NABA Butterfly Count at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve
We meet at the parking area at the Preserve entrance at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 14. You need to bring LOTS to drink, a lunch, closed-toe footwear that can get wet, sunscreen and close-focusing binoculars if possible. Digital cameras are encouraged. That is how we identify skippers if there is a question. There is walking involved, but not over great distances. The end of the count depends on if we have rain or not, but is officially over by 5 p.m. Preserve entrance fees are waived that day for participants. Lake Region Audubon in Polk County sponsors the count so there is no fee. Participants receive a copy of the count after it is tallied and entered into the NABA web site.
If you want to participate or have questions, please email us at LCooper298@aol.com
One of those more "commonplace" birds that is often seen in the summer flying gracefully over the Preserve is the beautiful and elegant Swallow-tailed Kite. And while they always provide a thrill, there is another kite seldom seen in Florida—the White-tailed Kite—a spectacular raptor known to nest in the Preserve. A very lucky summer visitor might spot one hovering while hunting above prairie, or even perched on a snag.
This time I will cover only one skipper - Palmetto Skipper. We consider this skipper the iconic prairie skipper. Its presence signals prime undisturbed habitat. Habitat that harbors Florida Grasshopper Sparrow is perfect for Palmetto Skipper too. This medium-large bright orange skipper with its bright orange head literally shouts “You thought skippers were all small and brown. Well, you were wrong. Come look at me!” It is named Palmetto Skipper because females use Saw Palmetto Serenoa repens as host plants. Just because you have palmettos though it doesn’t mean you will have Palmetto Skippers. They are absent from much of Florida but can be abundant at the prairie in good years. Flight time is February through October with the largest numbers seen in summer and fall. If you type ‘Palmetto Skipper‘ into your search engine there are numerous photos listed that were taken at KPPSP.
Random thoughts on and pictures of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.
unless otherwise noted
(Blog images may often be viewed larger by clicking on them)
Florida Brown Snake
Florida Grasshopper Sparrow
Prairie Loop Trail