Tag Archives: Birds

Nature’s Camoflage

Spotting wildlife is often about subtle contrasts and shapes. The subject’s movement sometimes helps. This Sapsucker flew onto the tree then froze in place.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Looking for the unexpected can help.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog

Some creatures hardly move, like the Tree Frog, and others, like this warbler, are in perpetual motion so it’s helpful to anticipate their next direction.

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler

Great Egret Over Pond and Reptiles

A few Great Egrets were swooping over the pond as they vied for mates or nesting spots in the nearby trees.

Great Egret Flying Over Alligators, Turtles Great Egret Flying Over Alligators, Turtles

Some were gathering sticks for their nests but they were easily distracted when another Great Egret invaded their space.

Great Egret Flying Over Turtle Great Egret Flying Over Turtle

Occasionally I’ve seen a large Alligator snap at a bird flying overhead without making contact, but these smallish Alligators and turtles ignored the aerial displays going on above them.

Great Egret Flying Over Alligators, Turtles Great Egret Flying Over Alligator and Turtles

Belted Kingfisher on Water Gate

Water levels in the large pond at Magnolia Cemetery are controlled with this screw mechanism connected to a gate that allows water to drain off into the marsh. I’ve often seen Belted Kingfishers that work the pond for food use it as a perch.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher’s loud rattling call often helps you locate one, and I had watched one make several zippy trips across the pond without even getting to lift my camera. I took these from the car as we were leaving.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

I got a little closer before another car came and captured this head on view showing off the Kingfisher’s top knot.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

I last photographed a Yellow-billed Cuckoo about two years ago. I spotted one last week and recognized him in flight immediately due to his long, thin body.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

They prefer woodland and the trees he found most appealing were shiny with highlighted leaves behind him.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

He eventually moved to the other side of the path so the sun was shining on him, but didn’t quite get his head out into the light.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

He watched patiently presumably for food, often looking up above him, but I didn’t see him even try to catch anything. After a couple minutes in this spot he moved higher and deeper into the tree line.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

 

Bye-bye Birds

This is an image from early July which at the time didn’t seem so interesting, being mostly bird butts. Now that we’ve spent several weeks seeing almost no birds this appeals to me more.

Wading Birds in Flight
Wading Birds in Flight

This is just a small part of what I estimated to be at least a thousand birds in the shallow water at the marsh edge. I could not get closer due to a huge alligator blocking the trail.

Wood Stork Take Off

Wood Storks take a few hops before they get into the air when taking off from water.

Wood Stork Taking Off
Wood Stork Taking Off

Then they lift their legs up behind them and give a few strong beats of their wings.

Wood Stork Taking Off
Wood Stork Taking Off

And away they go.

Wood Stork Taking Off
Wood Stork Taking Off

If I have the opportunity to see this again I’ll have a better idea of what is going to happen and maybe get an image of the hop.

Boat-tailed Grackle

At least I think it is a Boat-tailed Grackle, not a Common Grackle.  This is another pair of birds that All About Birds uses a size comparison to help tell them part. Useful if you see them together, not so much on their own. They did seem to have a big tail.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

These images were taken at the pond near the rookery and swamp I frequent. A group of 8 or 10 was working its way along the edge, hopping along limbs that have fallen in the water.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

Both kinds are noisy, with constant calling, like their Red-winged Black bird relative.  It was the iridescence that attracted me, and their repeated trips to the water. They will eat frogs, lizards, and turtles and did poke around a little in this water that has all  of these but it was a bit deep for them to jump in.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle