Male Gambel’s Quail walking through the Desert

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Male Gambel's Quail walking through desert

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.

Common Merganser, Female standing at water’s edge

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Common Merganser, Female standing at edge of water

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! 

Roseate Spoonbill feeding with bill in water

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Roseate Spoonbill wading, feeding with bill in water

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.