Tag Archives: Birds in Flight

Birding At Home: Swallow-tailed Kite

I answered the door a few days ago to find our excited neighbor and his two pre-teen boys: “Can you tell us what kind of bird that is?”

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Why, yes, I can!

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Pretty neat to see a Swallow-tailed Kite swooping over our neighborhood.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

They had been watching the bird off and on all day as it was feeding on dragonflies.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Black Skimmers, Every Which Way

I hardly knew which way to look when this flock of Black Skimmers was actively feeding.

Black Skimmer Flock Feeding
Black Skimmer Flock Feeding,

The sun was just up, but behind a cloud bank so the light was dim.

Black Skimmer Flock Feeding
Black Skimmer Flock Feeding

This entire pond is normally under water, but was drained for a couple of weeks to help control vegetation.

Black Skimmer Flock Feeding
Black Skimmer Flock Feeding

This has a bonus effect for feeding birds as any fish are concentrated in a smaller pool of water.

Black Skimmer Flock Feeding
Black Skimmer Flock Feeding

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC
May 9, 2022

Great Blue Heron, Silhouette Landing

A little different view of a Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing.

Great Blue Heron Landing
Great Blue Heron Landing

It was early in the morning, with not a lot of light but I do like the silhouette feel of these.

Great Blue Heron Landing
Great Blue Heron Landing

A few grackles and another GBH rounded out the bird scene. I see I added some chromatic aberration when I processed these if you zoom in–so don’t do that 🙃.

Great Blue Heron Landed
Great Blue Heron Landed

Orlando Wetlands, FL
April 12, 2022

Black Skimmers, Poor Light

The light was poor but the Black Skimmer action was outstanding.

Black Skimmers Feeding
Black Skimmers Feeding

The water had been allowed to drain from this pond for a few weeks as part of the vegetation overgrowth control efforts.

Black Skimmers Feeding
Black Skimmers Feeding

This left a very narrow strip of water where the fish were concentrated.

Black Skimmers Feeding
Black Skimmers Feeding

Some shore birds were feeding on the water’s edge and Black Skimmers were busy scooping up breakfast.

Black Skimmers Feeding
Black Skimmers Feeding

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC
May 15, 2022

Skimmers In The Square

Usually I crop bird-in-flight images rectangularly to emphasize the flight path, but this first image worked better in a 1X1 format because he was closer to the right edge of the frame.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight

So I picked out some others that also worked square to go with it.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmers in Flight

The Skimmers are fascinating to watch, first flying so close together, then separating on some unseen clue.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmers in Flight

This next one is not the perfect mirror image capture that I would have preferred. But I like it for the shadow in addition to the reflection, the second Skimmer’s wing hinting of more action, and the still visible furrow in the water where the first Skimmer had just lifted.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight, Reflections

And I couldn’t resist another image of the Black Skimmer passing the Roseate Spoonbills.

Black Skimmer in Flight Over Roseate Spoonbills
Black Skimmer in Flight Over Roseate Spoonbills

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
May 9, 2022

Gathering of Roseate Spoonbills

This scene greeted me when I arrived at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area last week.

Roseate Spoonbills, Black-necked Stilts, Snowy Egret
Roseate Spoonbills, Black-necked Stilts, Snowy Egret

It was hard to know where to look first.

Roseate Spoonbills, Black-necked Stilts, Snowy Egret
Roseate Spoonbills, Black-necked Stilt, Snowy Egret

The Roseate Spoonbills raising their beaks like this is often a precursor to flight, like a secret signal.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

Sure enough, the crowd thinned.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

These few stayed a bit longer, performing various stretches then the one on the left gave the signal.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills