Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lunch Time for Susie & Sammie

Check out our new picture and video of the week. Our picture is of Susie, our female golden-lion tamarin, taking a lizard from fellow keeper, Hollie. They love their lizards. It's a special treat that they don't get on a regular basis.

This is a video of our large male iguana, Sammie, chowing down on his lunch. During the warmer months their appetite greatly increases compared to the winter time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spring Cleaning!!

Yesterday, we cleaned out one of our 50 foot cages. It was unfortunately covered in weeds. It's important to clear them out to make sure there aren't any potential threats growing or hiding in the vegetation. For instance, there can be invasive plants, such as Brazilian pepper taking root inside the cage. Or there can be snakes, hornets or other pesky critters, that aren't welcomed. Here is a little slide show of some before and after pictures. Hauling out two large trash bags filled with weeds. And an unfortunate hornet stinging incident with one of our keepers. After all the work and slight injuries the cage was restored to it's cleaned out self, so it could be kept at a level where the pots could be monitored for not housing anymore unwelcomed friends. Unfortunately a lot of the plants/trees in the cage look like twigs, but that is because the birds love to land on them and rip them apart. They are the birds' natural play toys.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pic & Video of the Week!!

Check out this picture Rose took of a native black and yellow argiope spider. Interesting fact; after females lay their eggs in the autumn they die. Eggs hatch in autumn, but they stay in the sac until spring. And males usually have a zig-zag pattern in the middle of their webs. I think this spider is a boy. Very cool!

This is our female red-browed amazon parrot that goes by "Bow Wow Bird." Here's a little clip of her making a trilling sound and saying her name. While she also gives kisses to the camera.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Invasive Plants on the Prowl!

During the drier months the staff at RSCF tries to go out and tackle some invasive plants and nuisance weeds. It may be the hottest time of year, but it's the easiest time to be able to get into certain areas without being flooded down with water.

One of the biggest weeds we tackle is Cesar's weed. It is native, however when it starts blooming it can shoot out to higher than 6 feet and take over the landscape. In the beginning of the following video we have our intern, Neil, hacking some pesky weeds down.

Lead keeper, Rose, gives a little synopsis on Brazilian pepper. An invasive plant sometimes confused with native holly. This species of tree produces a dense canopy that shades native plants from access to the sun. They are usually found in warmer climates and do not fare well in cold regions.

Finally, David shows us a little sneak peek on the invasive plant Ligodium. This vine usually starts at the base of a tree and begins growing upward. Without being tackled it will grow out towards nearby plants strangling them and stealing all their nutrients.

The best way to kill invasive species is by pulling them out, making sure to get the root. Hang them somewhere upside down so the roots cannot reach soil and regrow. However, with Ligodium, since it becomes such a tight knit knot of a vine, it's best to spray it with herbicide.

Make sure to check out which invasive plants may be in your backyard that you can maintain and prevent from spreading. Let's try to keep Florida's plant and wildlife as native as possible!!

Bath Time!

When it gets hot, we all like to cool down with a nice shower, especially the Red-browed Amazon parrots. Here are some shots of bath time via shower by hose. The birds love this, and end up soaked to the skin. As you can see, they hang upside down, spread their wings and thoroughly enjoy themselves!