It’s 4th of July, Pinellas County! Scooter says, “Let’s look at Florida’s Favorite Red, White and Blue Birds!”
Sparklers, hot dogs, watermelons and fireworks abound as Florida’s Pinellas and North Pinellas county areas prepare to celebrate this year’s 4th of July Independence Day! But aside from all the fun and great celebrations, Florida has its own “reds, whites and blues” to celebrate! We’re talking about Florida’s beautiful red, white and blue birds. But not the average ones… although they’re all beautiful, some do tend to stand out more. So in celebration of Florida’s Fourth of July, lets take a look at three of the state’s most exotic and interesting red, white and blue birds!
Scarlet Ibis: One standout among Florida’s most colorful birds is the very red, Scarlet Ibis. While Scooter loved the story about Doodle and his brother, we’re talking about the bird, folks. And, yes! They do exist along our muddy shores. Introduced in 1961 under the approval of the United State’s Department of the Interior and the State of Florida by naturalist Carter Bundy, the birds have held an almost mythical position along Florida’s wetland areas. A protected species, they are difficult to see and photograph in the wild. These scarlet red-plumed birds dine on crabs, small fish, frogs, insects and small snakes it finds along the shores of mudflats and lagoons. Although not considered invasive to other species or a threat to Florida’s current eco structure, they are non-native and considered one of Florida’s most exotic introductions.
American White Pelican: Iconic in Florida’s advertisements, photo-ops and tourist lures, the American White Pelican is most often what comes to mind when one thinks of Florida’s shore birds. Although the Brown Pelican holds close to our hearts, its snowy white, rather over-sized, cousin darts in as a descriptive piece of oft-mentioned most popular vacation experiences.Preferring to stay close to shore, unlike its brown counterpart, the American White Pelican doesn’t dive for its food rather than grabbing at it from shallow spots. This bird hangs tight to its group structure and lends itself to relaxing on piers and floating lazily along the more shallow elements of Florida’s shorelines.
Indigo Bunting: An eye-catching deep blue, sometimes nearly iridescent purple, the Indigo Bunting is a favorite of Florida’s wild bird watching community. Not exactly rarely seen, its elusive nature and seemingly nervous personality provides eager bird watchers with little more than an interesting story of the “one that got away” at the feeder. While the females don’t enjoy such a cosmetic appeal, retaining a brown, dappled appearance, the males are often mistaken for Blue Grosbeaks which are also a deep blue and carry a similar shape and size.
Wish you all a safe, happy and healthy Fourth of July celebration! from Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor, Florida!