There isn’t very much in nature that is naturally pink except for flowers so who can resist a pink bird?
The Roseate Spoonbill has bright pink wings and dark pink “shoulders”. These birds have a large spatula shaped bill and a naked head. The spoonbill makes it easy for them to catch the crustaceans they love to eat. They are wading birds, and the only Spoonbill species in the Western Hemisphere. These large birds are a beautiful shade of pink apparently because of their diet but they are gorgeous in flight and they are PINK!
I was recently at Merritt Island in Florida and discovered this Black Skimmer zipping along on the water surface of one of the inland canals. Their behavior is as unique as their appearance. They have scissors-like red bill and their lower bill is much longer than the upper bill. They skim along the surface, scooping fish into this brightly colored bill. As I followed this bird in flight, it dove under the surface and tucked it’s head under as it came back up above the surface. I have no idea what purpose this head tucking behavior serves. If you know about this behavior, please share with me!
The Male Anhinga really puts on a colorful show during breeding season. His eyes completely change and he becomes this flashy bird with beautiful eyes. The Anhinga is so common but during breeding season they are extraordinary. He looks like he is wearing turquoise eyeshadow! I guess the girls really like that.
Sandhill Cranes are wonderful parents! The mated pair stay together year round and migrate together. They typically lay 1-2 eggs and both parents participate in incubation. The Chicks are able to follow Mom and Dad around to forage within 24 hours of hatching. The Chicks stay with the parents for 10 to 11 months. The young Sandhills migrate with Mom and Dad but until they find a mate at about age 7, the “teenagers” flock together with other teenagers. The Sandhill can live up to 20 years. They are very protective and loyal and are almost always seen in a family group or adult pair. Sandhill Cranes are remarkable in their habits and behavior!
The Belted Kingfisher is one of the most challenging birds to capture in flight. They fly very swiftly with uneven wing beats and erratic flight patterns. I photographed this one out of a car window in the Viera Wetlands in Viera Florida, one of my favorite places to chase birds.