Roseate Spoonbills are fascinating to watch feed as they sift through the water with their beaks, their bodies in constant motion. There were about 30 Spoonbills scattered through this pond, sometimes together as a big group and then a few would go off on their own, following the food.
Getting a group photo is a challenge as they shift and turn, beaks in and out of the water. These were taken about an hour after daybreak as the sun finally made it up out of the clouds.
In the three weeks since I photographed an Orchard Oriole working on her nest I’ve passed by the tree several times and seen no activity. On Sunday a male was sitting on branches about 30 feet from the nest.
After carefully watching the area he zipped into the nest with the grasshopper. You can just see one wing and a tail hanging out the entrance.
The nest was swinging back and forth in a light breeze and the male made a quick exit.
My question, was the male feeding his mate while she sat on eggs or chicks, was soon answered when the female appeared with another grasshopper.
The female was coming in at a different angle and had to pause to get into the nest.
After delivering the snack she came out with a fecal sac and disappeared into the woods.
Not far from where I saw a Pileated Woodpecker wreaking havoc on the boardwalk to the swamp last week I heard the impressive tat-tat-tat again. This youngster was frozen in place in a nearby tree and clearly not the origin of the percussion.
He flew a little higher just as I spotted the adult again assaulting the underside of the boardwalk railing.
The adult flew up to the fledgling and started feeding him some regurgitated material.
The chick stuck to his spot and the adult flew off and returned several times, daintily offering the juvenile food.
The feeding process was very calm, especially compared to the egrets and herons I had just been watching.