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Jupiter Cruises – BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS!

04/04/2022

Jupiter Cruises

Birds — the real ones with feathers, not the snowbirds we all love —  are migrating from Jupiter Inlet and Loxahatchee River waterways. 

Here’s   5 BIRDS  to spot on a Jupiter Cruise with LOVE STREET OUTDOOR CENTER.

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SANDHILL CRANE

a bird standing on top of a grass covered field

LONG

That’s the word to describe sandhill cranes. Whether they are flying in the sky or foraging in marshes for food, their long legs, neck, beak, feet and wings make them standouts.

Here’s how to tell a crane from a heron: A crane has red skin on the top of its head.  Cranes fly with their neck stretched out completely. Herons fly with their necks tucked in an “S” shape when you see them on your Jupiter cruise.

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Did You Know: 

Sandhill cranes mate for life. They can fly up to 35 miles per hour.

 

GREAT BLUE HERONS

a bird that is standing in the grass next to a body of water

SILENT

Whether they are prancing in the shallows, flying above or waiting patiently along the shore, don’t expect to hear a heron.

The bluish purple birds with the up to six-foot wingspan quietly stalk their prey. Look for them along the shore on your Jupiter cruise and near the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

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Herons eat mostly fish, but also frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects and rodents.

Herons like big nests and love company. Their nests reach 4 feet in diameter and nearly as deep. A heron colony might have more than 500 nests.

Did You Know:

Despite their size – up to 5 feet tall — a heron only weighs up to 8 pounds.

 

LIMPKINS

a bird that is standing in a forest

LOUD

Limpkins love wetlands.

The gangly, brown and white birds are tough to spot. They hunt in solitude. Your Jupiter cruise guide will help you find them.

But they are not shy. Limpkins have a piercing banshee wails, often heard at dawn or at night when they spot a predator or during courtship.

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Did You Know:

Limpkins get their name from the bird’s seeming limp when they walk.

 

SNOWY EGRET

a bird standing on a dock next to a body of water

COLORFUL

With greenish-yellow feet and a yellow-reddish face, snowy egrets are easy to spot.

This snowy egret perched near DuBois Park had an elegant appearance and moved like a ballerina. Be warned: Its delicate appearance is belied by a loud, harsh call around its nesting colonies.

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Did You Know:

Snowy egrets are creative hunters. They stir bottom sediments in the shallows with their feet to startle prey. They hover and then drop to water for fish. Inland, they follow cattle to catch insects.

 

PREDATOR BIRDS

eagle sitting on a tree

THE BOSS

The Jupiter Inlet and Loxahatchee River have what eagles love: tall trees and open water.

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The tall trees give eagles a safe place to build their nests, which are about five feet in diameter and at least 50 feet above the ground. The open water is their supermarket to find food.

Eagles, who mate for life, add on to their nests regularly. Look for their nests along the Indian River on your Jupiter cruise.

Did You Know:

Eagles are not the only birds that mate for life.

Other monogamous birds are: Black vultures, Laysan albatross, Mute swan, Scarlet macaw, Whooping crane, California condor, and Atlantic puffin.

 

For more THINGS TO DO IN JUPITER, check out our blog