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Showing results for tags 'northern harrier'.
I wish very much that I had a picture of what I saw a couple weeks ago while vacationing in Florida. I apologize in advance for only being able to provide a textual description. I was in Big Cypress National Preserve, driving along the scenic loop there. FWIW, I was at approximately N 25° 45.594' W 80° 59.737'. I was driving very slowly - maybe 10 mph - when a small raptor flew across the road ahead of me, carrying a very large, wet frog with its feet. The raptor was flapping rather furiously as it maneuvered through the trees in the swamp. I have been trying to figure out what bird this was ever since. I only saw it for a second or two before it was gone, so I can't offer too much information. Here's everything I can tell you: Habitat - Swamp/Marsh/Forest Length - maybe 10"-15" from beak to tail (can't be more specific than that given the circumstances) Appearance - Predominantly brown. The main thing that I remember that was distinct about it was that as it went into the trees on the north side of the road, it was maneuvering, so its body was more-or-less vertical. I got a full view of its back, with its tail splayed out, presumably to slow itself down. The tail was striped -- I want to say the stripes were brown and buff/beige. The tail was rounded, like a gingko leaf. Not sure of the terminology. Diet - Apparently frogs. I didn't see it eat the frog, but it had definitely caught it. I caught such a quick glimpse of the frog, and I only really saw its underside I think, so I couldn't hazard any sort of guess as to the type of frog it was. The bird may have had the frog by its head. I know the legs were free, and were hanging/flailing. I couldn't tell if the frog was alive, but I did get the impression that it was a challenge for the raptor to fly while dealing with its cargo. The head of the frog was 1.5"-2.5" wide I would guess. Length of the frog was 6"-9" from nose to back toe. Very rough estimate obviously. Date and Time seen: ~1:00 p.m. April 3, 2019 Weather: Sunny, maybe a few clouds. ~80 degrees F, humid. I've come up with a few ideas of raptors with striped tails whose range includes south Florida, but I have not seen any that match that description that eat frogs. Of course it's possible, maybe even likely, that its choice of prey on that day was an anomaly. I just don't know. Any ideas?