Posts Tagged: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge


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Black Skimmer in flight, along water surface with head pulled down as it comes out of water. Reflection is visible in water. (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Balck Skimmer, skimming along water surface in canal at Merritt Island, Florida (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

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!

Reddish Egret, White Morph

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Reddish Egret, Very uncommon White Morph, standing in water at Merritt Island (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

This Egret, the White Morph of the Reddish Egret is rare so I feel fortunate to have photographed this one at Merritt Island National Wilflife Refuge, on the East coast of Florida. They are strikingly beautiful and are distinguished from other Egrets by their light eyes, pink bill with black tip and blue legs. Their feeding “dance” is exactly the same as the dark morph Reddish Egret, however this one did not display any feeding behavior while I watched. He DID pose for me though!