Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Critter of the Week: Northern Rough-winged swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

 One of my favorite things to watch is birds coming in to take a drink. Today was a rare treat as I was able to watch some northern rough-winged swallows (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)! Named for the rough edges of their outermost wing feathers, these guys are summer residents of the northern United States and Canada and migrate south for the winter to Central America.
The habitat of these aerial acrobatics includes lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. They forage almost exclusively on aerial insects...usually capturing its prey close to the ground or water's surface.This species is more solitary than other swallows and doesn't nest in large colonies like those of the bank swallow. They do nest in burrows or cavities, often times made by other critters (but they can dig their own)...or in one case inside a Civil War cannon! They nest in late May and June, and their clutches are typically 4-8 eggs. Interestingly, Steglidopteryx means "scraper wing" in Greek while serripennis means "saw feather" in Latin.

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