A Visit to Possum Long Banding Station

A juvenile Little Blue Heron, seen at Possom Long Center.

A juvenile Little Blue Heron, seen at Possom Long Center.

We have visited this banding station in Stuart, Florida twice now.  While the banding has been slow, it has been great to meet kindred spirits and chat birds, birding, bird habitats, plants to attract birds…well, you get it.  The small sanctuary is about five acres, about the same size as our Birdcraft in Connecticut.  The banders are also working at other sites in the area banding Painted Buntings in concert with a program in the Carolinas, in an attempt to learn more about the decline of the Eastern population of this lovely bird (a popular cage bird in Europe!)  They have installed an Osprey nesting platform and Mr. & Mrs. Osprey were hard at work mating and chasing off intruders.

What a splendid view they must have from this beautiful platform.

What a splendid view they must have from this beautiful platform.

Possum Long was a local high school science teacher and he donated the property to the Martin County Audubon Society on his death.  While I didn’t see any life birds there, I did get a life spider, a Golden Silk Spider or Florida Banana Spider.  This impressive creature is beneficial and harmless, unlike the South American ones that come into the US on bunches of bananas, which have a venomous bite.  Females can have up to a five inch leg span and are the largest North American spider species after Tarantulas.   This one was about four inches wide, larger than my palm.

Golden Silk or Florida Banana Spider.

Golden Silk or Florida Banana Spider.

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