Here's a sweet little darling to finish off the weekend. This little chick, only days old, started its struggle for survival only hours after birth. Mom and Dad sandhill crane got the two siblings away from the nest and began trudging through the marshy water and muck for their lessons of life. Even though they could barely hold their heads above the waterline and their legs could barely withstand the deep mud, they pushed on in the path of their parents and with the support of each other.
At dawn they are whisked away to 'sandhill crane survival school' and by dusk they're so exhausted they collapse under moms wing at the nest. Tomorrow is another day. #YearOfTheBird#YearOfTheBird2018
This osprey photo was taken 2 days after storms ravaged through Florida in 2017. This momma was determined to maintain a claim on her tree and her branch even though her nest was laying on the ground below, upside down. What a face of beauty. Through out the 2017/18 winter months she stayed right there or in close proximity guarding her long standing territory. I'll have to go check on her soon. They build some strange looking nests with all kinds of junk and materials they pick up randomly. She has a very protective demeanor. Since she had kind of a lazy mate I'm not sure what to expect when I return to her tree. I'll let you know. -
Seems like everywhere I glance all over the wetland marshes, canals and ponds of the Everglades and historical areas of the glades, these double-crested cormorants are out sunnin' and funnin'. This juvenile may still be learning about bird spatial boundaries. When to crowd in and when not to?
Interrupting a fellow cormorant during its rest time, in this instance, resulted in a beak-to-beak tussle.
So just what are the bird rules for social distance? I don't know but I bet you have to have a birdbrain to understand how it works.
It makes sense if they both feel unaffected, nothing happens. But when a personal zone is encroached, action ensues.
I guess it's similar to us and our use of proximity. How close is safe and how how close is invasive? It's safe to say this youngster decided to test the bird rules. -
Moral of the story: keep your distance or you might get beaked. -
Tricolored Heron |
This particular shoot started like many others. Up way before dawn, head into the marsh, wade to the selected spot, set up and wait for sunrise. Shortly after daylight a small group of teenage tricolored herons took over the small wetland pond I was sitting near. This fella hung out above for a bit to observe, prior to joining the feeding fun. On the walk out, I came across an empty water bottle and like always, picked it up and threw it in my backpack. Who drops garbage in the middle of nowhere? With a little extra effort, we can make a difference. I challenge you all to pick up one piece of trash when you're out this week. (I know most of us already do.) Setting challenges for the globe is a great thing. Just one little piece. It's our calling to be the change.
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This little non breeding adult cattle egret appeared quite content on the back of his grazing friend. I live in Florida's countryside and scenes like this are relatively common. Not sure why I picked this past weekend or this particular little guy to grace the pages of IG. When these egrets aren't in breeding plumes, they're pretty plain looking. No gold feathers, no multi-colored bills, or yellow legs. But one day he'll sport it all and be the charismatic little bug eater he longs to be.
I'm happy you stopped by! Let's keep showing the people of the world how to love and respect our creatures and the land we all inhabit!
This belted kingfisher has been plunging for his breakfast from the edge of a marsh lake I've been sitting on for a few days now. He only shows up within camera range - before sunrise. Zips in eats and then zips out. It's rare for me to have the opportunity to have one perch, even for a second or two, right next to me. I kinda dig the dewey twilight infused spider web spun on the twig he scoping from. Other than that...it's a kingfisher. Sitting. But take my word for it, not for long. He sped away as quickly as he sped in.
A fleeting forest flier finding fish. He's like a tongue twister, whirlybird. Well not really a whirleybird but who remembers that word??? Now that's a word I haven't heard in forever. But 'kingfisher'...that's a word I'll say for always, endlessly, for all time.
When snowy egrets want V.I.P. hunting space they know exactly what to do. So if anyone calls you a bird brain, thank them, because it's pretty well known that these guys know a heck of a lot about life and survival. Where to find food, how to get there, when to arrive and leave are small examples of the intelligence and use of many senses they possess. If humans would quit invading, trespassing, harassing, etc...fill in with your own slew of adjectives here, our world's animals and birds might have a fighting chance.
Just look at the determination on this snowy's face and body. Blows me away. Keeps me motivated.
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Congratulations to the @theevergladeswondergardens for a fabulous fundraising Gala last night! A spectacular evening of wonder! It was truly an "Enchanted " setting of colors in the night, and the garden stroll was full of surprises at every turn. Amazing job Tom Hecker @thomasshecker. It's wonderful to be united with this iconic landmark.
Little blue heron looking like he's making an inconspicuous landing in a marsh pond. Not. He may be light on his feet when he touches down but in no way is he coming in without making his presence known to anyone or any species within earshot.
Loud squawking, squawk, squawk, squawk. This is my territory.
Yes little blue, we know you're here.
I'm around too but taking advantage of Florida's winter (ha ha, it's hard to call 80 degree temps: winter) to travel around the state. Lot's of migrating species and water still standing from our summer storms. Some spots abundant, others not so much.
Jolly mid February!! -
Even though it's related to typical falcons, this crested caracara is more like a scavenging 'raptor of the road'. These opportunistic birds hang out on fence posts and by lonesome highways waiting for some kind of unfortunate wildlife critter to meet its maker. Snakes, gators, turtles, anything crawling out of the woods...anything that doesn't quite make it to the other side of the asphalt is what these guys and gals live for. They'll even chase vultures away from road kill to steal a meal. But no mater how aggressive or thirsty they are for carrion, I have a tenderness, endearment for these cool looking birds. They come from the Americas but they look like a 1920's french fashion statement, or a noble, seasoned Basque traveler.
But most importantly, they are what they are: an exceptional species that has suffered from loss of habitat like so many other species of animals around the Everglades and of course all over our globe. Peace to their continued existence!