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The "Other" things you see when Birding


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1 hour ago, Jefferson Shank said:

He's well camouflaged! It took me a while to pick him out in the 1st picture.

Indeed! The only reason I saw it was because it moved. Some Tiger Beetles are much brighter, others more like this one that blend.

Edited by Clip
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Cool to see there is already a thread for this! I have so many things I can share here. This is the first Tiger Beetle I ever found while out birding back in 2013. This is a Big Sand Tiger Beetle from Arapahoe County, CO. The first Tiger Beetle I posted was cryptic making it very hard to see especially when you consider how small. Tiger Beetles are tiny any way but the Mustached Tiger Beetle is even smaller than many others. By contrast the Big Sand Tiger Beetle is bold and beautiful. I have seen and photographed probably a dozen or more species of Tiger Beetle.  Look for them in damp sandy or damp sandy dirt areas. Love Tiger Beetles!

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1 hour ago, Clip said:

Cool to see there is already a thread for this! I have so many things I can share here. This is the first Tiger Beetle I ever found while out birding back in 2013. This is a Big Sand Tiger Beetle from Arapahoe County, CO. The first Tiger Beetle I posted was cryptic making it very hard to see especially when you consider how small. Tiger Beetles are tiny any way but the Mustached Tiger Beetle is even smaller than many others. By contrast the Big Sand Tiger Beetle is bold and beautiful. I have seen and photographed probably a dozen or more species of Tiger Beetle.  Look for them in damp sandy or damp sandy dirt areas. Love Tiger Beetles!

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They're cool insects, that's for sure. @Clip Fun fact: did you know that tiger beetles are some of the fastest animals on earth relative to their body size?

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Ring-necked Snake found while out birding in our favorite Sunday birding spot in Duval County, FL. This tiny snake is about the size of an earth worm. One of many snakes I have encountered while out birding. In this case I had gotten out of the car to try to get a better photo opt of a bird (I don't even remember what bird now) and spotted this little thing making it's way across the asphalt. We may have actually run over it had we not stopped. Instantly my attention goes from the bird (one I had seen and photographed many times) to this new for me find. My husband dislikes snakes of any size and stayed the car.

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Eastern Coral Snake-Alachua County, FL My husband (who got back in the car hastily) and I spotted this deadly but beautiful snake while birding a cemetery in Florida. We didn't know at the time that it was deadly but I always assume snakes are and I kept my distances while getting several photos. The Eastern Coral Snake defies the rules on how to tell if a snake is venomous. Most venomous snakes have a head that is larger than their body. As you can see this is not the case with this venomous species. It defies the rules in other ways as well. Kind of the snake is sheep clothing for this most deadly snake in Florida. Looking all innocent! 

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1 hour ago, Clip said:

Eastern Coral Snake-Alachua County, FL My husband (who got back in the car hastily) and I spotted this deadly but beautiful snake while birding a cemetery in Florida. We didn't know at the time that it was deadly but I always assume snakes are and I kept my distances while getting several photos. The Eastern Coral Snake defies the rules on how to tell if a snake is venomous. Most venomous snakes have a head that is larger than their body. As you can see this is not the case with this venomous species. It defies the rules in other ways as well. Kind of the snake is sheep clothing for this most deadly snake in Florida. Looking all innocent! 

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Coral snakes, unlike pit vipers (rattlesnakes and such), do not have large heads due to the lack of large venom glands in the sides of their heads. 

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30 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

Coral snakes, unlike pit vipers (rattlesnakes and such), do not have large heads due to the lack of large venom glands in the sides of their heads. 

And yet they are even more deadly! Cool looking snake though I have to say.

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2 hours ago, Clip said:

Eastern Coral Snake-Alachua County, FL My husband (who got back in the car hastily) and I spotted this deadly but beautiful snake while birding a cemetery in Florida. We didn't know at the time that it was deadly but I always assume snakes are and I kept my distances while getting several photos. The Eastern Coral Snake defies the rules on how to tell if a snake is venomous. Most venomous snakes have a head that is larger than their body. As you can see this is not the case with this venomous species. It defies the rules in other ways as well. Kind of the snake is sheep clothing for this most deadly snake in Florida. Looking all innocent! 

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People here say a rhyme: "Red on black, (not poisonous - I forget exactly how this part goes but it ends with Jack); red on yellow, kills a fellow!"

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1 hour ago, Clip said:

And yet they are even more deadly!

Not necessarily. Although corals are front-fanged snakes, pit vipers (rattlers included), can inject venom much more efficiently with their hollow fangs. Coral snakes have to get a really good hold on you to do any harm.

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6 hours ago, Aveschapines said:

People here say a rhyme: "Red on black, (not poisonous - I forget exactly how this part goes but it ends with Jack); red on yellow, kills a fellow!"

I have heard the saying but don't remember exactly how it goes either. When it comes to snakes, insects and even lizards I treat them all the same and that is like they may be dangerous and I give them space. That is what the super zoom camera is for. I photograph from a safe distance.

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56 minutes ago, Clip said:

I have heard the saying but don't remember exactly how it goes either. When it comes to snakes, insects and even lizards I treat them all the same and that is like they may be dangerous and I give them space. That is what the super zoom camera is for. I photograph from a safe distance.

Oh, yeah, I would still give any wild snake plenty of social distance LOL! But whenever I see one of these, even on TV, I check to see if it's red-on-black or red-on-yellow. I always figure if I should get bitten I'd try to take a photo of the snake. 

I grew up in Maryland and my dad taught us to look for the head shape and pits behind the eyes if we ever got bitten so we could help identify whether the snake was venemous or not. Also to check before stepping over fallen logs or rocks. 

I love snakes, though, and whenever I get a chance to do so safely I love to see and touch them!

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Bull Snake doing a very good Rattlesnake impression. Photo taken in August 2016 Weld County, CO. I saw so many Bull Snakes while out birding in my time in Colorado. They are a good sized snake and very muscular. I broke my own rule once and picked up a Bull Snake (not this one) in Weld County on a dirt road like this. It was in the road and cars were going over the top of it without actually hitting it. It was freaked out and froze staying in harms way. So I picked it up and took it to side of the road in the same direction it looked like it had planned to go. I saw first hand a few time how snakes freak and rise up while a vehicle is over the top of them and end up injured. Not to mention all the ones you would see smashed. I just couldn't pass by the one I helped.  

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1 minute ago, Bird Brain said:

Sea Otters?

I think so but I'm not sure how to distinguish them from River Otters other than size. If birding has taught me anything, size can be hard to judge. This would also be my first time Sea Otter sighting. Photos were in Port Angeles, WA 

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2 minutes ago, neilpa said:

I think so but I'm not sure how to distinguish them from River Otters other than size. If birding has taught me anything, size can be hard to judge. This would also be my first time Sea Otter sighting. Photos were in Port Angeles, WA 

Nope. These are River Otters. The face looks much more like these

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