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Antiguan wildlife

Hey! How would you like to see some of the wildlife of Antigua? These are all creatures that do well around humans, naturally, since I'm not exactly traveling to the deep wilderness. All of these pictures are from the house or by a restaurant. This is an Antiguan anole, a colorful little insect-eating lizard seen scurrying across walls and walkways.
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More stuff of Antigua

How about a random selection of vacation pictures? From Aphid to Zenaida. Read more...Collapse )

More birds of Antigua.

It seems odd to see this bird not in a man made habitat. The Lesser Antillean Bullfinch is familiar on the island for getting into restaurant and hotel spaces (which are typically open air) and helping itself to crumbs and sugar packets.

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This morning my father in law and I went for a walk up the hill. I didn't identify the flowering plant breaking through the pavement. Can you?

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365 Urban Species. #110: Cattle Egret

Urban species #110: Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis

The cattle egret, unlike its swamp-dwelling relatives, like the great blue heron, is a creature of grasslands. It is an African bird, originally, that associates with hoofed mammals, including (obviously enough) cattle. It follows these animals around as they forage, stirring insects out of the grass, and feeds on these insects.

Over the past millennia, every so often some cattle egrets would cross the Atlantic and visit South America. Some time relatively recently, the egrets discovered that some of the forests had been cleared, and replaced with grasslands full of the kind of insects they liked to prey upon. They even found that humans had performed the great service of bringing cattle, of all things, to this new continent. Some egrets didn't return to Africa, and over time a permanent South American population of cattle egrets developed. Inevitably, they spread into the vast, cattle-filled landscape to the north.

In Antigua, the cattle egrets have their choice of livestock to follow around: Cattle (including at least two herds of African zebu), horses, sheep, and the ever present goats. The most efficient disturber of the grassland insects, however, is the power mower. Adaptable as always, the cattle egret follows these strange creatures as naturally as any cattle herd.

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The Urban Pantheist

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June 2015



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