Posts Tagged: scalderphotography

Fulvous Whistling-Duck walking in sand

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Fulvous whistling-Duck walking in sand

I encountered this Fulvous Whistling-Duck strolling in the sand. This duck is large with long legs and resembles a goose. They forage for seeds of fresh grass and rice at night so it was startling to find this one walking in the sand in midday. I caught him mid step with one enormous foot in the air and I have to wonder:

Is the sand too hot?

Is he practicing to become a drum major?

Is he just strutting?

OR

Is he marching to a different drummer?

Green Heron lifting off in flight

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Green Heron lifting off in flight

I captured this photograph of a Green Heron lifting off in flight in the evening light. I was walking around a pond in Florida and surprised this Heron, and it took off in flight. These beautiful herons stand absolutely motionless as they are hunting, so I wasn’t able to see him or her until I startled it. It delighted me by flying into the lovely evening light with the green shrubs in the background.

Smooth-Billed Ani

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Smooth-Billed Ani perched on leafy shrub

The Smooth-Billed Ani is uncommon in Florida. This is the first Smooth-Billed Ani I have ever encountered, so I chased this one through a field near Viera to capture a quick image. This bird is a Caribbean Island native that established a small group in south Florida in 1937 after a storm. The Smooth-Billed Ani is common in South America and the Caribbean but in Florida their numbers are steadily decreasing. I’m told they are very scarce in Florida. In South America, where they are plentiful, they live in large groups and the females lay their eggs in a single communal nest tended by the entire group. They are interesting looking birds related to Cuckoos. The Smooth-Billed Ani is zygodactyl, which means they have eccentric feet with two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward.

Eastern Kingbird

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Eastern Kingbird perched on branch with red berries

I encountered this Eastern Kingbird perched on a branch covered with red berries in spring in Florida. These distinctive birds are truly entertaining to watch as they perch and wait for insects to fly by. They capture large insects in flight and then return to their perch where they batter the insect into submission and devour it whole. The Eastern Kingbird supplements its diet with berries. These handsome birds are widespread in the United States. The Eastern Kingbird migrates in large groups to South America, where they spend the winter.

Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron taking off in flight

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Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron taking off in flight

I captured this Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron taking off in flight just about sundown as I was leaving Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. He or she was feeding on crustaceans in a tidal pool, and I probably wouldn’t have recognized it if it had not taken off from the water and splashed. It was a challenge to get adequate light, but these birds are unusual for me. I have seldom seen a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron!