Spooks and goblins and monsters come out to play in October. We’re highlighting these not-so-scary creatures in our watershed and we want you to choose your favorite one!
We’ll be posting pairs throughout the month. All you have to do is vote for your favorite below.
Round 1 is closed with Redbreast Sunfish winning for Team Aquatic.
Western Osprey vs. Painted Bunting
Western Osprey: A fierce hunter, this raptor lives near the coast and there are a few families known to nest in our watershed. They mostly eat fish, grabbing them with their large talons, then flying off to a safe place to chow down.
Painted Bunting: This finch-sized bird is shockingly colorful for the area. Bright like a parrot, the little bird faces declining numbers due to habitat loss. Our watershed is one of his few remaining havens. He loves eating treats from bird feeders in suburban and rural areas.
Shortnose Sturgeon vs. Redbreast Sunfish (Winner!)
Shortnose Sturgeon: Although they used to be prevalent on the Eastern seaboard, they are now an endangered species. In addition to habitat loss and pollution, these fish are affected by river dams that prevent them from reaching spawning grounds. The Ogeechee River is one of the few free flowing rivers left in the country. They are “bottom feeders” and can grow up to 60 pounds.
WINNER – Redbreast Sunfish: Prevalent in our watershed, these fish are popular for fishing. Rainbow-colored and fairly small, he is considered full grown at two inches long. The largest one on record was only 12 inches. His Latin name means “big-eared.”
Pocket Gopher: This furry rodent has sharp teeth and long claws, isn’t really scary. These tools help him burrow and live in underground tunnels. Once thought to be extinct in our area, there are now modest numbers living in the watershed.
Tricolored Bat: Considered a microspecies because of its tiny size, this bat is considered rare. Their numbers have been decimated by a fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome. They eat insects and use echolocation to hunt by night.
Blackwater Clubtail Dragonfly: This species is very rare but can be found in our watershed. Black and yellow, with clear wings, it’s noted for the large knob at the end of its tail. He loves to flit from plant to plant, catching smaller insects in midair for food.
Bald-faced Hornet: These stinging insects live in large colonies and create beautiful paper nests in trees that can be up to two feet long. They are also pollinators, meaning they help flowers and trees bloom and grow fruit.