This was located in an antique store window in downtown Edison.
Tag Archives: South Georgia Wildlife
Folklore suggests that a snipe hunt is a fool’s errand. But snipe are real birds, if rarely encountered. The term sniper comes from the difficulty hunters of this bird face. It’s well-camouflaged and flies in such an irregular pattern that a clean shot is nearly impossible. I was very lucky to see this Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) on Thanksgiving morning.
And in a flash, he was gone.
Few creatures engender more fear and misunderstanding than the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamenteus). I personally think they’re beautiful, but they should always be respected at a distance. I don’t encourage anyone to get as close as I did when making this photograph. But let them live. They’re one of our best allies in regards to reducing rodent populations and they’re an important indicator of the health of our broader ecosystem. The Georgia-based Orianne Society, which is focused primarily on the preservation of the Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi), also works to preserve this species.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that this species is threatened because I see them quite often in my rambles on dirt roads throughout South Georgia, but it faces numerous challenges. Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) are emblematic of the upland pine habitat that once blanketed the Southeast but are now greatly reduced due to changes in land usage and myriad environmental factors. The Gopher Tortoise Council is a wonderful place to find information of these beloved symbols of our Southern forests.
Some would say the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) isn’t the most attractive creature, but it’s a symbol of the swamps and wetlands of South Georgia. The species actually ranges from Canada to Florida. There’s all sorts of folklore regarding these creatures; my great-grandmother always said that if a snapping turtle got you in its grips, it wouldn’t let go until it heard thunder. That may or may not be the case, but I won’t get close enough to find out. I’ll admire from a distance.
Among North America’s largest birds, Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) are quite familiar during their annual migrations from the northern reaches of the continent to the southern United States and Mexico. They’re known for their loud calls and their habit of gathering in large numbers. I encountered around a thousand individuals yesterday feeding in freshly plowed fields saturated with recent rains.
One of the most beautiful raptors in North America, Swall0w-tailed Kites (Elanoides forficatus) are a South American species which breeds in scattered locations around the South in spring. By late August they begin their long migration to South America and it’s during this time that large numbers of them, along with Mississippi Kites (Ictinia mississippiensis), can be observed in large numbers in Long County. Bird watchers descend at a remote farm near the Altamaha River in growing numbers each year to see this phenomenon.
Purple Martins (Progne subis) are a well loved migrant in South Georgia. The largest swallows in North America, they have long been welcome on farms for their ability to consume thousands of insects. Gourd trees are often erected on farms and in open backyards as a means of attracting the gregarious birds, who live and nest in cavities. I found these as I was photographing the Willcox house.
The Purple Martin Conservation Association is dedicated to promoting and protecting these wonderful birds.