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What the heck is this?

Alright. I try to be fairly independent, self-sufficient, but I’m stymied. And I need help! Can anyone help me identify any of the following?

He's been visiting my back yard for several days.  Is he a Limpkin or an immature White Ibis by chance?

He's been visiting my back yard for several days. Is he a Limpkin or an immature White Ibis by chance?

He really doesn't match any bird in any of my numerous bird books!  Help!

He really doesn't match any bird in any of my numerous bird books! Help!

Okay, now on to three plants that are growing in my yard and I have no idea what they are. I’ve tried to find them on the Internet, to no avail. If anyone knows, please clue me in!

Beautiful plant, supposed to attract butterflies but what's it called?

Beautiful plant, supposed to attract butterflies but what's it called?

I've got TONS of these and they spread like crazy.  Any idea what they are?

I've got TONS of these and they spread like crazy. Any idea what they are?

Given to me as a gift, but I have no idea what it is and therefore can't look up how to take care of it!  It sometimes has tiny white flowers.

Given to me as a gift, but I have no idea what it is and therefore can't look up how to take care of it! It sometimes has tiny white flowers.

Thanks so much if you can offer any identification!

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Posted on April 27th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
7 Responses to What the heck is this?
  1. I am 99.999999% positive that the plant with the red flowers is a Firecracker plant and yes it is on the list of flowers that attract butterflies, I am not certian which butterflies though.

    As for the bird, I think you are right that he is an juvenile white ibis, possibly in the process of molting??

    Reply
  2. Hi Carolyn!

    Firecracker? I’ll have to look that up. I have tons of butterflies lately. What look like Monarchs and lots of other kinds too. Maybe you’re right. Maybe the bird is molting. He’s always by himself too, which seems odd.

    Reply
  3. Hi MC!

    The curve and color of his bill made me think Ibis right off, so I pulled out my “Sibley Guide to Birds” and that is the only bird that looks right. It is odd that he is alone because the book says they forage in groups. Good luck with the other plants!

    Reply
  4. maybe he’s alone because he’s an adolescent male looking for a mate? i don’t know. but i hope he’s okay. tonight in the very early evening i went out to photograph him and he was spooked and flew up on a high branch in the oak tree. i tried to photograph that but couldn’t. thanks for helping me. you’re probably right — probably an Ibis but a young one, maybe molting as you said.

    Reply
  5. The bird is a juvenile white ibis (Eudocimus albus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_White_Ibis). The red-flowered plant looks like a coral plant (Russelia equisetiformis http://www.floridata.com/ref/R/russ_equ.cfm). The second one is probably an oyster plant (also called Moses in the Boat, Rhoeo spathacea http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FP510). The last, purplish plant is called purple heart (Tradescantia pallida http://www.floridata.com/ref/T/trad_pal.cfm).

    If you need help identifying plants and critters, two resources in our area are the Sarasota Gardening Club (http://sarasotagardenclub.org/) and the Florida Extension Service (http://sarasota.extension.ufl.edu/). They both have regular education programs about Florida plants and wildlife.

    There is also plantabulous Selby Garden. :)

    Reply
  6. The bird looks like a Perkins Ibis MC.It seems he is looking for a mate and melting,not molting at being near you.

    Reply
  7. Jason R — jiminy cricket!! i’m in awe. thank you so much. you were/are so sweet to leave all these links for me and to give me so many resources. as soon as i have my coffee, i’m going to investigate them all. i never even thought to take photos of the plants to Selby — t hat would have been a great idea too. and thanks so much for the other resources listed. i’m excited to know what’s in my yard. (i’m such a nerd, i actually keep a list of plants, birds, reptiles and other animals that i encounter on my, um, “estate”). big thanks!

    Reply

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