Posts Tagged: Viera Wetlands

What am I going to do with this Fish?

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Great Blue Heron with a very large fish impaled on beak (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

 

 

I know, Great Blue Heron images are very common but did you look at the size of that fish? I was treated to quite a show as I watched the Great Blue Heron spear this fish repeatedly and lose it and spear it again and again. The fish was still alive and struggling and almost got away. Then the Heron attempted to fly. It was unable to get airborne with this big fish so he stumbled over into the weeds and laboriously maneuvered it until he finally swallowed this big fish!

Black Crowned Night Heron

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Black Crowned Night Heron in flight with wings partially up in downstroke (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

The Black Crowned Night Heron is one of the most common herons and are found throughout most of the world. So why don”t you see them very often? They are Night Herons, nocturnal and typically feeding and flying at dusk and throughout the night. They are not usually seen during the day because they sit hunched and inactive, hiding during the daylight hours. They are frequently sitting in trees during the day, hiding behind branches and making themselves virtually invisible. I felt fortunate to capture this one in flight with the water behind him allowing me enough light.

Those beautiful eyes

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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.
Profile of Male Anhinga head and neck in breeding colors (sandra calderbank)

Sandhill Crane Parenting

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Pair of Sandhill Cranes walking with their Chick in Down feathers (sandra calderbank)

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!