Tag Archives: Feeding

Shake and Fly

I saw the dive but I didn’t see the Osprey go into the pond to catch this fish as my view was blocked by a tree. Osprey can completely submerge and work really hard to break free of the water, harder if they caught something. Other times I have witnessed this the Osprey would then make a bee-line for a tree or other secure spot to eat.

Osprey with Fish
Osprey with Fish – Shaking off Water

Back in my line of sight he shook several times, lightening his load of the excess water while hanging firmly onto lunch. Then he circled around the pond several times with his catch, undecided about where to go.

Osprey with Fish
Osprey with Fish – Shaking off Water

What he probably knew that I didn’t until a couple minutes later was he was about to be chased by a pair of Bald Eagles hoping to lighten his load. Suddenly he decided to head for the trees and the last I saw of them the Osprey was in the lead.

Osprey with Fish
Osprey with Fish, One Clawed

White Ibis

White Ibis usually travel in groups but this one was by himself searching the edges of a small pond. There is a full tree canopy over the pond so not much direct light gets to the water, and the reflected light appears in  lots of colors.

White Ibis in Pond
White Ibis in Pond

Back and forth he went with an occasional sweep of the water with his beak, hunting for food.

White Ibis in Pond
White Ibis in Pond

Reflections of some Cyprus Knees and a few dapples of sunlight changed the look of the water as the Ibis moved along.

White Ibis in Pond
White Ibis in Pond

Little Blue Heron Hunting

A Little Blue Heron waded back and forth in a small, shallow pond, methodically hunting.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Occasionally he stabbed the water, without success as I watched.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Little Blues are all white when they hatch and around a year old start to transition to the full blue of adulthood.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

From the other side of the pond I had a back-lit view of the Heron as he continued to hunt.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Great Egret Not Going to Share Lunch

This Great Egret worked hard in the reeds to capture a Siren, a weird eel-like salamander that hangs out in the mud, and flew to a secluded corner of the pond to figure out how to eat it. He dropped and retrieved it several times.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

A Great Blue Heron had been following along, slowly getting closer until the Great Egret decided to relocate, taking lunch with him.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

Covered with mud, the Great Egret took this opportunity to dunk and rinse his catch.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

He took off again as the Great Blue maneuvered closer.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

The Great Blue Heron took off, too. They went out of my sight so I don’t know who got to eat.

Great Blue Heron Following Great Egret with Siren
Great Blue Heron Following Great Egret with Siren

Dolphin Splash, Take 2

I thought the Dolphin from yesterday’s post, Dolphin Splash, would move on when the first big splash was done. I stood still, watching and was surprise he circled again in the same spot.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

This time even more water went into the air…

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

… making a cool fountain shape.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

I got a couple glimpses of the Dolphin’s fin, but again did not see if he got anything to eat.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

Then he really did move on and this was the last I saw of him.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin moving down the creek

Dolphin Splash

The volume of water a Dolphin can move when they are hunting always amazes me. This one was after fish in a tidal creek that started off with a small splash…

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

…that built up …

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

… to a swoosh of water.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

I was not close enough to see if the Dolphin caught any fish.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

The water rained back down about 10 seconds after the first image.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

The far bank is an oyster bed, covered with sharp shells, so the Dolphin cannot Strand Feed  here. Instead, they swim rapidly in a circle to herd and confuse the fish.

Mississippi Kite Pair Feeding

I was watching a flock of Blue Jays and had followed one through my view finder into a tree. Wait! Those are not Blue Jays.

Mississippi Kite Pair Eating
Mississippi Kite Pair Eating and a Blue Jay

Much more interesting were these two Mississippi Kites consuming a meal. I had never witnessed this behavior so I continued to photograph even though my vantage point wasn’t great. Interestingly, the Kites weren’t concerned about the Blue Jay, who soon flew off.

You can see how large the Kites are compared to a Blue Jay in the first image.

Mississippi Kite Pair Eating
Mississippi Kite Pair Eating

Taking photographs up into a dense tree poses many challenges: leaves and twigs blocking the view, over exposed sky in the leaf gaps, and too much shade on the subject, to name a few.

Mississippi Kite Pair Eating
Mississippi Kite Pair Eating

I tried a couple of angles, working my way around some shrubbery on the ground.

Mississippi Kite Pair Eating
Mississippi Kite Pair Eating

I did determine from one image not shared here that the food was a small bird.

Mississippi Kite Pair Eating
Mississippi Kite Pair Eating

Up to now I had only seen Kites eat insects, snatched from the sky with their feet. In this last image one of the Kites was grooming and gave me a decent view of one foot.

Mississippi Kite Foot Up Scratching
Mississippi Kite Foot Up Scratching

Black Skimmer Pair

One of the challenges in wildlife photography is choosing where to stand. Should I stay put or go to the next opening for a better view? Will the bird stay on the same path or veer to the left? Are there any Alligators nearby?

I saw this pair of Black Skimmers coming towards me along the edge of the pond.  My view was obstructed of their approach by the reeds.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair

I got lucky and they stayed together and moved into the center of the open water. I stayed put and got an aerial show.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair

I love to watch these birds fly and wonder when they are in pairs how they stay synchronized.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair

Their fishing is done by touch and when the Skimmer feels a fish in the water their heads snap down as they lift the prey.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair and Gallinule

Black Skimmer Threading a Canal

I had seen a Black Skimmer head down this canal and was ready when he made a u-turn and flew back towards me.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

Impressive with their flight skills, this one made a sharp turn.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

I was standing at a trunk on the canal which obscured my view for a few seconds as he passed by.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

I was able to pick him up on the other side.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

I’m not sure if they lift up off the water to check their course, but in just two seconds he was back to water level.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

He dropped his beak into the water then my sight was obscured by reeds.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer