Almost grown up

One of the parents keeping an eye on the kids.

“Mom, I’m hungry!”

“Big brother, you better come down from there. Mom’s here with breakfast.”

“Lady, are you going to watch us eat?”

“I guess he’s not coming down so we’ll eat without him.”

“Yum”

 

The older baby had climbed to the very top of the tree and was sleeping in the moss so the youngest was all alone on the nest.  Mom came down for a while and fed it. Not sure what they were eating, rabbit or squirrel?

“Peek A Boo” from the other side of the tree.

They grow up so fast. These were taken in late March, the last time I saw the babies on the nest. Not long after this the oldest was already moving to other trees. Hopefully we’ll see new babies next winter.

A windy day at Fort Desoto

I had a rare Friday off in mid-April and headed to Fort Desoto to see if there were any birds migrating through. I was really too early since a storm was just starting to move through. It was drizzling on and off most of the morning but it was still fun to be out at the beach, even in bad weather.

Birds were diving in the water to catch the tiny fish near the pier.

The usual great blue herons and pelicans were flying close to the pier.

A lone frigatebird was hovering right over the pier. They usually stay high up in the sky but this one was right over my head. She just kept hovering in the wind. The above are not cropped at all. I felt like I could almost reach out and grab her.

Before leaving I hit the back trail and caught this nanday parakeet peeking out of a hole in a dead palm tree. I think they nest back here but I rarely go back this far in the summer since the bugs will attack no matter how much bug spray you use.

SkyWatch Friday

Teeny tiny baby birds

The tiniest babies a the park, these snowy egrets were only a day or two old. Mom was sitting on them most of the morning but she stood up to stretch for a few minutes.

A few other nests had babies that were a few days older.

This baby was getting big.

Across the lake, baby great egrets were just waking up.

I did not make it over to Gatorland in Orlando last year so I made a trip in early April this spring. Most of the baby birds at the bird rookery were great egrets and snowy egrets. The cattle egrets and tricolored herons were just sitting on eggs. The morning went by fast as the birds were feeding the babies and flying by with sticks for the nests. All too quickly it was almost lunch time and the birds were settling down for mid-day naps.

Photographing New Zealand

Lots of babies

It’s always fun to see baby swans. Both mute swans and black swans had babies at Lake Morton in early May.

A tiny limpkin baby hiding in the reeds while mom looks for food.

Baby mallards looking for bugs.

An older baby mallard.

Pretty ducks and swans.

White pelicans were still hanging around the lake.

Pretty weeds growing along the bank of the lake.

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Colors of the rainbow

Yellow warbler.

My first blue winged warbler with a snack.

Lots of indigo buntings at the park this year.

Female indigo buntings don’t have any blue at all.

Scarlet tanagers have black wings.

Orchard orioles

Eastern kingbirds.

A rare western kingbird.

A painted bunting foraging for food on the ground.

We had great fall out the 3rd weekend in April for migrating birds. After a storm on Friday afternoon, I headed out to Fort Desoto park to see if any of the spring migrating birds had stopped by for a rest. Everyone else had the same idea. Even though there were a ton of people at the park there were lots of birds as well. It’s always fun running into old friends at the park in the spring and having more eyes to spot birds.This was the busiest weekend this spring and I spent most of the day there with lots more pictures to come.

Herons on the fishing pier.

The beautiful and rare great blue heron/great egret hybrid that lives at Fort Desoto. Harry (as I call him) can usually be found at the gulf fishing pier. In the spring during mating season his face turns blue.

Harry is the size of a great egret which is smaller than the great blue heron behind him.

 

A great blue heron landing on the shelter on the fishing pier.

SkyWatch Friday

Wild and frisky

The wild cattle egrets at Gatorland had come in to the mangrove bushes along the alligator exhibit to nest. They were sporting their breeding bright colors around their face and beaks. They were busy flirting and chasing each other and were very comical to watch.

Many were bringing sticks back to the nest that they had secured.

This couple had been flirting all morning.

This couple had already built a  nest in the bushes and were ready to get busy. Nesting season was in full swing in mid-April when I spent the morning at the park in Orlando.

I just recently noticed this sign that was posted at the entrance to the bird rookery.

Photographing New Zealand