Posts Tagged: Viera Wetlands

Least Bittern

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Least Bittern taking off in flight in rain at Viera Wetlands (SandraCalderbank, sandra calderbank)

I was leaving The Viera Wetlands  one April afternoon because it had started to rain and I assumed there would be no more photography action that afternoon. Suddenly this Least Bittern appeared and took off right beside me! What a gift. These small Bitterns are hard to spot because they blend into their surroundings and even more difficult to photograph in flight because it is SO difficult to find them in the reeds. They live a very secretive life and I was blessed to have this one take off right in front of me at a time when I thought photography for that day was over due to rainy weather.

Fishing on a cloudy day

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Belted Kingfisher flying out of water after catching a fish with fish in beak (sandra calderbank)


I was recently visiting the Viera Wetlands on a rainy overcast day.  I was ready with my camera but not expecting much action.  I stopped because a Bald Eagle flew overhead, which I totally missed.    I decided to sit for a while, thinking the day for capturing images was going to be unproductive, when this little rocket popped out of the water with a fish!

Crested Caracara

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Crested Caracara in flight against a blue sky, with wings in downstroke (sandra calderbank)



The Crested Caracara looks like a colorful  long legged hawk, behaves much like a vulture but is really a Falcon.  It is commonly  called the ‘Mexican Eagle’ and is native to much of South America, but only a few areas in North America.   I photographed this one in the Viera Wetlands in Florida.

They are monogamous, attentive and very capable parents.  They will  sometimes come close and have a variety of behaviors which make for beautiful photo opportunities. They are impressively large and their faces have real character. It is always special to see them.
Crested Caracara in flight against blue sky, soaring. Image is vertical (sandra calderbank)


Cattle Egret

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Cattle Egret in breeding colors, in flight with nesting stick (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

The Cattle Egret in breeding colors is a beautiful sight in the spring. Other times of the year it is a small white Egret but in spring it is many colors of red and orange. This bird only arrived in North America in the early 1940″s and has now successfully established itself over the whole continent.