Brown Pelican is the smallest species of pelican. This species came close to extinction in the 1960’s and 70’s due to pesticides such as DDT. Brown Pelicans are still listed as Threatened, though the species is now recovering. These birds are rarely seen inland, and can be spotted diving for fish along coastlines.
Black-Crowned Night Heron
With a range that spans five continents, including much of North America, the Black-Crowned Night Heron is the most widespread heron in the world. It is most active at dusk and at night, feeding in the same areas that other heron species frequent during the day.
Our Florida subspecies is classified as endangered. This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeting call that can be heard from a long distance. Sandhills like grassy areas, such as golf courses, to forage for seeds and insects.
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue is the largest North American heron. This heron can be differentiated by its slate-colored flight feathers, dark stripes on its face, and red-brown thighs. These herons can be found in a range of fresh and saltwater habitats, but always close to bodies of water, usually nesting in trees or bushes.
Red Shouldered Hawk
This bird prefers wet woodlands and swamps, and families of Red Shouldered Hawks can live in thesame territory for generations. Blue Jays can mimic this hawk’s call. When hunting, Red ShoulderedHawks may perch on objects such as poles and posts, and eat small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and invertebrates.
The Barred Owl is the only owl in the eastern United States with brown eyes. All other owls in the region have yellow eyes. This species is probably best known as the Hoot Owl, as its call is often eight hoots long. Though nocturnal, these owls can be very active during the daytime.
Our Osprey Overlook is up the boardwalk near the restrooms. Since this is the only raptor in North America that has evolved to dive for fish - and is able to survive on a diet exclusively of fish - it has been placed in its own genus. Ospreys were listed as Endangered in the 1950’s due to DDT, but are making a comeback.