Tag Archives: Feeding

Anhinga Feeding Chicks (2)

These two chicks are older than the four from last night’s post,  where I described how the adult regurgitates the food. It’s a little weird the second time you see it, too. These chicks  were a bigger target for me and I had a much better vantage point to see the feeding action.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Some feathers are starting to grow on the chicks’ necks, making them look more appealing and bird-like.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Anhinga can swallow very large fish, much bigger than their heads. You can see here the flexibility of their jaw.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

The adult only fed the one chick then moved out of their reach.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

5/10/2018

Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Anhingas feed their chicks a little differently than the herons and egrets and it’s a little weird the first time you see it: the young stick their beaks down the adult’s throat to get the regurgitated food.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Like the herons, the young Anhinga will pull on the adults beak to start the feeding process. This adult had four young in the nest and  the pushiest gets the most food.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Below you can see the featherless necks of the chicks and how the pouch  at the corner of their jaw. It appears the one on the left is bleeding from a scratch–small wonder with all those sharp beaks.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

I had changed positions trying to get a better view  but they all kept dipping down below the branches.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

04/20/2018

Grackle with a Double Snack

With his mouth full of bugs this Grackle paused a couple minutes at the edge of the pond before flying off to his nest.

Grackle with Bugs
Grackle with Bugs

I didn’t see him make the catch and have no idea how he got these two bugs in his beak at once. Maybe the effort was why he rested before heading to his nest.

Grackle with Bugs
Grackle with Bugs

He eventually flew out to this tree, aka “the skinny tree,” where his nest seemed to be in the broken Wood Duck box seen on the far side of the trunk.

Grackle Above Alligator
Grackle Above Alligator

An Alligator was patrolling the water around the tree. The Grackle dive-bombed the Alligator several times with no effect.

There was at least one turtle in the water and there is one Great Blue Heron and three Great Egret nests with chicks in the branches above, either of which would be more enticing to the gator.

Grackle with a Snack

I spotted this shimmery Grackle not far from those I saw earlier in the month poking in the water. This one had caught a dragonfly and was attempting to dunk it in the pond.

Grackle with Dragonfly
Grackle with Dragonfly

He jumped closer to the water and bent down a few times but didn’t seem satisfied.

Grackle with Dragonfly
Grackle with Dragonfly

As sometimes happens, I got distracted by other activity around the pond and didn’t see if he had success or just flew off.

Grackle with Dragonfly
Grackle with Dragonfly

Bringing Home the Fish: Oops!

Usually Anhinga eat the fish they catch while they are swimming, often executing some intricate fish flipping maneuvers to get the fish in position to swallow head first.  Occasionally, I have seen them get out of the water and beat the fish for awhile, although I’m not sure why. The fish looks dead with that sharp beak speared through it. Sometimes it appears the fish is stuck and at this time of year they may be on their way to the nest with it. No matter the reason, it is an activity that comes with risk.

Anhinga Swimming with Fish
Anhinga Swimming with Fish

This Anhinga swam thirty or forty feet to reach an alligator platform, then flapped and pulled himself out of the water.

Anhinga with Fish
Anhinga with Fish

Wack, wack, wack the fish.

Anhinga Wacking Fish
Anhinga Wacking Fish

Toss it into position.

Anhinga Tossing Fish
Anhinga Tossing Fish

Over the side it went, never to be seen by this bird again.

Where's My Fish?
Where’s My Fish?

 

Bringing Home the Fish

Anhingas fish by swimming underwater and spearing their prey. They then need to air dry and are often seen with their wings fully spread. This one must have young to feed as he bypassed the usual process.

Anhinga with Fish
Anhinga with Fish

After he pulled himself out of the water, he took very little time to dry. He held the fish in his beak and worked his way up the stick.

Anhinga with Fish
Anhinga with Fish

Once airborne he had to really work it to get to the island about 50 feet (16 meters) away. I wasn’t sure he was going to make it; twice his wings dipped into the water.

Anhinga with Fish
Anhinga with Fish

He did make it, and disappeared into the island underbrush with his catch.

Barred Owl Pair Getting Lunch

The first Barred Owl from my previous post appeared to be just hanging out on a limb above a small pond, maybe nodding off.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

All the while he was watching the water below. He dropped down and out of my sight. I circled around the pond to discover the Owl posing nicely at the base of a Cypress tree. I didn’t see the frog until I was developing the images.

Barred Owl with Frog Lunch
Barred Owl with Frog Lunch

The presence of the frog explained the behavior of the mate, who had moved to a branch above, hunched over watching, and was making clucking noises. After a few minutes of this they flew off together, I hope to share the frog.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Step, Step, Watch: GBH Looking for Lunch

I stopped to watch this Great Blue Heron hunting in the marshy area just off the rookery, hoping for some action images. He was quite close to the edge, there were no reeds between us to interfere, and the sun was providing nice light on the patch of marsh. All we needed was the food component.

The Heron worked deliberately and slowly from left to right, intently watching for movement, but found nothing worth nabbing.

Great Blue Heron Hunting
Great Blue Heron Hunting

Keeping one eye on him, my attention wandered. Still nothing. After about a half hour I moved on. I wondered if he should, too.

Great Blue Heron Hunting
Great Blue Heron Hunting

Fish for Dinner

“Oh”

Great Blue Heron with Fish
Great Blue Heron with Fish

The Great Blue Heron seemed to be showing off his catch, although it seemed risking that another bird might want to take it.

Great Blue Heron with Fish
Great Blue Heron with Fish

Back and forth he went while the fish continued to flop.

Great Blue Heron with Fish
Great Blue Heron with Fish

The heron eventually threw the fish on the ground.

Great Blue Heron with Fish
Great Blue Heron with Fish

Picked it up in a different position and went back into the reeds where he consumed his meal.

Great Blue Heron with Fish
Great Blue Heron with Fish

Click on any photo for larger view.