Category Archives: On The Road

Traveling in our Coach

~Friday’s Feathered Friend

Pileated Woodpecker – Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, FL – March 2022

Wood chips were falling from the air. I looked up and noticed the reason why. This beautiful woodpecker was, I presume, hunting for bugs in this Pine tree.

 

Taken from the Web…

“Pileated” refers to the bird’s prominent red crest, from the Latin pileatus meaning “capped”.

The pileated woodpecker’s breeding habitat is forested areas across Canada, the eastern United States, and parts of the Pacific Coast. This bird favors mature forests and heavily wooded parks. They specifically prefer mesic habitats with large, mature hardwood trees, often being found in large tracts of forest. However, they also inhabit smaller woodlots as long as they have a scattering of tall trees.

Pileated woodpeckers mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae. They also eat fruits, nuts, and berries, including poison ivy berries.[15] Pileated woodpeckers often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects, especially ant colonies.[12] They also lap up ants by reaching with their long tongues into crevices. They are self-assured on the vertical surfaces of large trees, but can seem awkward while feeding on small branches and vines. They may also forage on or near the ground, especially around fallen, dead trees, which can contain a variety of insect life. They may forage around the sides of human homes or even cars, and can be observed feeding at suet-type feeders. Although they are less likely feeder visitors than smaller woodpeckers, pileateds may regularly be attracted to them in areas experiencing harsh winter conditions.

Lots of trees for that Pileated Woodpecker and many others.

Dixie Lake, Lake Louisa State Park

~~ Happy Birding~~

 

 

~Florida Shore Birds at Torry Island and Sugar Cane Fields

February 2022

Here are a few birds I saw while riding our ebikes around Torry Island RV park. We were camping at South Bay County Park in South Bay, FL. 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have tried to stay at Torry Island RV park instead of South Bay RV park. The road noise from Highway 27 was not pleasant and it was continuous.

The birding was most enjoyable!

~Common Gallinule

~Tricolored Heron

~White Ibis

~Little Blue Heron

~Great Egret

~Glossy Ibis

~Grey-headed Swamphen

However, the Okeechobee Lake levee, just outside of the South Bay RV park, was enjoyable to walk and ride on. South Bay to Torry Island was a two mile bike ride.

South Bay and the surrounding areas produce 57% of the Sugar Cane crops in the US. Sugar Cane fields for miles and miles.

Sugar Cane fields

Belle Glade, a neighboring town,  is known for its fertile soil and sugarcane production, carrying the slogan “Her Soil is her Fortune.”  The town is found on the southeast edge of Lake Okeechobee in Palm Beach County, Florida.

I like their slogan!

~Friday’s Feathered Friends

*Number 408 on my Birding Life List

Hepatic Tanager

Male
Female

I saw this pair at Madera Canyon, Rita Lodge back in January. What a treat!

~Why is it called a hepatic tanager?

The Hepatic Tanager’s sweet, caroling song carries well through the open pine and pine-oak forests of its highland habitats. Named for the male’s dusky reddish upperparts (“hepatic” refers to the liver), this species’ scientific name ( flava) also references the female’s yellow plumage.

~Where do tanagers live in the US?

Hepatic Tanagers occur in much of South and Central America and barely reach the southwestern U.S., where they are common but very little studied. They have gradually expanded their range northward since the 1960s.

Happy Birding wherever you are!