Back in Florida!

Classes are over, the Birding Cup is over, the Biggest Week is over and now I am back down in Florida. Anna has been down here since January working with the ‘Southeastern’ American Kestrels around the Gainesville area, and now I am also working with her. Our primary tasks are monitoring the kestrel nest boxes, banding chicks, and finding natural cavities. I have been down here for over a week now and everything is coming along very nicely – many nest boxes have chicks that need to be banded and we are also having some great luck finding kestrel pairs feeding young in natural cavities throughout the Ocala National Forest. I have also been able to pick up a few year birds such as Common Nighthawk, Chuck-wills-widow, Swallow-tailed Kite, and Mississippi Kite. On the downside, the house we live in has very poor internet and is very far from the nearest library, so Anna and I may be posting less often than we normally do….anyhow, here are some photos that I have taken the past few days to give you an idea of all the cool animals around this area!

'Southeastern' American Kestrel - male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Florida Scrub-Jays, like this one, escort us around whenever we are out searching for natural kestrel nests. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

While out driving around, it is pretty common for us to come across large groups of immature Swallow-tailed Kites hunting over pasture land. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Cattle Egrets are a very common species throughout the pasture areas where a lot of our kestrel nest boxes are. This group of birds was part of a large number that I watched flying to roost for the evening. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This Northern Raccoon watched me from the safety of a tree the other day, while I was admiring a stunning male Summer Tanager. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)