Growing old quickly

The young wood storks have such interesting faces. They lose that hint of blue and pink in their beaks when they get older. It’s a shame they look so old so fast. There were a lot of young ones at the rookery in north Tampa back in early June. Many were practicing their wing flaps.

This young one was eating something gunky. That orange gunk doesn’t look like regurgitated fish.

The adults were busy going about their day. The one in the bottom picture looks like he has paint across his back. Maybe he brushed up against something. He seemed okay.

A face only a mother could love

Woods storks are listed as an uncommon bird on the All About Birds page and are listed as federally threatened. They are fairly common here in the Tampa bay area. I see them pretty regularly at most of the parks that I visit.  There is a rookery in Tampa that has a large population of them nesting. I love going to see them in the late spring and watch them raising their babies. The babies are just as homely as the parents. These were taken in late April.

Many of the storks were still flirting and building nests,

 

Getting ready to deliver some babies

There’s a small pond in north Tampa that has an island in the middle of it that turns into a bird rookery in the spring. Wild wood storks, great egrets, cattle egrets and herons nest here. The afternoon I stopped by in late March, the wood storks were busy building nests. They were flying back and forth to the woods across the street and bringing branches back to the nests. The storks seemed to take the task very seriously.

One of them stopped to get a drink of water and then decided to take a bath before heading back to the rookery and shaking off.

Flights were taking off and landing non-stop the hour I was there. I love watching the wood storks, They seem like kind old gentle souls moving slowly.

Nesting season in full swing.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and these birds are about to be very busy moms.

There were a few babies in the far back of the wood stork rookery in north Tampa in late March. You can barely make out the fuzz in the back nest. I was a little early for babies but was in the area so I stopped by for a quick visit.

Many of the wood storks were still fighting over nesting spots.

Many were still bringing in sticks to add to the nest.

A few great egrets were also looking for sticks.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there.

The old trees at the Reserve

I was looking through some old folders recently and came across some pictures I had taken of the great old trees at Circle B Bar Reserve. Some have changed a lot, some have not changed at all and some are gone.  The ones above were taken in December, 2010. They were full of wood storks and the marsh was full of coots. We rarely see coots there now.

The same tree, taken this past December.

Same trees as the first two pictures, taken in January of 2013.

The trees in the fog, taken in December of 2017.

This was taken in 2009. I loved the old tree full of moss.

My first trip to the reserve was in October 2009. The marsh and trees were full of birds.

 A very rare time I was there for the sunrise, back in November 2011.

 

Taken in 2011, some of the frequent visitors called this the “Magic” tree. It use to always have birds on it.

The same tree in 2013. Not long after this, the tree disappeared. It  must have fallen down from old age.

A recent picture of the tree that greets you on main trail. It’s rare to not stop and take a picture of some bird on it.

SkyWatch Friday

Growing up on the pond

The young wood storks have such an intriguing face.

Young cattle egrets and little blue herons starting to use their wings and learn their way around the mangroves.

Great egrets feeding their young go on for a long time. The baby egrets being fed already look like adults. I’m sure the parents are glad when they become empty nesters.

More shots from the bird rookery in north Tampa this summer.

Two parks in one morning.

A starling peeking out of what was probably a former woodpecker nest.

Thanks to Ken at Rosyfinch Ramblings for the ID on the above Orange crowned warbler. A first for me.

Little birds at Hammock Park.

A small wood stork party at Possum Branch Preserve.

Typical great egret shot but I noticed after I cropped it up that he’s missing part of his upper beak.

I started out at Hammock Park, a small park in Dunedin that I had not been before. After walking around for an hour and seeing very little, I left there and stopped at Possum Branch Preserve for a walk before heading home.

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

Dirty beaks

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Flying back and forth from the nest, the wood stork parents stay busy keeping the nests neat and bringing in food.

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The parents of these triplets were busy feeding them. All three of the babies looked healthy. I did notice they all had dirty beaks.

More from the wood stork rookery in north Tampa during my stop in early June.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Buds, Bees and Birds in Lakeland

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“Hey lady, have you got a pass to be out here?” says the female anhinga.

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Looking right into the sun, I saw these two wood storks on the top of a tree. At first I thought they were building a nest but I think they were just fighting for space.

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A squirrel eating a leaf?

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Fuzzy flowers on the lake.

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A limpkin eating a snail.

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A mockingbird landed right in front of my car.

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A very tiny dragonfly.

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Some type of bee on white flowers.

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A green fly on pink.

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Hanging from the palm trees in the parking lot.They look like orange grapes but I wasn’t going to try one.

Just some random things around downtown Lakeland on my walk around Lake Morton and Lake Mirror. I stopped by Hollis Gardens to see what was blooming but by that time it was too hot. Most of the spring blooms were gone. Replaced by summer bedding plants.

Shine the Divine