Wearing your heart on your head.

Sandhill cranes celebrate Valentine’s Day everyday, since they have a heart built right in the top of their head.

I saw this couple out in the marsh at Circle B Bar Reserve in late November. The light wasn’t great since it was early in the morning and the sun was coming up behind the cranes. I normally wouldn’t have taken pictures of them with this light but they started dancing and flirting out in the marsh and I just started clicking away. Assuming this is a mating ritual, I’m hoping to see the couple out in the marsh on a nest soon.

Farther down the trail later that morning I saw these cranes fly by. Not sure if they are the same ones since there are several crane couples at the marsh.

They were gone from their corner when I passed by there on my way back to the car.

SkyWatch Friday

December at Bok Tower Gardens

Cool and pretty plants at Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida.

Little critters and flying critters. Hummingbirds were everywhere but I could not seem to catch them feeding. They would fly behind or into the bushes.

I love walking around Bok Tower Gardens. There’s always something different to see. I don’t get there often since it’s close to an hour and a half from my house (and that’s without traffic). I managed to get there a few weeks before Christmas but was wishing it was cooler than it was. Otherwise, it was a perfect morning.

On my way back to the main road, I passed a house that had 4 sandhill cranes in their front yard, along with a few ibis. I pulled over and quickly snapped the above from my car. It would be really cool to see these guys grazing in my front yard but it would be rare to get them that close to the bay.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Squirrels do it, birds do it…..

I just happened to be walking down the trail when I saw 2 sandhill cranes walking around. I didn’t think anything of it until one of the cranes started spreading her wings. I thought “Oh well, they’re going to fly away.” but no, they had something else in mind. By now there are hopefully crane babies out there somewhere.

All the other birds were busy eating fish and bugs along the trails.

Great blue heron cruising by.

Busy morning for the birds in mid March at Circle B Bar Reserve.

SkyWatch Friday

Save Our Seabirds

When my sister was here visiting over Thanksgiving weekend we headed down to Sarasota for the day. After spending the morning at Selby Gardens and having lunch nearby we stopped in at Save Our Seabirds to walk around for a while before heading back to Tampa. SOS is a non-profit bird sanctuary and rehabilitation facility. They rescue, rehab and release injured birds. Many of the birds that can’t be released have found a permanent home here.

Many of the birds had missing wings, eyes or legs. It was late in the afternoon when we stopped in so it was quiet and most of the birds were napping.

They do a lot of work with injured sandhill cranes including ones that lose a leg after being hit by a car. They fit them with prosthetic legs so they are able to move around easily but are still not able to be released.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

A foggy morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

 

The reserve was covered in fog when I first walked out on the trails in early March. I could hear the sandhill cranes calling out but could not see them very well.

After the fog lifted, I saw several on my walk.

Spider webs blanketed the trails.

The usual residents.

A bittern close to the trail.

It can look dark and foggy early in the morning but it doesn’t stay that way long in early spring in central Florida.

SkyWatch Friday

Sandhill crane twins

I stumbled on to this sandhill crane family walking down the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in early March. The parents were teaching the babies how to look for bugs and eat them. A few people were standing by but the parents did not seem to mind. As long as you didn’t get too close they just went on their way.  I sat down on the trail to get the pictures and several times I had to get up and move back since they were walking right towards me. It looks like lunch was mostly dragonflies.

The 2 above were taken with my cell phone. They were too close to get with my camera and if I tried to move back any farther I would end up in the swamp.  They strutted down the trail for while before heading back out into the marsh.

Hot walk at Circle B Bar Reserve and a missed opportunity

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Sandhill cranes on the ground and in the air.

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A red shoulder hawk hiding in the tree. I blew this out to get the details in his feathers to show up.

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A young limpkin stretching.

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A baby limpkin getting feed.

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A tricolored heron along the water.

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A baby great blue heron still on the nest.  Looking all grown up but not yet ready to fly.

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Green and orange flash in the bushes.

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Alligators were everywhere. They were very loud since it was the beginning of mating season.  Now one of the main trails is closed for the summer since the alligators spend a lot of time on the trails raising their young.

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I was taking a picture of something else when I caught the above out of the corner of my eye. I quickly turned around to snap but I had the wrong settings to get a good clear picture of him. He was gone in a few seconds. I finally see one walking across the trail in front of me and did not get a good picture. I was bummed but at least I wasn’t missing a limb.

Our World Tuesday Graphic image-in-ing