Tree Anhingas

On two recent afternoons several Anhingas gathered in this Cypress Tree on one of the rookery islands.

Anhinga
Anhingas in Cypress Tree

There were at least five Anhinga nests on the island this spring,  and probably more that I couldn’t see based on the activity. The two lower birds in the next image may be young from one of those nests.

Anhinga
Anhingas in Cypress Tree

A Little Blue Heron and two juvenile Great Blue Herons can also be seen in the wider view. Those two GBH had not fledged yet but sure were curious about the flights of other birds.

Anhinga
Anhingas in Cypress Tree

Yellow-billed Kite: In the Air

After his posing session at the Center for Birds of Prey Photography Day this Yellow-billed Kite had an opportunity to fly.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying with radio transmitter attached

Kites catch thier prey, mostly insects, by snatching from the air with their feet. This requires a lot of swooping and circling to get higher off the ground.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying

The Center’s birds are fed and according to the handler will not seek out food during flying demonstrations, returning to the handler for the reward of food. This particular Kite seemed to enjoy his time in the air, circling around the demonstration field over the row of photographers several times.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Another Episode of “I Can Fly”

I’m not sure which one of this pair actually took the flight; it was about five minutes after this first image that I noticed that one of them was gone.

Pair of Great Blue Heron Chicks
Pair of Great Blue Heron Chicks

The one left behind definitely noticed. “Hey, where’d my brother go?”

Great Blue Heron Chick
Great Blue Heron Chick

Not far as it turns out, on that first hop.

Pair of Great Blue Heron Chicks
Pair of Great Blue Heron Chicks

Oooh, that was fun!

Great Blue Heron Chick
Great Blue Heron Chick

Now what do I do?

Great Blue Heron Chick
Great Blue Heron Chick

He eventually made his way to the top of this branch and took off, After circling around the back side of the island he returned to the nest, a real flight!

Strutting Peacock

Peacocks roam free at Magnolia Gardens as well as Middleton Place that I featured last week. On a recent visit this one was entertaining visitors showing off all of his glorious colors.

Peacock Strutting
Peacock Strutting

Using a small grassy area bordered with flowers as a stage he preformed a dance that was very elaborate, turning in full circles then reversing. If he was trying to impress a peahen it didn’t work as there weren’t any in sight. I was impressed though.

Peacock Strutting
Peacock Strutting

Pileated Woodpecker Feeding Fledgling

Not far from where I saw a Pileated Woodpecker wreaking havoc on the boardwalk to the swamp last week I heard the impressive tat-tat-tat again.  This youngster was frozen in place in a nearby tree and clearly not the origin of the percussion.

Pileated Woodpecker Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker Fledgling

He flew a little higher just as I spotted the adult again assaulting the underside of the boardwalk railing.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

The adult flew up to the fledgling and started feeding him some regurgitated material.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

The chick stuck to his spot and the adult flew off and returned several times, daintily offering the juvenile food.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

The feeding process was very calm, especially compared to the egrets and herons I had just been watching.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

Triplet Windows

The windows on the end of the abandoned Boynton House at South Carolina’s Donnelley Wildlife Management Area intrigued me. Why three and interesting that they are lined up with the roof peak not centered in the room that appears to run front to back of the house.

Boynton House
Boynton House

The reflections in the windows of a tree trunk and other vegetation was an interesting play on light.

Boynton House
Boynton House

The windows facing front in the same room were a double set and appeared to be the same size.

Boynton House
Boynton House

Orchard Oriole

It took me about five of her trips to catch this female Orchard Oriole pausing outside her nest. I had first seen her dart up to the branch and then poof, she was gone. I watched this clump of Spanish Moss for awhile and saw it moving like someone was in it and finally saw a head peak out. The opening of the nest faces the limb with leaves.

Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole bringing grass to the nest

Fortunately for me she was a creature of habit and flew the same pattern from the nest to a swampy area to gather grass and back, singing both ways alerting me to be ready.

Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole

On one of her trips she stopped for a look around before continuting on her way.

Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole