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 plu mage. Great Horned Owls often attack animals heav ier than themselves, including skunks and porcupi nes, but also eat other birds, reptiles, and amph ibians.
This species of Caracara is threatened both fe derally and in Florida. In the United States, the y can also be found in Texas and Arizona. They ea t almost any other type of animal, and will scave nge on the ground. Caracaras are usually silent, but during the mating season, males will make a c all.
This macaw, also known as the Blue-and-Gold Ma caw, is native to the rainforests of South Americ a. Macaws can fly up to 35 miles per hour. They f orm lifelong pair bonds with their mates. They ca n learn to talk, and are very playful. These bird s can live up to 80 years.
The Barn Owl can be found in many different co ntinents, and is also referred to as the Common B arn Owl. Barn Owls are often found nesting in bui ldings, pastures, and farmland. These owls live c loser 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 p elican. 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 s potted diving for fish along coastlines.
Black-Crowned Night Heron
With a range that spans five continents, inclu ding much of North America, the Black-Crowned Nig ht Heron is the most widespread heron in the worl d. It is most active at dusk and at night, feedin g in the same areas that other heron species freq uent during the day.
Our Florida subspecies is classified as endang ered. This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeti ng call that can be heard from a long distance. S andhills like grassy areas, such as golf courses, to forage for seeds and insects.
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue is the largest North American h eron. This heron can be differentiated by its sla te-colored flight feathers, dark stripes on its f ace, and red-brown thighs. These herons can be fo und in a range of fresh and saltwater habitats, b ut always close to bodies of water, usually nesti ng in trees or bushes.
Red Shouldered Hawk
This bird prefers wet woodlands and swamps, an d families of Red Shouldered Hawks can live in th e same territory for generations. Blue Jays can mimic this hawk’s call. When hunting, R ed Shouldered Hawks may perch on objects suc h as poles and posts, and eat small mammals, rept iles, 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 prob ably best known as the Hoot Owl, as its call is o ften eight hoots long. Though nocturnal, these ow ls can be very active during the daytime.
Our Osprey Overlook is up the boardwalk near t he restrooms. Since this is the only raptor in No rth America that has evolved to dive for fish - a nd is able to survive on a diet exclusively of fi sh - it has been placed in its own genus. Ospreys were listed as Endangered in the 1950’s du e to DDT, but are making a comeback.