iNaturalist observations sorted by date

Count totals: Amphibia=2, Aves=13, Mammalia=10, Reptilia=6,

2021-01-15: Hylidae Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Hylidae: Tree Frogs and Allies

Hylidae is a wide-ranging family of frogs commonly referred to as \tree frogs and their allies\. However, the hylids include a diversity of frog species, many of which do not live in trees, but are terrestrial or semiaquatic.

2020-06-22: Tamias striatus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Tamias striatus: Eastern Chipmunk

The eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) is a chipmunk species found in eastern North America. It is the only living member of the chipmunk genus Tamias.

2020-04-20: Pantherophis spiloides Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Pantherophis spiloides: Gray Ratsnake

The gray ratsnake or gray rat snake (Pantherophis spiloides), also commonly known as the central ratsnake, chicken snake, midland ratsnake, or pilot black snake, is a species of nonvenomous snake in the genus Pantherophis in the subfamily Colubrinae. The gray ratsnake is one of about ten species within the American ratsnake genus Pantherophis.

2020-02-23: Hyla chrysoscelis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Hyla chrysoscelis: Cope's Gray Tree Frog

Cope's gray treefrog (Dryophytes chrysoscelis) is a species of treefrog found in the United States and Canada. It is almost indistinguishable from the gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor), and shares much of its geographic range. Both species are variable in color, mottled gray to gray-green, resembling the bark of trees. These are treefrogs of woodland habitats, though they will sometimes travel into more open areas to reach a breeding pond. The only readily noticeable difference between the two species is the mating call \u2014 Cope's has a faster-paced and slightly higher-pitched call than D. versicolor. In addition, D. chrysoscelis is reported to be slightly smaller, more arboreal, and more tolerant of dry conditions than D. versicolor.

2020-01-30: Lynx rufus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Lynx rufus: Bobcat

The bobcat (Lynx rufus), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America. It ranges from southern Canada through most of the contiguous United States to Oaxaca in Mexico. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002, due to its wide distribution and large population. Although it has been hunted extensively both for sport and fur, populations have proven stable, though declining in some areas.

It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby (or \bobbed\) tail, from which it derives its name. It reaches a total length (including the tail) of up to 125\u00a0cm (50\u00a0in). It is an adaptable predator inhabiting wooded areas, semidesert, urban edge, forest edge, and swampland environments. It remains in some of its original range, but populations are vulnerable to extirpation by coyotes and domestic animals. Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it hunts insects, chickens, geese and other birds, small rodents, and deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although with some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. The bobcat breeds from winter into spring and has a gestation period of about two months.

Two subspecies are recognized: one east of the Great Plains, and the other west of the Great Plains. It is featured in some stories of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, and in the folklore of European-descended inhabitants of the Americas.

2020-01-09: Ardea herodias Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Ardea herodias: Great Blue Heron

The great blue heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North and Central America, as well as far northwestern South America, the Caribbean and the Gal\u00e1pagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. An all-white population found in south Florida and the Florida Keys is known as the great white heron. Debate exists about whether this represents a white color morph of the great blue heron, a subspecies of it, or an entirely separate species.

2019-06-28: Nerodia sipedon Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Nerodia sipedon: Common Watersnake

The common watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) is a species of large, nonvenomous, common snake in the family Colubridae. The species is native to North America. It is frequently mistaken for the venomous cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus).

2019-06-15: Sciurus carolinensis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Sciurus carolinensis: Eastern Gray Squirrel

The eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), also known, particularly outside of North America, as simply the grey squirrel, is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus. It is native to eastern North America, where it is the most prodigious and ecologically essential natural forest regenerator. Widely introduced to certain places around the world, the eastern gray squirrel in Europe, in particular, is regarded as an invasive species.

In Europe, Sciurus carolinensis is included since 2016 in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list). This implies that this species cannot be imported, bred, transported, commercialized, or intentionally released into the environment in the whole of the European Union.

2019-04-09: Leucophaeus atricilla Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Leucophaeus atricilla: Laughing Gull

The laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. Named for its laugh-like call, it is an opportunistic omnivore and scavenger. It breeds in large colonies mostly along the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. The two subspecies are L. a. megalopterus \u2014 which can be seen from southeast Canada down to Central America \u2014 and L. a. atricilla, which appears from the West Indies to the Venezuelan islands. The laughing gull was long placed in the genus Larus until its present placement in Leucophaeus, which follows the American Ornithologists' Union.

2019-01-22: Odocoileus virginianus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Odocoileus virginianus: White-tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known commonly as the whitetail and the Virginia deer, is a medium-sized species of deer native to North America, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia, where it predominately inhabits high mountain terrains of the Andes. It has also been introduced to New Zealand, all the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico), and some countries in Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Serbia. In the Americas, it is the most widely distributed wild ungulate.

In North America, the species is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains as well as in southwestern Arizona and most of Mexico, except Lower California. It is mostly displaced by the black-tailed or mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) from that point west except for mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley bottomlands, and lower foothills of the northern Rocky Mountain region from Wyoming west to eastern Washington and eastern Oregon and north to northeastern British Columbia and southern Yukon, including in the Montana valley and foothill grasslands. The westernmost population of the species, known as the Columbian white-tailed deer, was once widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette and Cowlitz River valleys of western Oregon and southwestern Washington, but current numbers are considerably reduced, and it is classified as near-threatened. This population is separated from other white-tailed deer populations.

Texas is home to the most white-tailed deer of any U.S. state or Canadian province, with an estimated population of 5.3 million. High populations of white-tailed deer exist in the Edwards Plateau of central Texas. Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Indiana also boast high deer densities. The conversion of land adjacent to the Canadian Rockies to agriculture use and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees, resulting in widespread deciduous vegetation, has been favorable to the white-tailed deer and has pushed its distribution to as far north as Yukon. Populations of deer around the Great Lakes have expanded their range northwards, also due to conversion of land to agricultural use, with local caribou, elk, and moose populations declining. White-tailed deer are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours.

2018-12-26: Sphyrapicus varius Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Sphyrapicus varius: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) is a medium-sized woodpecker that breeds in Canada and the northeastern United States.

2018-11-04: Ardea herodias Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Ardea herodias: Great Blue Heron

The great blue heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North and Central America, as well as far northwestern South America, the Caribbean and the Gal\u00e1pagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. An all-white population found in south Florida and the Florida Keys is known as the great white heron. Debate exists about whether this represents a white color morph of the great blue heron, a subspecies of it, or an entirely separate species.

2018-09-26: Agkistrodon contortrix Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Agkistrodon contortrix: Eastern Copperhead

The eastern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), also known simply as the copperhead, is a species of venomous snake, a pit viper, endemic to eastern North America; it is a member of the subfamily Crotalinae in the family Viperidae.

The eastern copperhead has distinctive, dark brown, hourglass-shaped markings, overlaid on a light reddish brown or brown/gray background. The body type is heavy, rather than slender. Neonates are born with green or yellow tail tips, which progress to a darker brown or black within one year. Adults grow to a typical length (including tail) of 50\u201395\u00a0cm (20\u201337\u00a0in).

In most of North America, it favors deciduous forest and mixed woodlands. It may occupy rock outcroppings and ledges, but is also found in low-lying, swampy regions. During the winter, it hibernates in dens or limestone crevices, often together with timber rattlesnakes and black rat snakes. The eastern copperhead is known to feed on a wide variety of prey, including invertebrates (primarily arthropods) and vertebrates. Like most pit vipers, the eastern copperhead is generally an ambush predator; it takes up a promising position and waits for suitable prey to arrive.

As a common species within its range, it may be encountered by humans. Unlike other viperids, they often \freeze\ instead of slithering away, due to its habit of relying on excellent camouflage, rather than fleeing. Bites occur due to people unknowingly stepping on or near them. Copperhead bites account for half of the treated snake bites in the United States.

Five subspecies have been recognized in the past, but recent genetic analysis had yielded new species information.

2018-08-07: Terrapene carolina carolina Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Terrapene carolina carolina: Eastern Box Turtle

The eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) is a subspecies within a group of hinge-shelled turtles normally called box turtles. T.\u00a0c.\u00a0carolina is native to the eastern part of the United States.

The eastern box turtle is a subspecies of the common box turtle (Terrapene carolina). While in the pond turtle family, Emydidae, and not a tortoise, the box turtle is largely terrestrial. Box turtles are slow crawlers, extremely long-lived, and slow to mature and have relatively few offspring per year. These characteristics, along with a propensity to get hit by cars and agricultural machinery, make all box turtle species particularly susceptible to anthropogenic, or human-induced, mortality.

In 2011, citing \a widespread persistent and ongoing gradual decline of Terrapene carolina that probably exceeds 32% over three generations\, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded its conservation status from near threatened to vulnerable.

2018-06-19: Dasypus novemcinctus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Dasypus novemcinctus: Nine-banded Armadillo

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), also known as the nine-banded long-nosed armadillo or common long-nosed armadillo, is a mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange.The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 91\u2013120\u00a0cm (3\u20134\u00a0ft) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads. It is the state mammal of Texas.

2018-06-14: Spinus tristis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Spinus tristis: American Goldfinch

The American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is a small North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from mid-Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canada\u2013United States border to Mexico during the winter.

The only finch in its subfamily to undergo a complete molt, the American goldfinch displays sexual dichromatism: the male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter, while the female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The male displays brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate.

The American goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. It is a social bird and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating. It may behave territorially during nest construction, but this aggression is short-lived. Its breeding season is tied to the peak of food supply, beginning in late July, which is relatively late in the year for a finch. This species is generally monogamous and produces one brood each year.

Human activity has generally benefited the American goldfinch. It is often found in residential areas because it is attracted to bird feeders, which increase its survival rate in these areas. Deforestation also creates open meadow areas, which are its preferred habitat.

2018-05-11: Eptesicus fuscus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Eptesicus fuscus: Big Brown Bat

The big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) is a species of vesper bat distributed widely throughout North America, the Caribbean, and the northern portion of South America. It was first described as a species in 1796. Compared to other microbats, the big brown bat is relatively large, weighing 15\u201326\u00a0g (0.53\u20130.92\u00a0oz) and possessing a wingspan of 32.5\u201335\u00a0cm (12.8\u201313.8\u00a0in).

Big brown bats are insectivorous, consuming a diverse array of insects, particularly night-flying insects, but especially beetles. Some of the beetles it consumes are serious agricultural pests, including cucumber beetles. They are nocturnal, foraging for prey at night and roosting in sheltered areas during the day such as caves, tunnels, tree cavities, and human structures. Their breeding season is in the fall, shortly before their annual hibernation. After hibernation ends in the spring, females form maternity colonies for giving birth to young. Oftentimes only one offspring is produced per litter, though twins are common in the Eastern US. Lifespans of 6.5 years are considered average.

The big brown bat occurs widely throughout the US, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean. Its range extends into parts of South America, found as far south as Colombia and Venezuela. It is adaptable to many habitats and is considered a generalist species. The big brown bat is not considered at risk for extinction, and is evaluated as the lowest conservation priority by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

While some other bat species in its range have experienced dramatic population declines due to the fungal disease white-nose syndrome, the big brown bat is relatively resistant to the effects of the disease, and some populations have even increased since the syndrome arrived in North America. Like all bats in the US, the big brown bat can be impacted by rabies, though some individuals have immunity against the virus. Even though sick bats are more likely to be submitted for testing, in 2011, only 3.8% of submitted big brown bats were positive for the rabies virus. Bat boxes are sometimes used to attract them as they are an agriculturally valuable species.

2018-04-25: Cyanocitta cristata Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Cyanocitta cristata: Blue Jay

The blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to eastern North America. It lives in most of the eastern and central United States; some eastern populations may be migratory. Resident populations are also in Newfoundland, Canada; breeding populations are found across southern Canada. It breeds in both deciduous and coniferous forests, and is common in residential areas. Its coloration is predominantly blue, with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest; it has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Males and females are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary throughout the year. Four subspecies have been recognized.

The blue jay feeds mainly on seeds and nuts, such as acorns, which it may hide to eat later; soft fruits; arthropods; and occasionally small vertebrates. It typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground, and sometimes hawks insects from the air. Blue jays can be very aggressive to other birds; they sometimes raid nests and have even been found to have decapitated other birds.

It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree; both sexes participate. The clutch may be two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with darker brown spots. Young are altricial, and are brooded by the female for 8\u201312 days after hatching. They may stay with their parents for one to two months.

The name jay derives from the bird's noisy, garrulous nature and has been applied to other birds of the same family, which are also mostly gregarious. Jays are also called jaybirds.

2018-04-06: Canis latrans Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Canis latrans: Coyote

The coyote (Canis latrans) is a species of canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecological niche as the golden jackal does in Eurasia. The coyote is larger and more predatory and was once referred to as the American jackal by a behavioral ecologist. Other historical names for the species include the prairie wolf and the brush wolf.

The coyote is listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to its wide distribution and abundance throughout North America. The species is versatile, able to adapt to and expand into environments modified by humans; urban coyotes are common in many cities. The coyote was sighted in eastern Panama (across the Panama Canal from their home range) for the first time in 2013.

The coyote has 19 recognized subspecies. The average male weighs 8 to 20\u00a0kg (18 to 44\u00a0lb) and the average female 7 to 18\u00a0kg (15 to 40\u00a0lb). Their fur color is predominantly light gray and red or fulvous interspersed with black and white, though it varies somewhat with geography. It is highly flexible in social organization, living either in a family unit or in loosely knit packs of unrelated individuals. Primarily carnivorous, its diet consists mainly of deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, though it may also eat fruits and vegetables on occasion. Its characteristic vocalization is a howl made by solitary individuals. Humans are the coyote's greatest threat, followed by cougars and gray wolves. In spite of this, coyotes sometimes mate with gray, eastern, or red wolves, producing \coywolf\ hybrids. In the northeastern regions of North America, the eastern coyote (a larger subspecies, though still smaller than wolves) is the result of various historical and recent matings with various types of wolves. Genetic studies show that most North American wolves contain some level of coyote DNA.

The coyote is a prominent character in Native American folklore, mainly in Aridoamerica, usually depicted as a trickster that alternately assumes the form of an actual coyote or a man. As with other trickster figures, the coyote uses deception and humor to rebel against social conventions. The animal was especially respected in Mesoamerican cosmology as a symbol of military might. After the European colonization of the Americas, it was seen in Anglo-American culture as a cowardly and untrustworthy animal. Unlike wolves, which have seen their public image improve, attitudes towards the coyote remain largely negative.

2018-02-06: Poecile carolinensis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Poecile carolinensis: Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) is a small passerine bird in the tit family Paridae.

2018-02-06: Baeolophus bicolor Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Baeolophus bicolor: Tufted Titmouse

The tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is a small songbird from North America, a species in the tit and chickadee family (Paridae). The black-crested titmouse, found from central and southern Texas southward, was included as a subspecies but now is considered a separate species, Baeolophus atricristatus.

2018-02-06: Cardinalis cardinalis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Cardinalis cardinalis: Northern Cardinal

The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), known colloquially as the redbird, common cardinal, red cardinal, or just cardinal, is a bird in the genus Cardinalis. It can be found in southeastern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Minnesota to Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona, southern California, and south through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. It is also an introduced species in a few locations such as Bermuda and Hawaii. Its habitat includes woodlands, gardens, shrublands, and wetlands.

The northern cardinal is a mid-sized perching songbird with a body length of 21\u201323\u00a0cm (8.3\u20139.1\u00a0in) and a crest on the top of the head. The species expresses sexual dimorphism: Females are a reddish olive color, and have a gray mask around the beak, while males are a vibrant red color, and have a black mask on the face, as well as a larger crest.

The northern cardinal is mainly granivorous, but also feeds on insects and fruit. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four clutches are produced each year. It was once prized as a pet, but its sale was banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

2018-01-04: Agelaius phoeniceus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Agelaius phoeniceus: Red-winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a passerine bird of the family Icteridae found in most of North America and much of Central America. It breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland south to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, and Guatemala, with isolated populations in western El Salvador, northwestern Honduras, and northwestern Costa Rica. It may winter as far north as Pennsylvania and British Columbia, but northern populations are generally migratory, moving south to Mexico and the Southern United States. Claims have been made that it is the most abundant living land bird in North America, as bird-counting censuses of wintering red-winged blackbirds sometimes show that loose flocks can number in excess of a million birds per flock and the full number of breeding pairs across North and Central America may exceed 250 million in peak years. It also ranks among the best-studied wild bird species in the world. The red-winged blackbird is sexually dimorphic; the male is all black with a red shoulder and yellow wing bar, while the female is a nondescript dark brown. Seeds and insects make up the bulk of the red-winged blackbird's diet.

2017-09-06: Lampropeltis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Lampropeltis: Kingsnakes and Milk Snakes

Kingsnakes are colubrid New World members of the genus Lampropeltis, which includes 26 species. Among these, about 45 subspecies are recognized. They are nonvenomous and ophiophagous in diet.

2017-03-17: Procyon lotor Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Procyon lotor: Common Raccoon

The raccoon ( or US: (listen), Procyon lotor), also spelled racoon and sometimes called the common raccoon to distinguish it from other species, is a mammal native to North America. It is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70\u00a0cm (16 to 28\u00a0in), and a body weight of 5 to 26\u00a0kg (11 to 57\u00a0lb). Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur, which insulates it against cold weather. Three of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws, its facial mask, and its ringed tail, which are themes in the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas relating to the animal. The raccoon is noted for its intelligence, as studies show that it is able to remember the solution to tasks for at least three years. It is usually nocturnal and omnivorous, eating about 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, and 27% vertebrates.

The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability, they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across central Europe, the Caucasus, and Japan.

In Europe, the raccoon is included since 2016 in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list). This implies that this species cannot be imported, bred, transported, commercialized, or intentionally released into the environment in the whole of the European Union.

Though previously thought to be generally solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in sex-specific social behavior. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four raccoons in order to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season and against other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3\u00a0ha (7.4 acres) for females in cities, to 5,000\u00a0ha (12,000 acres) for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young known as \kits\ are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas, hunting and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death.

2016-07-31: Didelphis virginiana Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Didelphis virginiana: Virginia Opossum

The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), also known as the North American opossum, is the only opossum living north of Mexico, its range extending south into Central America. It is the northernmost marsupial in the world. In the United States and Canada, it is typically called a possum, 'possum, or opossum. It is a solitary nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat, and a successful opportunist.

Opossums are familiar to many North Americans as they frequently inhabit settled areas near food sources like trash cans, pet food, compost piles, gardens or housemice. Their slow and nocturnal nature, and their attraction to roadside carrion, makes many roadkill.

2016-06-29: Buteo jamaicensis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Buteo jamaicensis: Red-tailed Hawk

The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a bird of prey that breeds throughout most of North America, from the interior of Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies. It is one of the most common members within the genus of Buteo in North America or worldwide. The red-tailed hawk is one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the \chickenhawk\, though it rarely preys on standard-sized chickens. The bird is sometimes also referred to as the red-tail for short, when the meaning is clear in context. Red-tailed hawks can acclimate to all the biomes within their range, occurring on the edges of non-ideal habitats such as dense forests and sandy deserts. The red-tailed hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes, including deserts, grasslands (from small meadows to the treed fringes of more extensive prairies), coniferous and deciduous forests, agricultural fields, and urban areas. Its latitudinal limits fall around the tree line in the subarctic and it is absent from the high Arctic. Generally it favors varied habitats with open woodland, woodland edge and open terrain. It is legally protected in Canada, Mexico, and the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The 14 recognized subspecies vary in appearance and range, varying most often in color, and in the west of North America, red-tails are particularly often strongly polymorphic, with individuals ranging from almost white to nearly all black. The subspecies Harlan's hawk (B. j. harlani) is sometimes considered a separate species (B. harlani). The red-tailed hawk is one of the largest members of the genus Buteo, typically weighing from 690 to 1,600\u00a0g (1.5 to 3.5\u00a0lb) and measuring 45\u201365\u00a0cm (18\u201326\u00a0in) in length, with a wingspan from 110\u2013141\u00a0cm (3\u00a0ft 7\u00a0in\u00a0\u2013 4\u00a0ft 8\u00a0in). This species displays sexual dimorphism in size, with females averaging about 25% heavier than males.

The diet of red-tailed hawks is highly variable and reflects their status as opportunistic generalists, but in North America, they are most often predators of small mammals such as rodents of an immense diversity of families and species. Prey that is terrestrial and at least partially diurnal is preferred, so types such as ground squirrels are preferred where they naturally occur. Over much of the range, smallish rodents such as voles alternated with larger rabbits and hares often collectively form the bulk of the diet. Large numbers of birds and reptiles can occur in the diet in several areas, and can even be the primary foods. Meanwhile, amphibians, fish and invertebrates can seem rare in the hawk\u2019s regular diet, but they are not infrequently taken by immature hawks. Red-tailed hawks may survive on islands absent of native mammals on diets variously including invertebrates such as crabs, as well as lizards or birds. Like many Buteo species, they hunt from a perch most often, but can vary their hunting techniques where prey and habitat demand it. Because they are so common and easily trained as capable hunters, in the United States they are the most commonly captured hawks for falconry. Falconers are permitted to take only passage hawks (which have left the nest, are on their own, but are less than a year old) so as to not affect the breeding population. Passage red-tailed hawks are also preferred by falconers because they have not yet developed the adult behaviors that would make them more difficult to train.

2016-05-29: Strix varia Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Strix varia: Barred Owl

The barred owl (Strix varia), also known as the northern barred owl, striped owl or, more informally, hoot owl or eight-hooter owl, is a North American large species of owl. A member of the true owl family, Strigidae, they belong to the genus Strix, which is also the origin of the family's name under Linnaean taxonomy. Barred owls are largely native to eastern North America, but have expanded their range to the west coast of North America where they are considered invasive. Mature forests are their preferred habitat, but they can also acclimate to various gradients of open woodlands. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, but this species is an opportunistic predator and is known to prey upon other small vertebrates such as birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as a variety of invertebrates.

Barred owls are brown to gray overall, with dark striping on the underside. Barred owls have typical nesting habits for a true owl, tending to raise a relatively small brood often in a tree hollow or snag (but sometimes also in other nesting sites) in forested areas. As a result of the barred owl's westward expansion, the species has begun to encroach on the range of the related and threatened spotted owl (Strix occidentalis). Evidence shows the assorted threats posed by the invading barred species are only increasing. In response, biologists have recommended culling operations to mitigate the negative effect of the barred on the spotted owl species.

2016-05-04: Thryothorus ludovicianus Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Thryothorus ludovicianus: Carolina Wren

The Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a common species of wren that is a resident in the eastern half of the United States of America, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico. Severe winters restrict the northern limits of their range, while favorable weather conditions lead to a northward extension of their breeding range. Their preferred habitat is in dense cover in forest, farm edges, and suburban areas. This wren is the state bird of South Carolina.

Seven recognized subspecies occur across the range of these wrens and they differ slightly in song and appearance. The birds are generally inconspicuous, avoiding the open for extended periods of time. When out in the open, they investigate their surroundings and are rarely stationary. After finding a mate, pairs maintain a territory and stay together for several years. Both males and females give out alarm calls, but only males sing to advertise territory. Carolina wrens raise multiple broods during the summer breeding season, but can fall victim to brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds, among other species. Some populations have been affected by mercury contamination.

2015-11-05: Vulpes vulpes Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Vulpes vulpes: Red Fox

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and one of the most widely distributed members of the order Carnivora, being present across the entire Northern Hemisphere including most of North America, Europe and Asia, plus parts of North Africa. It is listed as least concern by the IUCN. Its range has increased alongside human expansion, having been introduced to Australia, where it is considered harmful to native mammals and bird populations. Due to its presence in Australia, it is included on the list of the \world's 100 worst invasive species\.

The red fox originated from smaller-sized ancestors from Eurasia during the Middle Villafranchian period, and colonised North America shortly after the Wisconsin glaciation. Among the true foxes, the red fox represents a more progressive form in the direction of carnivory. Apart from its large size, the red fox is distinguished from other fox species by its ability to adapt quickly to new environments. Despite its name, the species often produces individuals with other colourings, including leucistic and melanistic individuals. Forty-five subspecies are currently recognised, which are divided into two categories: the large northern foxes and the small, basal southern grey desert foxes of Asia and North Africa.

Red foxes are usually found in pairs or small groups consisting of families, such as a mated pair and their young, or a male with several females having kinship ties. The young of the mated pair remain with their parents to assist in caring for new kits. The species primarily feeds on small rodents, though it may also target rabbits, squirrels, game birds, reptiles, invertebrates and young ungulates. Fruit and vegetable matter is also eaten sometimes. Although the red fox tends to kill smaller predators, including other fox species, it is vulnerable to attack from larger predators, such as wolves, coyotes, golden jackals, large predatory birds such as golden eagles and Eurasian eagle owls, and medium- and large-sized felids.

The species has a long history of association with humans, having been extensively hunted as a pest and furbearer for many centuries, as well as being represented in human folklore and mythology. Because of its widespread distribution and large population, the red fox is one of the most important furbearing animals harvested for the fur trade.:\u200a229\u2013230\u200a Too small to pose a threat to humans, it has extensively benefited from the presence of human habitation, and has successfully colonised many suburban and urban areas. Domestication of the red fox is also underway in Russia, and has resulted in the domesticated silver fox.

2015-10-17: Anolis carolinensis Wikipedia iNaturalist Observation

Anolis carolinensis: Green Anole

Anolis carolinensis or green anole (US: (listen)) (among other names below) is a tree-dwelling species of anole lizard native to the southeastern United States and introduced to islands in the Pacific and Caribbean. A small to medium-sized lizard, the green anole is a trunk-crown ecomorph and can change its color to several shades from brown to green.

Other names include the Carolina anole, Carolina green anole, American anole, American green anole, North American green anole and red-throated anole. It is commonly called chameleon in the southeastern United States and sometimes referred to as the American chameleon (typically in the pet trade) due to its color-changing ability; however, it is not a true chameleon.