Posted on April 9, 2015
The Everglades are teeming with all kinds of birds; fowl, scavengers, predators, and other bird words. Here is Part 1 of a 2-day feathery things post.
Posted on April 12, 2014
The Everglades, especially in the rainy season, is a slow-moving river 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long. Shaped by water and fire, the Everglades experience frequent flooding in the wet season and drought in the dry season. While we often think of the Everglades as dense marshlands, there are also expansive grasslands throughout the area.
Our (me and Pat) expedition to the Everglades began very early in the hope of getting both sunrise and mist shots over the grasslands. We were successful in our effort as seen in the first two pictures below. We then took a gravel road through much denser swamp areas with occasional openings or “glades”. It was at these small ponds that we were able to get pictures of both birds and alligators (my next post). The captions in the pictures below identify the birds with one exception. If you know the identity of the bird listed as “friend”, I would love to hear from you. I enjoy hearing from you if you don’t know this bird’s identity as well.
Posted on April 10, 2014
I got back Tuesday from a wonderful visit with friend and fellow photoblogger Pat, and her hubby. Naples Florida was our home base, but Pat and I did a few photo safaris. One such visit was to the Venice Rookery.
A rookery is a nesting area for birds that are harmonious (mostly) with each other. This particular rookery was a small island – maybe 45 feet in diameter – with trees and vines that stack up 20-25 feet high located in a large pond (or small lake). The nesting birds were mostly wading water birds in this moat-like setting. The birds would add to their nest with leaves and twigs from the trees along the shore of the small pond.
I think the largest population on the rookery was the Anhinga; a bird about 35 inches tall with an average wingspan of 45 inches. They, unlike many water birds, do not have a protective coating on their wings and thus will frequently be seen with their wings spread to dry out.
Close behind in terms of population is the Great Egret (averaging 39 inches tall with a 51 inch wingspan).
If you have heard or used the phrase “Don’t ruffle your tail feathers.” this picture will give you a visual, as this upset Great Egret complains to the world about the latest cable news story (or perhaps it’s a warning cry to others to stay away from her baby; seen as brown fluff in the foreground).
Rarer were the diving and underwater-fishing Double-Crested Cormorant (with fish and posing on branch), Green Heron (look hard for the touch of green in its wings), Glossy Ibis (not pictured) and snake (pictured).
In many ways, the star of the show is the Great Blue Heron (averaging 46 inches tall with a 72-inch wingspan), here seen at the top of the rookery.
Here is a Great Blue Heron on a nest in the rookery:
Surprisingly, both the Great Blue Heron and Great Egret are quite graceful in flight.
Many of the newborn birds were old enough for the mom (or dad) to get off the nest.
The Rookery was a great visit with a calm and majestic beauty that is hard to describe in words or pictures. We had lunch after our visit and returned to Naples, where the sunsets seem to be always beautiful.
Coming Saturday: Water birds in the Everglades.