The Eastern Meadowlark’s song is one of the most magnificent bird songs. The Male Eastern Meadowlark sings boldly and frequently during breeding season and they tend to favor fence posts. It is delightful to listen to their musical expertise. They seem to announce the arrival of spring!
I photographed this Male Gambel’s Quail walking through the desert in New Mexico. These Quail are frequently in large coveys or groups, but this Male was walking alone. It seems these desert residents would rather run or walk than fly. The Gambel’s Quail lives in thorny vegetation and they eat mostly plants and seeds. They are entertaining to observe with their comma-shaped top knot and plump round bodies.
This large Common Merganser was standing in the grass at the edge of the water on Merritt Island, Florida. This diving duck is so huge I stopped to take her picture, assuming it was a Goose! In fact, she is probably only somewhat smaller than a Canada Goose. I infrequently see the Common Merganser in Florida!
This Female Red-Breasted Merganser is walking to the edge of the water with her ragged crest raised. This duck is one of the quickest fliers, able to reach 100 miles per hour. In order to take off on this rapid flight, they flap and run across the water or land. I suppose this one is close enough to the water to walk.
I was roaming around a wetland in Florida and found this Roseate Spoonbill wading in the water, feeding with its bill in the water. He or she looked toward me but proceeded to feed by sweeping that huge spatulate shaped spoonbill through the water back and forth. They as surprisingly effective feeders because the nerve endings in the bill sense prey and snap the bill shut on everything it encounters. This is the only spoonbill native to North America and the only pink wading bird native to North America.