This week, in honor of Independence Day, we celebrate red, white, and blue in nature.
Cardinal redbirds are seen all year, but cardinal flowers bloom a fiery red in late summer, and attract hummingbirds, butterflies and humans. These native plants are often found near water.
American white pelicans are a massive bird with a snowy white body. These ancient looking flyers will arrive in wetlands in August. The bald eagle is our patriotic symbol. Adults sport the familiar, white-feathered head.
Our springs provide deep blue waters with natural cooling on hot summer days. If you've never been to a natural spring, summer is a great time to visit. Blue catfish and bluegill are popular summer fish.
And showing off red, white and blue in its head and neck is the wild turkey. Fitting colors for an animal that Benjamin Franklin had proposed to be our national symbol. He thought the turkey more dignified than the scavenging eagle.
You can celebrate this year’s 4th of July by seeing how many things in nature you can spot that are red, white, and blue. Watch the video below to get you started. And scroll through the pictures to see more.
- Bluegill are important aquatic predators in the streams and ponds they occupy. In turn, they provide food for larger fish. The eggs and defenseless fry are eaten by numerous predators.
- These prolific breeders occur in many habitats, from farm ponds to large reservoirs and nearly any stream capable of supporting fish.
- They prefer deeper pools and backwaters of low-gradient streams, particularly in overflow pools along river floodplains.
- They do not tolerate high turbidity and thrive best in warm, clear waters with aquatic plants or other cover.
- Bluegill feed primarily by sight, at all levels of the water, homing in on moving objects.