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For The Birds

March 4, 2011

The Everglades is for the birds –  literally. What it lacks in critters of the furry variety, it makes up for with an abundance of the feathered kind. Shannon & I never thought of ourselves as “birders,” mostly because around our neck of the woods the only things you typically see are pigeons. But out here, the avian diversity is truly stunning. Now I’m finding myself slowing down, looking up, and even searching for that little song-bird in the underbrush. Moreover, I really want to know what that giant pink wading bird is. Oh crap, I’m becoming a birder.

Probably our favorite encounter was with this giant pink Roseatte Spoonbill.

Roseatte Spoonbill Image

The Purple Gallinule may have been a close second. This bird is so brilliantly colorful you can’t help but stop and stare.

Purple Gallinule Image

The Snowy Egret does a “water dance” to entice fish to the surface with its bright yellow feet.

Snowy Egret Water Dane Image

A Great Egret coming in for a landing . . .

Great Egret Image

These Wood Storks are endangered, but you wouldn’t know it from this picture where there are one, two, three, four of them.

Wood Stork Image

The Everglades is lousy with Anhigas. There are so many that one of the popular birding areas is called the Anhinga trail. Here is a beautifully colored female on the left, and a male ignoring the cries of baby on the right.

Anhinga Image

We also saw plenty of Great Blue Heron (left), including this guy on the right pestering an Anhiga who was simply trying to dry his wings. Given the size difference between the two birds, I thought this would be no contest. But the Anhiga pretty much told the larger Heron to piss-off, and off he went.

Great Blue Heron

The aptly named Red-Winged Blackbird (left, duh) and a Green Heron.

The Yellow Bellied Sapsucker (left) of Honeymooners fame and a Little Blue Heron.

 

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    March 4, 2011 7:28 am

    These photographs are wonderful, and I do envy you although I don’t think I would have the courage to plodge through ‘gator infested waters to see such beautiful birds. I am just a backyard birder.

    Keep these posts coming! I so look forward to my morning treat.

    • March 4, 2011 7:58 am

      Thanks Chris. I do appreciate all of your comments.

  2. martha permalink
    March 4, 2011 9:27 am

    Love the pictures! I have always wanted to see a wood stork so maybe it is a Florida trip for me.

    Martha, from er.org

    • March 4, 2011 9:40 am

      Hi Martha, thanks for stopping by.

      We saw these guys (the wood storks) at Eco Pond on more than one occasion. It’s all the way south in the Everglades, so not the easiest place to get to. But I know (or think I remember, at least) that you’re an RVer and the Flamingo campground is just a short bicycle ride from the pond.

      • martha permalink
        March 4, 2011 3:47 pm

        Thanks. I have the rv and I have the bicycle so I should be good to go! Where did you get the purple gallinule?

      • March 4, 2011 4:42 pm

        The purple gallinule was on the “Anhinga Trail” which is really close to the southern entrance to the park. This area is what one ranger called “The Disney World” of the Everglades. And its true. Dozens of birds of all kinds just lounging about a couple of yards from boardwalks. We saw more critters there than we did on any of our treks into out of the way places.

      • Neil Laubenthal permalink
        March 4, 2011 8:00 pm

        Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary over on the Gulf Coast side is one of the premier Wood Stork nurseries down that way . . .there are thousands of them around during the mating season. The sanctuary has an elevated walk through the swamp (at least it did 20 years ago when we were last there) so you don’t even have to get wet to see them.

  3. April 9, 2011 11:50 pm

    Beautiful pictures of the roseatte spoonbill and purple gallinule. I also really like the four wood storks. The Everglades National Park is one of my favorite places.

    • April 10, 2011 8:37 am

      Thanks. We stalked the spoonbill at Echo Pond where we had seen her one morning. Had to go back a couple of times to get a good view and that shot.

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