Tag Archives: Juvenile Bird

Tern and Chick

A large portion of the marsh behind Botany Bay Beach is cordoned off to keep humans from interfering with breeding shore birds. Their nests are nothing more than depressions in the sand and aside from the obvious egg destruction by human feet many of these birds just don’t like to be disturbed by man or his pets while raising their young.

Breeding season was over when I took these images but a few young stragglers were on the beach on August 4th.

Tern at the Shore
Tern at the Shore

This young tern didn’t seem to know what to do. The sun had just come up and he probably should have been looking for breakfast.

Tern Chick at the Shore
Tern Chick at the Shore

An adult was nearby, but I didn’t see them interact.

Tern at the Shore
Tern at the Shore

This may be the same young bird, I spotted a bit further down the beach.

Tern Chick at the Shore
Tern Chick at the Shore

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron in Pines

A juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was settled on a pine branch in the early morning sun.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

The charring on the tree trunk is from last year’s prescribed burn, a process managed by South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources to reduce the risk of an uncontrolled wildfire.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

Eastern Kingbird

Since I walked this path a month ago the water has been drained out of the pond behind this Eastern Eastern Kingbird.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

Dragonflies were hovering over the mostly dry pond bed and the Kingbird was taking advantage. He had a nice snack of what looked like an Eastern Pondhawk between these two images. Unfortunately swaying reeds on the bank ruined all images of that!

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

A chick joined the adult calling to be fed. The adult didn’t seem impressed and soon they swooped off together. Time for the juvenile to catch his own lunch.

Eastern Kingbird and Chick
Eastern Kingbird and Chick

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

I’ve stopped to watch Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in this marshy area several times this summer. One day last week a few were quite close to the walk way and were less skittish than on previous visits.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Some of the chicks are nearly adult size but are still sticking close to a parent.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Family
Black-bellied Whistling Duck Family

This one had been standing on the end of the of the walkway and decided to join the others…

Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Flight
Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Flight

…landing in the short greenery with the family group behind him.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Flight
Black-bellied Whistling Duck Touching Down

Juvenile Little Blue Heron: Wait For Me!

A juvenile Little Blue Heron learning to fly landed in a pine tree right above me when he veered away from the pond. I didn’t see the landing but it didn’t sound graceful as he flapped around.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron

He wasn’t sure what to do next and the adult that had been leading him down the pond had kept on going.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron

After a minute he figured out he’d been left behind and went off in the same direction as his parent and a sibling.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron

We don’t have as good a view of the Little Blue Herons learning to fly this summer because of the position of the nests but the glimpses we get are entertaining.

Grackle Feeding Chick

I was busy watching a Green Heron when I realized there was a commotion going on in a nearby tree top.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

The juvenile Grackle was calling out his hunger in a big way.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

After delivering a good size insect the chick continued to call for more.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

The adult was not persuaded to go after another round of food and stayed put, listening to the chatter.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

Brown Pelican Chicks

Brown Pelicans nest on several islands that are really not much more than sand bars off the Charleston, SC coast. Storms and the tides shift the availability and viability of nesting sites from year to year. I had the privileged to observe one of these sites this morning, where the Pelican chicks are out of their nests but not yet flying or getting their own food.

This particular island was re-nourished with sand dredged from the Folly River last year with spectacular results for this year’s nesting Pelicans.

Brown Pelican Chicks
Brown Pelican Chicks

Shore access is not allowed during nesting season; these images were all taken from a boat at a shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second to help compensate for the boat movement.

Brown Pelican Chicks
Brown Pelican Chicks, Laughing Gulls looking on

It was a delightful outing and seeing these Pelican chicks was a real treat. This appears to be two sets of chicks, with the younger group testing out their bills in the water.

Brown Pelican Chicks
Brown Pelican Chicks

Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

One Black Australian Swan pair had a single cygnet on my recent visit to Swan Lake and Iris Gardens.

 Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet
Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

The youngster was all about practicing his swimming skills.

 Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet
Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

He didn’t get too far from the parents, who were quick to catch up with him if he paddled off.

 Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet
Black Australian Swans with One Cygnet

Just a little ball of fluff, he exhibited no concern about forging ahead.

 Black Australian Swan Cygnet
Black Australian Swan Cygnet

Owned and operated by the City of Sumter, SC, Swan Lake Iris Gardens is home to all eight known species of swan.

Great Egret Chick Feeding Time

The Great Egret chicks waste no time when the adult returns to the nest with food. It’s every chick for himself, and the first order of business is to latch onto the adult’s beak or neck.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

The egrets’ necks are very flexible and the chicks know how to encourage the regurgitation of their dinner.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

The adult always takes a pause and looks skyward before producing the meal.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

Then he bends one more time and one chick opens wide while the other watches.

It was hard to tell if they both got something this trip. The entire maneuver got repeated but they were all moving around so much I lost track of which chick was which.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

When the chicks were smaller the adult would supervise and maybe have to do some enticing with the food to get them to eat. Now that they are nearly full-grown the adult quickly moves out of reach of those sharp beaks.

Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed
Great Egret Chicks Getting Fed

Taken 5/29/2019

New Anhinga Chick

A few wading bird pairs are just now hatching young even as some of the older chicks have fledged. I saw just one tiny chick underneath this female nesting Anhinga–you can just see the head at the lower left of the adult. Some of the other broods this year have had four chicks.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and new Chick, Older chick behind

There may be more to come in this nest as the eggs may hatch over several days.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and Chick

Anhingas feed their young by regurgitating food which the chicks actively retrieve by sticking their heads up the parent’s esophagus. Painful looking, especially when the chicks get bigger.

Female Anhinga and Chick
Female Anhinga and Chick – Feeding Time

Click on images for larger view.