Florida panther

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A Florida panther, Puma concolor coryi, trips a camera trap while hunting along the edge of Corkscrew Sanctuary, possibly drawn to properties feeding wildlife like deer and turkeys.

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Red-shouldered hawk

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A Red-shouldered hawk, Buteo lineatus, screams by on its way to forest cover. A most common hawk of the woodlands at Corkscrew Sanctuary.

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pine forest

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Towering slash pine cut through a fog-laden sunrise in Corkscrew Sanctuary. The pines and the saw palmetto in the understory are fire-resistant and have survived many (planned and unplanned) fires.

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raccoon

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A raccoon, Procyon lotor, climbing for berries in Corkscrew Sanctuary.

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Roseate spoonbills in flight

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Four Roseate spoonbills, Platalea ajaja, sail across a Florida sky above Corkscrew Sanctuary.

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Osprey

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An osprey, Pandion haliaetus, manages a fish dinner from a perch in a slash pine at the edge of Corkscrew Sanctuary.

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Cypress forest, cypress swamp

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Slowly revealing in a dissipating fog, Pond cypress, Taxodium ascendens, and the larger Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, populate the cypress swamp along Corkscrew Sanctuary boardwalk. The Bald cypress at Corkscrew are the largest remaining tract of old-growth cypress in the world, some of which may be 500 years old.

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Pond cypress are smaller than Bald cypress, with light-gray, fissured bark often splotched with lichens. Cypress knees grow up from the roots of these trees, protruding above the surface of the swamp.

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A swamp devoid of surface water continues to thrive as water rests just below the surface. Other plants finding a home in the cypress swamp include many kinds of ferns, maples, mosses, pond apples, and lichens. This swamp will become submerged as the rainy season progresses.

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Yellow-crowned night heron

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Yellow-crowned night heron, Nyctanassa violacea, perches in the cypress swamp of Corkscrew Sanctuary. Crustaceans and invertebrates make up a large part of their diet.

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backcountry trail

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Saw palmetto, Serenoa repens, and Sabal palm, Sabal palmetto, make up a big portion of the Corkscrew Swamp backcountry. The relatively flat topography of 18 to 22 feet above sea level floods periodically during summer rains.

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Barred owl

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Barred owl, Strix varia, is a common sight along the Corkscrew Swamp boardwalk. Their hooting call “who-cooks-for-you” is often heard, wafting through the forest at night.

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