An Elusive Beauty – The Red-Headed Woodpecker

Natural History Archives · Page 22 of 23 · Leighton Photography & Imaging

An Elusive Beauty – The Red-Headed Woodpecker

One of the most difficult birds for me to find in Florida has been the red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus). It is a very skittish bird - even for a woodpecker, and tends to avoid people if encountered. I've seen them only a couple of times in the Osceola National Forest north of Gainesville and in remote areas near the Georgia border north of Tallahassee, and only from a distance of at least five hundred feet.

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Tricolored Heron in Breeding Plumage

Last month I was in the Big Cypress National Preserve looking for new material forwww.FloridaNaturePhotography.com - particularly birds in breeding plumage when I spotted this amazing tricolored heron on the side of the road. It was in the most resplendent of breeding colors. Bright blue beak and face, deep blood-red eyes, violet and blue-gray plumage, completed with snowy white plumes at the back of its crown. Just gorgeous!

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The Most Beautiful Carnivore in Florida

The Apalachicola National Forest is very large and mostly rural tract in North Florida’s Panhandle region – an area known for its rich and abundant wildlife, beautiful longleaf pine woodlands, isolated Appalachian/Carolina-region species, and for the botanists – carnivorous plants. We have lots of them – in every shape, form, and color. Gulf Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia rosea) The beautiful

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Chokoloskee Mangroves

For much of this past month, I’ve been away from home – traveling almost constantly, and loading up on all kinds of new photographs of my home state of Florida. I’ve been trying out new and different techniques, a couple new lenses, and keeping company with a number of creative photographers in various locations who

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Operation Migration – Whooping Cranes Arrive in North Florida!

For the first three days of this week, an event was happening in St. Marks, Florida area that held the riveted attention of birders and other wildlife enthusiasts around the North America. It was Operation Migration‘s incredible effort in whooping crane conservation, and in particular, the last day of an 83-day migration “training” of their

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The Forgotten Coast – Unforgettable Florida

For much of the past week, I’ve been making my way around and throughout a part of the Florida Panhandle that is mostly unfamiliar territory for me and definitely “off the beaten path”. Completely rural, shockingly beautiful, loaded with wildlife – and oddly coastal – it is an area that is not on your average

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Gulf Coast Hidden Secret – Mashes Sands

Once again we find ourselves in hurricane season on the Gulf Coast – and luckily its been quiet – so far. One thing I’ve always been fond of during this time of year is the fantastic cloudscapes at the beach in the evenings. Generally we will have clear skies during the day, and as late

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As Tasty as a Bee

Yesterday (Sept. 7) I was down in Central Florida doing some butterfly and wildflower photography in and around the Withlacoochee State Forest and was lucky enough to get one of those jaw-dropping shots that a wildlife photographer gets once in a blue moon. I was sitting cross-legged in a field of wildflowers photographing swallowtail butterflies

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