Of Panthers and Cowbirds – A Lesson to be Learned

Leighton Photography & Imaging · Page 38 of 41 · ...Notes from the Field

Unexpected Florida Beach Sighting – Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage

A couple of days ago, I was driving along the coast of Apalachee Bay on the Florida Panhandle on the edge of Tate's Hell State Forest when I saw the unexpected. It was a group of 25 to 30 cattle egrets along the shoreline and perched among the skeletal remains of pine trees killed by beach erosion. Strangely peculiar as these egrets are not normally associated with the beach or salt water, and are most often found inland perching on or walking among cattle or horses.


The Coral Bean – A Pernicious Perennial

The coral bean (Erythrina herbacea), also known as the Cherokee bean or the red cardinal, is a common springtime bloomer found all over the state of Florida. I’ve seen them in dense woodlands, sandy pine scrubs, and growing in hardwood hammocks at the edges of swamps. From the Everglades to the Georgia border, these brilliantly


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.


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!


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