Monday, April 4, 2016

Florida Birds- Part Two

The second part of my travel time was in the Tampa Bay area.  On the evening of my arrival, I went out to the North Beach at Fort De Soto. It was a sunny Friday, and the sunbathers were plentiful. Mixed in with swimmers enjoying the gentle waves washing in were White Ibis.

Over the next two days, I saw many different behaviors by these birds. In flight they show black wing tips, and they land in a graceful form.

At one location, the White Ibis were wading along a calm shoreline and probing with that long beak.  They appeared to be catching something which disappeared rapidly. Looking at my images later, I discovered what my eyes were not fast enough to see - small crabs.

The White Ibis behaviors were interesting, but the visual interest created by the Roseate Spoonbills were eye candy. Many were in prime breeding coloration.

In the evening, spoonbills and ibis seem to congregate in large flocks before going off to roost for the night.   One sometimes wonders how the incoming bird finds a place to land in the crowd.

Another interesting bird is the Reddish Egret.  I observed a mild dispute.

Note the blue, red and black pattern from the eye to the tip of the beak.  Distinctive. However, there is a White Morph of the Reddish Egret that is unusual and extremely beautiful.

When fishing, the egret is graceful as it dances about with its wings creating a shadow on the water for better visibility.  They remind one of an elegant ballet dancer.

A favorite?  How can a person decide?

Paul Schmitt

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