Tag Archives: Bird Behavior

Anhinga Swimming Freestyle

I thought I might see this Anhinga dive and catch a fish. Instead she swam passed me, rhythmically arching her neck back and forth as she propelled forward.

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

And she dropped lower in the water.

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

I wondered

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

how low

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

would she go? And why didn’t she dive?

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

She was making steady progress and after a few more beats rose back up a bit and swam out of my sight scoring points for style but not getting any breakfast.

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC
Rice field canal
August 29, 2021

Brown Pelicans Off Duty

On our way out to Bird Key to see the Brown Pelican chicks we spotted several small groups of adults flying to sand bars.

Brown Pelicans
Brown Pelicans

According to our guide the adults assign a baby-sitter Pelican at the rookery then find a place to rest.

Brown Pelicans
Brown Pelicans

They certainly picked a beautiful, if sparse, location.

Brown Pelicans
Brown Pelicans

From a boat, Kiawah River, Charleston County, SC
July 12, 2021

Great Egret Chicks: Learning To Get Along

Other than getting fed juvenile wading birds don’t have much to do until they learn to fly. If there is more than one in the nest any siblings are fair game for attention and practicing life skills.

Juvenile Great Egret Chicks
Juvenile Great Egret Chicks, Adult Flying Off

In this case they didn’t pay any heed to their neighbors, which in turn, ignored them.

Juvenile Great Egret Chicks
Juvenile Great Egret Chicks

Even when the ruckus ramped up.

Juvenile Great Egret Chicks
If I Don’t Look It’s Not Happening

Great Egret Chicks: Feed Me!

Adult Great Egrets get quite a workout feeding their young, and all this after procuring something for them to eat.

Great Egret and Two Chicks
Great Egret and Two Chicks

The chicks are aggressive about getting their share.

Great Egret and Two Chicks
Great Egret and Two Chicks

You can hear the “feed me” chorus, which is how the photographer often knows there is action afoot.

Great Egret and Two Chicks
Great Egret and Two Chicks

One more go at the regurgitation. I never saw the food, at this age it goes directly into the juvenile’s throats.

Great Egret and Two Chicks
Great Egret and Two Chicks

That’s it, I’m out.

Great Egret and Two Chicks
Great Egret and Two Chicks

Mute Swan Pair On A Mission

Before I knew about swans using an elevated wing display for “wind assisted transportation” I thought these two Mute Swans might be getting ready to tussle.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

They were moving pretty fast up the far side of the reflecting pond from where I stood.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

Ah, then it became clear: a passerby was handing out snacks. And the two swans shared without any squabbling.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

From the man’s behavior I suspect this is a regular routine. He threw a few tidbits to the waiting birds then went on his way.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC
January 29, 2021

Anhinga vs Cormorant

Lots of folks confuse these two water birds, it was interesting to see them side-by-side, watching one of each compete for the same space.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Female Anhinga and Double-crested Cormorant

The immediate way to tell them apart is the Anhinga has a straight bill and the Cormorant’s is hooked.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Anhinga and Cormorant

The Anhinga won the first round of “King of the Hill.”

Anhinga and Cormorants
Female Anhinga and Cormorants

A few minutes later one of the Cormorants returned, showing off his feet as he looked to get closer to the stump.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Female Anhinga and Double-crested Cormorant

An Ibis was on the scene, but had no interest in the competition.

Anhinga and Cormorants
Anhinga and Cormorants

Another view showing off the beak comparison.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant and Female Anhinga

Male Mallard Squabble

I had an idea something was going to happen as I watched a female and vocalizing male Mallard close in on another pair in a small pond.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

Quack, quack, and splash …

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

the dust-up was on.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

One of the females stayed near the action.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

I have no idea which duck was which at this point. I don’t know where the female Merganser appeared from, either, but she quickly retreated.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

King of the Hill

I try not to anthropomorphize the wildlife I see but there often are similarities in the behavior, if not the intention, to human activity. These Roseate Spoonbills did their version of King of the Hill for at least an hour, with no obvious winner.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

In addition to wanting to be top bird, some of them also wanted to dismantle the “hill,” removing twigs from the main branch, eventually dropping them.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

Some squabbling broke out, but wasn’t serious enough for any of them to leave.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

The pond wasn’t very deep and those pushed off the limb easily stood in the water, until they decided to push another bird off.

Roseate Spoonbills on Stick Pile
Roseate Spoonbills on Stick Pile

Click on any image for larger view.