Average length - 18 inches, with a wingspan of 29 inches. Makes large
excavations in trees to find ants and beetle larvae, its two main food sources.
Pilated Woodpeckers are black with
a red, pointed crest, thin neck & white and black stripes on the face and sides
of the birds neck. Males have red foreheads and "moustache", females have a
black forehead and "moustache". Prefers mature forest habitat with large trees. Nests in tree cavities.
Red-bellied Woodpecker - Melanerpes carolinus
Body is 9-10 inches, a small round headed woodpecker, very common throughout
Florida. Black & white barred wings and back, face and underside are creamy
white to pale gray with a pale red patch on the belly.
Males forehead, crown and hindneck are red, the females crown is gray.
The Red-bellied Woodpecker prefers mature forest habitat and feed on acorns,
seeds, fruit and insects. The male and female stay together only long enough to
share in the excavation of a nesting cavity in a dead tree and care for the
young, up to 10 weeks after they fledge.
Downy Woodpecker - Picoides pubescens
The Downy woodpecker is very similar to the Hairy woodpecker, also a Florida
native. The Downy has a shorter body at 6 1/2 inches, than the Hairy woodpecker
at about 9 inches. The Downy woodpecker has a bill half the size of it's head,
while the Hairy woodpecker has a longer bill approximately the size of it's head
(front to back).
Downy woodpeckers have a black forehead and crown, males have a red spot on
their nape, juveniles have a red crown. Adult females lack any red.
Wings are black with white spots, tail is black, outer tail feathers are white
with black spots, has a white stripe on its back.
The Downy woodpecker can been found in open woodlands and will visit bird
feeders, preferring suet . Diet consists of insects, seeds and berries.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Sphyrapicus varius
Yes, there really is a bird named the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! This small
woodpecker winters in Florida and it does make holes in trees to lick up
the sap, its diet includes insects as well.
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are
nine inches long, have a 16 inch wingspan, white stripe down the side, females
usually have a red crown (it may be black), males have a red nape and crown,
both sexes have pale yellow undersides.
Many other sap loving birds, small animals and insects use the holes the sapsucker chisels out, the
Ruby-throated Hummingbird is able to extend its northern range because of the
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers efforts, it returns in spring after the sapsuckers
have had a chance to drill enough holes for it to supplement its diet when
flowers are scarce.
Red-winged Blackbird - Agelaius phoeniceus
The male Red-winged Blackbird with his solid black, glossy feathers and bright
red and yellow shoulder patches is usually perched in a conspicuous location
singing his heart out.
The female spends most of her time hunting for insects or building intricate,
suspended nests in the dense vegetation of marshes and shorelines of ponds,
creeks and rivers. With a more subdued coloration than the males, the females are
mottled brown with an whitish eyebrow.
Yellow-throated Warbler - Dendroica dominica
Usually found high in the tree canopy feeding on insects, the Yellow-throated
Warbler is a year round resident in the northern half of Florida and winters in
S. Florida. this small (4 1/2 inch) songbird has a black forehead, eye stripe, and
cheek, the cheek marking extends down the side. Grey upper side and white
underside with black streaks on the side, white supercilium, a bright yellow
breast and throat, and two white wing bars. Both sexes and juvenile are
very similarly marked.
Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglottos
The Northern Mockingbird was designated as the Florida state bird in 1927.
Average size is 10 inches with a wingspan of about 14 inches. The Mockingbird is
gray on its head and top side, a paler whitish-gray underneath, a dark tail with
white outer tail feathers, white wing bars and wing patch. Mockingbirds are
omnivorous, their diet consists of insects, fruit and seeds.
Courtship and breeding occurs from early spring though summer, Mockingbirds
usually build their cup shaped nests 1-3 meters from the ground and produce 2-4
broods per year, they aggressively defend their territory.
Singing both day and night this aptly named bird may mimic the songs of more
than 30 different birds, as well as barking dogs or mechanically produced noises
such as car alarms and telephones ringing!
Gray Catbird - Dumetella carolinensis
Gray Catbirds are slightly smaller than the Northern Mockingbird
and are found year round in N. Florida and as winter residents throughout
the state, feeding on the berries and fruit of Holly,
Greenbriar, Elderberry and other native trees and shrubs. Spring though fall
diet is mainly insects.
These birds are usually found in dense thickets and tangled vegetation, avoiding open areas, they fly low over
shrubs, flitting from place to place.
Related to the Mockingbird, the Gray catbird also mimics the songs of other birds while it has its own meow-like
call for which it is named. Coloration is an overall gray with a black cap and a rusty brown under the tail.
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher - Polioptila caerulea
The Blue-grey gnatcatcher is a small, active bird that doesn't sit still for
long. They are always flitting from branch to branch in search of small insects,
they also have a seeming nervous habit of constantly twitching their tails from
side to side, actually it's done to scare up insects.
Blue-grey gnatcatchers are 4 1/2 inches long with a thin bill, white eye ring and are blue grey on their upper
parts, white under parts and a long black tail with white outer feathers.
Blue-Headed Vireo - Vireo solitarius
A winter resident of Florida, the Blue-Headed Vireo goes about its business of
gleaning insects from leaves and branches in a deliberate manner, carefully
picking its way through the tree canopy.
Also known as a "Solitary Vireo", this, the easternmost form plus a mid-west and western form (
Cassin's Vireo & Plumbeous Vireo ) were once considered a single specie.
The adult Blue-Headed Vireo is 5 to 6 inches long with a 7 to 9 1/2 inch wingspan, head and topside is
blue-gray, white spectacles, wings have two white bars, flanks are dull
yellow. Immature birds are similar to adults but are have more drab colors.
Migrates to extreme N.E. United States & Canada for the summer/breeding season.