Friday, April 27, 2018

Birds in Motion

Lori and I made a trip to the Florida Keys this week to catch some new birds and migrants. We were mainly successful with great weather and great birds. One of my favorite birds is the Magnificent Frigatebird. You can't miss the ID on this bird. It is the only bird that looks like this in the sky:

Magnificent Frigatebird
They are masters at flight and soaring. They use their long, pointed wings to catch the wind and effortlessly cover alot of area at sea and along the coastline. This immature bird barely moved his wings while preening. Check out the series of photos that I took as he hung on the wind above our heads in Key West.

Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent Frigatebird - preening

Magnificent Frigatebird - preening

Back to flying

I'm in Florida for 10 days which gives me time to really enjoy the birds and the weather rather than just run from place to place trying to fit everything in. That extra time gave me the opportunity to watch another favorite bird in action - Reddish Egret. Just seeing one is terrific, but this guy put on a show.  They are really pretty and have long reddish feathers on their head and neck. 

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret
But if they see a fish that they want, they start flapping and running around in the water. 

Reddish Egret - fishing

Reddish Egret - fishing
Here is a video showing the chase. He didn't catch a fish this time but was successful on other attempts. 


The interesting thing is that this egret was hanging out with 3 Red-breasted Mergansers. Wherever they went, the egret went. They worked cooperatively. The Mergansers would scare up fish for the egret and vice-versa. This Merganser put on a show preening just a few feet in front of me. 

Red-breasted Merganser - scratching

Red-breasted Merganser - preening

Back to business
So much more to post from this trip. Keep an eye out for more including Dry Tortugas, Life Birds, Owls, and Shorebirds. 
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