Non-herp animal encounters

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)

My friend Lori set up an opportunity to capture and band these fantastic little owls while we were up in Virginia. I had assisted in this (mostly as a tourist) in Indiana one year, but this was my first time removing the owls from the nets and banding and measuring them myself.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

This robin just looked stuffed beneath an American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) tree that had dropped a lot of ripe fruit. I partook of some of the fruit and then photographed this bird that may have been too full to be very concerned with my proximity!

Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

Even though these animals look like oversized rats, I really enjoy seeing them. Interestingly, they are the only marsupial that occurs in the U.S.

Unknown fungus. I just liked how these looked.


Catching up on some fall photos

male Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)

adult male Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma bishopi)

gravid female Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander

Rusty Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus floridanus)

Rusty Mud Salamander larva

Southern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera)

Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea cf. quadridigitata)

Apalachicola Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus apalachicolae)

Central Newt eft (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis)

juvenile Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means)

Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis)


Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus) in National Zoo in Washington, DC in the same salamander family (cryptobranchidae) as hellbender

Carolina Gopher Frog (Lithobates capito)

Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

River Frog (Lithobates heckscheri) and Bronze Frog (Lithobates clamitans clamitans) on left and right, respectively

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

juvenile Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)

juvenile Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus)

Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi)

All photos are of animals found in Florida except for the hellbender, giant salamander, and indigo snake.


Neat arthropods on plants

Green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) on Variableleaf sunflower (Helianthus heterophyllus)

Blister beetle (family Meloidae) on Pineland false foxglove (Agalinis divaricata)

Crab spider (family Thomisidae) on Variableleaf sunflower

likely Pink prominent (Hyparpax aurora) moth larva on underside of turkey oak (Quercus laevis) leaf

Spotted apatelodes (Apatelodes torrefacta) moth eating gallberry (Ilex glabra)


Long-tailed Jaeger

intermediate juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus)

In the past year, mostly since Elliott was born, I've really scaled back my hobby of birding to the level of only opportunistically enjoying birds that happen to be near me when I'm outside for reasons other than birding. Recently, I saw the jaeger in the photos above while pompano fishing on the beach in Escambia County, FL with my friend Steve and my Uncle Jim and Aunt Gayle.

I have relatively little experience with pelagic species, so needed some help with the identification of this potentially confusing juvenile jaeger. My friends Bob and Lucy were very helpful in correctly identifying this bird. I'll include some points that Lucy made below, as well as one additional point made by another birder experienced in jaeger identification.

1. very strong, crisp-edged barring of the undertail coverts. Parasitic has weak, blurry barring, Pom has strong, but bill is not Pomarine.

2. virtually no pale tips to the wing tips; Parasitic has pale tips to the wing

3. bill shape (gonys incl) matches Long-tailed and has a hook at the tip more dominant in Long-tailed than in Parasitic

4. amount of dark on the bill looks to be about 40-50% dark, which is just right for LT

5. barring on the back is crisp and white, not buffy as in Parasitic or Pomarine.


Kemp's Ridley Turtle and some neat frogs

Kemp's Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

Can you see the frog in this photo?

Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Pine Woods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis)

Strange bright green morph of Pine Woods Treefrog (wouldn't have guessed it except for watching it sing like a pine woods). I had never seen this before. After some discussion, I've begun wondering if this and one other found nearby were Hyla femoralis x andersonii hybrids. I might pursue this further.

Follow up: After looking into this further, I found out that a Hyla andersonii x femoralis hybrid has already been documented.