Two Raptors

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) on Nest
It is possible there are chicks in the nest. I watched the adult and saw it bent over with food in its mouth. I can’t be certain. I didn’t see tiny heads.
Rollingwood Bluffs, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; MAR 2020

Today, I am going to take a short break from sharing the amazing birds I saw in Florida so that I can share 2 images I took this past week. I am sharing these 2 beautiful raptors.

The eagle is on a nest. I suspect that at least one of its chicks has hatched. I did not see any tiny heads. But I did see the adult, bent over, with food in its mouth. I did not see it eat that food.  So, I think it is possible there is a chick in the nest.

The Red-shouldered hawk had just leapt from its perch to fly away.

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo virginianus)
Image captured as hawk left its perch in the tree.
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; MAR 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Scenes of Florida

Marching Sprites
Six Mile Cypress Preserve, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020

My recent trip to Florida was mainly to photograph birds. Along the way, I found some nice landscapes and seascapes to photograph. My mind’s image of Florida is mostly brightly lit cities and beaches – the usual images that we see. I was lucky enough to be in areas that are more wild – swamps and marshes. That is what I am presenting here. We drove through some interesting areas – pine forests, palmetto groves and other places that I didn’t get to shoot. Maybe I’ll get the chance at a later date.

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Bromeliad on Cypress
Six Mile Cypress Preserve, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
Florida Seascape
Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020

Mangrove Marshland with Tricolored Heron
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

Garden In A Tree
Six Mile Cypress Preserve, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
A Pond in the Swamp
Six Mile Cypress Preserve, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020s

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

White Ibis

Photographic images of the White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
The Ibis with the gray neck and black feathers is a juvenile.
Harns Marsh, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020

The bright pink and white colors of the White Ibis, remind me of the bright, flamboyant Cadillacs and Packards of the mid to late 1950’s.  The gray, pink and white Packard Caribbean convertible comes to mind.

The White Ibis is found, year around, along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the Southeastern US as well as the Bahamas, the Caribbean and parts of Central America. They nest in trees, in colonies with herons and egrets.

These birds forage by walking along the shore line, sticking their beaks in the mud and feeling around for invertebrates, worms and insects. They will also stab fish, frogs  and crustaceans with their beaks. Interestingly, they remove the claws and pinchers from frogs and crabs before they eat them.

Info from CornellLab All About Birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White_Ibis/lifehistory

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

White Ibis
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020
White Ibis with Inflated Pufferfish
Bunche Beach, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
White Ibis
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020
White Ibis
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

The Glossy Ibis is another interesting wading bird. From a distance, it just looks like a gray bird with long legs and a long, curved bill. But as you get closer, the iridescence of its feather’s colors it in reds, bronze and greens. These birds forage in wetlands, as well as fresh and saltwater marshes for fish, insects and seeds.

The Glossy Ibis is found, year around, in Florida, the Atlantic and Gulf Coast of the US as well as the Bahamas and the Caribbean. In breeding season, they venture all along the US Atlantic Coast. They can also be found in Europe, Asia and Africa. They nest in trees, in colonies with herons and egrets.

Info from CornellLab All About Birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Glossy_Ibis/overview

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Glossy Ibis
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020
Glossy Ibis
Harns Marsh, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
Glossy Ibis,
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020
Glossy Ibis
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)
J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge; FEB 2020

The Reddish Egret is another amazingly beautiful, medium to large sized, heron. They are found, year around in the Bahamas, the Caribbean and parts of Florida. When not breeding they can also be found along the Gulf and Pacific Coasts of Mexico and Central America, They live and forage in marshes, particularly in brackish waters where they dine primarily on fish, crustaceans, frogs and insects.

They nest in swampy areas in colonies with other egrets and herons.

They are considered as a threatened species and are protected in Texas. They were, at one time, hunted for their plumage.

The images I shared here are breeding, dark morph, reddish egrets. The pink in the bill denotes its breeding status. When not breeding, the beak is gray. There is a white morph of the Reddish Egret but I have not seen any of those.

A note about herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are all members of the same family (Ardeidae). But they are not considered distinct groups. The 2 large ones, Great Blue Heron and Great Egret are members of the genus Ardea. The Snowy Egret, Little Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron and Reddish Egret are in the genus Egretta. So, despite the distinction in the common names, they are all related.

Info from:

Cornell Labs All About Birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Reddish_Egret/overview

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddish_egret

DifferenceBetween.Net: http://www.differencebetween.net/science/nature/birds-nature/difference-between-heron-and-egret/

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution

Reddish Egret
J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020
Juvenile Reddish Egret
Fishing Pier, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020
Reddish Egret
J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge; FEB 2020
Reddish Egret
J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge; FEB 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020

The American White Pelican is one of North America’s largest birds. Most of the year, they can be found in much of the area between the mid-western US to the western coast, south into Mexico and Central America and north into Canada. In their non-breeding winter season, they collect along the southern US Atlantic and gulf coasts as well as the coast of California. They also like the central valley of California and California’s Salton Sea and Colorado River Drainage area. They breed in the northern US and Canada. Though they stay near the coast over winter, they prefer to be in the ponds and estuaries rather than along the shore.

Unlike the Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican doesn’t dive for food. They tip their head into the water and scoop their food or sometimes they dabble; tip over and stick their head in the water with their tail up like a large duck. They dine mainly on fish but also on some marine invertebrates. Several of these pelicans may join together to hunt. They wrangle fish into shallow water or sometimes towards one another. At other times, they will steal food from cormorants and other pelicans.

In one of the pictures, there is a pelican with its mouth open and in the air. It may be trying to control its body temperature. I read that there are a lot of veins and arteries in its pouch so by warming or cooling its pouch, it can warm or cool its body.

Info from Cornell Labs All About Birds. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_White_Pelican/overview

Note: please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

American White Pelican
J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020
American White Pelican
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020
American White Pelican
J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020
American White Pelican
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020
American White Pelican
J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; FEB 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

The Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

The Tricolored Heron is an amazingly beautiful, small heron – up to 30” tall. They are found, year-round in Florida and along the US Gulf Coast. During nonbreeding periods, they can also be found along the Pacific Coast of Southern California and Mexico as well as parts of Central America. They breed in areas of North Florida. They like the coastal estuaries, saltmarshes, mangrove forests and lagoons.

Tricolored Herons prefer to eat fish from brackish waters. They stalk and attack like other herons and egrets with a few minor uniqueness’s. They nest in colonies with other herons and egrets.

All About Birds from Cornell Labs posted an interesting observation about the Tricolored Heron: “Angsty teenagers aren’t just a human phenomenon. As Tricolored Herons get older they often lunge and snap at their parents when they arrive at the nest with food. To appease the youngsters, parents greet them with bows.”

I was amazed when I first saw one of these birds. I think all herons and egrets are beautiful but, for me, this one tops the list.

Note: Click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Tricolored Heron;
Harns Marsh, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
Tricolored Heron;
J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge; FEB 2020
Tricolored Heron;
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020
Tricolored Heron;
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.