Tag Archives: Feeding

Reddish Egret Fishing Moves

Like most wading birds the Reddish Egret can spend a lot of time standing around. But when they are ready to hunt, look out!

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret

They use their whole body: running, raising their wings, jumping in the air, and bam!

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret

He got a little fish for dinner.

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret

Then it starts again.

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret

Hopefully some of his catch will be bigger, otherwise he would never be able to eat enough to support all this exercise.

Reddish Egret
Reddish Egret

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
December 31, 2019

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers feed at sapwells, shallow holes they have drilled in tree’s bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Like other woodpeckers, Sapsuckers are industrious, and usually their work is in tidy rows.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Check out his sharp beak and the spread of his foot!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

As the sapsucker worked around the tree additional sapwells came into view.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Click on any photo for a larger view. 

Tricolored Heron On The Hunt

A Tricolored Heron  made a grand entrance, landing on the edge of a canal that runs along the edge of a marsh.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

He immediately started patrolling the water, looking for lunch.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

Alas, this was just a piece of grass, not the hoped for fish.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

Undaunted, he reversed direction and continued the hunt.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

November 27, 2019

Single White Pelican

American White Pelicans tend to feed in groups, probably gaining an advantage of any fish their neighbor stirs up. This fellow swam away from the group into a spot where the fall colors from the tree line reflected in the shallow water. I believe the rougher water beyond the bird is deeper and has some flow as it heads into a canal.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

His feeding style was more scooping along the water surface, and less plunging of his full head.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

He seemed to be successful.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

Green Heron in Mud

The tide was almost out and this Green Heron was looking for a snack in the shallow water along the edge of the river.

Green Heron Stalking Mud
Green Heron Stalking Mud

I missed the catch but captured the meal being swung about.

Green Heron with Fish
Green Heron with Fish

Then, instead of eating the fish right away the heron took it for a walk.

Green Heron with Fish
Green Heron with Fish

He kept right on walking into some reeds at the edge of the river, out of my sight.

Green Heron with Fish
Green Heron with Fish

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