Posts Tagged: birds

Killdeer with chicks

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Adult Killdeer with three chicks, one hiding under  the adult (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Killdeer with four chicks, one chick is hiding under adult (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)I found this adult Killdeer tending it’s chicks on Merritt Island in April.  They are so tiny but look at those huge legs!  They run incredibly fast with those huge legs and one chick insisted on hiding under Mom (or Dad?) while being tended.  The adult constantly ran about rounding up the errant chicks except the one that insisted on staying under her. It is a powerful example of the strong instinctive bonds between parents and offspring.

Reddish Egret

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Reddish Egret in breeding plumage, standing in water (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Reddish Egret displaying feeding behavior, running with wings spread (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

The Reddish Egret is an uncommon to rare Egret that was nearly killed off by plume hunters in the 1800’s. They have been protected in the United States and currently the US has about 2000 pairs. Their habitat is salt marshes and tidal flats. These beautiful birds become even more vibrantly colored in their breeding plumage with a pink bill with a black tip. They are distinguished even further by their unusual feeding behavior. They often run and dash after prey and look like they are dancing because they frequently elevate their wings in a canopy over their prey. There are two distinct color morphs of the Reddish Egret, the dark morph which you see here in these images and the white morph. The white morph of the Reddish Egret is almost completely white with dark blue legs and a pink bill with a black tip. I was fortunate to photograph a good number of Reddish Egrets at Merritt Island last month, including a White Morph!

The Northern Bobwhite

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Male Northern Bobwhite prancing, mid step across a dirt road (sandra calderbank)Everyone who lives in the Eastern United States is familiar with the loud call of the bob-WHITE, but have you ever seen one? Have you seen one prance across the road in front of you? That’s exactly what this boy did and after I managed to get his picture I discovered that the female was already across the road! Of course he was prancing for her but I benefited from his attraction. She was in the grass and not amenable to having her picture made so I cheerfully settled for him!