Listed Birds

Southeastern American Kestrel

(Falco sparverius paulus) – The kestrel is the smallest and most common falcon seen in St. Johns County. It is readily identified by its russet back and tail with the double black stripes on its white face. The bird is about 10 1/2” in length and can often be seen perched on power lines adjacent to open fields. In these fields, they hunt insects, reptiles and small mammals often hovering over prey before pouncing. The male has slate blue on its wings. The call is a shrill killy, killy, killy. They nest in cavities of trees (naturally created or abandoned by woodpeckers). State Status: Threatened

For more information, visit: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Little Blue Heron

(Egretta caerulea) – During most of the year, this wading bird is slate blue all over. During the breeding season the head and neck become a reddish-purple. They can be seen feeding in ponds, lakes, rivers and coastal marshes throughout the County. They are very slow methodical feeders and mainly consume fish, amphibians and invertebrates. They are colony nesters and nest with other herons in trees overhanging wetlands. State Status: Species of Special Concern.

For more information, visit: Cornell Ornithology Lab: All About Birds

Tricolored Heron

Tricolor Heron from Wikipedia Creative Commons. See more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Adult_Tricolored_Heron.jpg(Egretta tricolor) – This slender medium sized heron was known for a long time as the Louisiana Heron. It has a white belly and foreneck which contrasts with its dark blue upper parts. Its bill is long and slender. This heron is more commonly found along the salt marsh habitats of the Intracoastal Waterway and creeks. It feeds primarily on fish and invertebrates. They are also colony nesters and nest with other herons in trees overhanging wetlands. State Status: Species of Special Concern.

For more information, visit: Cornell Ornithology Lab: All About Birds

White Ibis

(Eudocimus albus) – This bird is all white in the adult plumage with a very distinct re-curved bill. The juveniles are brown and molt into their adult white feathers typically by the second year. The white adults have dark wing tips and pink facial skin. They are often seen probing for invertebrates along our local marsh habitats. Many people may have seen them on their lawns or at the Castillo De San Marco (Old Fort) forage for large insects during storm events. State Status: Species of Special Concern.

For more information, visit: Cornell Ornithology Lab: All About Birds

Wood Stork

(Mycteria Americana) – The largest wading bird in St. Johns County, the wood stork is easily identified by its size alone. Their wing span can be over 5 feet and they stand about 3.5 feet tall. Their white bodies contrast with the black flight feathers and tail. Wood storks can often be seen feeding along ditches and retention areas throughout the County. They are a tactile feeder, holding their mouth open and closing it when contacted by fish or invertebrates. This reaction time is one of the fastest in the animal kingdom. They nest in colonies, typically over large swampy areas. One such colony is located in the Matanzas Forest in St. Johns County. State Status: Endangered.

For more information, visit: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Driftwood at Vilano