Wednesday, May 2, 2018

More Bird Watching - Really Watching

Florida has produced quite the number of blog posts this week huh? Like I said before, nothing is better than time to allow you to really watch and photograph birds. Connie and I went to Sanibel Island on Saturday and spent some time at the infamous Ding Darling NWR. There weren't many birds at the refuge but we did get to spend quality time with a few favorites. The first was an Osprey nest that was right next to the road. These 2 siblings were squawking for food while the parents were out fishing. Big brother had a fish while little brother (or sister) waited and cried. Once the younger bird started, the older bird would join in the crying.

Crying Babies
Then, they would both stop and look around.

Osprey Siblings
The older bird (the one on the right) would chomp away at the fish in the nest. Finally, he or she gave up and the younger sibling slid in for a few morsels.

Osprey Siblings
Its a tough life for these siblings. Only the strong survive if there isn't enough food to go around.

Osprey Siblings
I suspect that these youngsters will both turn out fine. Meanwhile, Connie and I drove a little further up the road and spotted the only Roseate Spoonbill in the whole refuge. The only one. They are called "Roseate" because they are pink.

Roseate Spoonbill
The pink color makes them easy to spot. They sweep their bill back and forth in the water and then snap it shut if they find something.

Roseate Spoonbill
They are called "Spoonbills" because that bill really is shaped like a spoon if you see it from this angle.

Spoonbill
Here is a video showing the feeding motion.


While we were studying the Spoonbill, the Ibis were intent on fighting over something. They kept leaping in the air and poking at each other. I captured this shot in mid-air.

Fighting Ibis
 You can see some detail in the cropped shot here. The bird on the left is an adult male. You can tell by the deep red facial skin and dark bill. I guess he had a beef with the young guy.

Fighting Ibis
We found other critters too. Have you ever seen a crab with no claws? Its called a Mangrove Tree Crab.

Mangrove Tree Crab
And this Anole showing off his neck thingy to impress the ladies.

Anole
Like I said, if you have plenty of time and just a few birds to look at, you can watch some interesting behavior and maybe take time to look at the other critters around you.
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