Archive for phenology

October wildlife happenings

Here’s what’s happening in the month of October with wildlife, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

– Early October is peak migration for warblers.

– Monarch butterflies migrate along the Gulf coast.

– Turkey vultures return mid-month to Miami courthouse.

– Migratory sandhill cranes arrive, and chimney swifts leave.

– Indigo snakes breed in gopher tortoise burrows.

– Black bears are on the move, gathering food.

– Gray foxes begin mating this month.

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Land crabs are back

Once while driving on A1A back from a visit to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, there were crabs scuttling all over the road. My husband was driving, and he swerved, inched along and kept an eye out for the crabs, trying not to hit any.

Must be land crab time of year again, and this article has some information on the fierce-looking blue guys.

Photo from SERTC

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August wildlife happenings

I meant to post this yesterday, the first day of the month. Here’s what happening with Florida wildlife in the month of August, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation┬áCommission:

  • Alligators hatch out from mid-August to mid-September.
  • Yellow warbler migration begins.
  • Black bear cubs begin to wean from their mothers.
  • Purple martins and tree swallows begin staging in large flocks, preparing to migrate.
  • Young sea turtles hatch and flee to the sea during summer months.
  • First flocks of blue- and green-winged teal arrive to winter on Florida wetlands and lakes.

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Early migrating birds back already?!

The unmistakable sound of the blue-gray gnatcatchers that spend their winter in my neighborhood caught my attention last night. It’s only the end of July. Why are they back so early? In past years, I had noticed their return in August.

If you pay attention to the timing of natural events like this, that’s called phenology. So there’s your word for the day.

Maybe it’s just me, but the gnatcatchers seem to live here more than they live in their “summer” home! They come early and they leave late.

Photo from U.S. Geological Survey

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