Triple N Ranch - Wildlife
Walk, hike or bicycle along the Loop Road and you may spot a gopher tortoise or its burrow near the road’s edge. Woodpeckers, including the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, are commonly spotted in the pine flatwoods. Look aloft for swallow-tailed kites and in the prairies, fields, and along marsh edges for sandhill cranes. Fall wildflowers attract numerous butterflies.
Numerous shady hammocks provide a welcome respite from the sun and a quiet observer may see white-tailed deer or wild turkeys. The hammocks and creek edges are ideal spots to look for migratory birds in the spring and fall.
Check out other species recorded from Triple N Ranch WMA, or add observations of your own, by visiting Triple N Ranch WMA Nature Trackers Project.
Wildlife Spotlight: Crested Caracara
Although Triple N Ranch is at the northern portion of its range, the crested caracara with its distinctive black crown and crest and large, strongly hooked bill is sometimes seen on the area. The national symbol of Mexico, the crested caracara is sometimes referred to as the Mexican eagle or the Mexican buzzard. The caracara is named for its breeding season call: a rapid “quick-quick-quick-quick” followed by a drawn-out “querrr” and a dramatic toss of the head. Caracaras are found from the Mexican-U.S. Border south to Panama and in isolated populations in Cuba, Louisiana and central Florida. Once a common resident in the prairie region of central Florida, the crested caracara is now threatened in Florida, primarily as a result of loss of habitat. An extremely opportunistic feeder, the crested caracara eats both carrion and living prey. Turtles, eggs, insects, worms, frogs, fish and mammals are all part of its diet.