This is where I go out on a limb and ponder a while.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birds of Paradise

When I went on vacation I was hoping to see different birds as birding is one of my favorite pastimes.  I didn't really see too many different species since we pretty much stayed within the resort area.  Some day I will talk my husband into a trip to Sanabel Island, which is widely known as a birding mecca.  Nonetheless, I did have fun watching the birds that were there, and did manage to get a few photos.  
One thing that surprised me, although I should have expected it, was the number of birds there that we have here in the summer.  We were sitting outside one afternoon at a beachside cafe and red-winged blackbirds were landing on the tables!  They were a serious pest and there were signs posted that read:                             "Please Don't Feed The Birds!"

Of course, there are gulls everywhere.  This one is a bit angry with me for parking my beach chair in his prime hunting spot.

One day we went on a fishing excursion, and the birds at the dock put on quite a show.

These pelicans wait around the fish cleaning table for scraps.   There are several species of pelicans in the Keys and they all mingle together.

This is an immature Snowy Egret.  He's standing over the fish cleaning table, pretending to ignore the gentleman cleaning fish.  But when he tosses up a fish scrap, the little guy is quick to catch it in midair and gobble it up!

This big boy seems to be too dignified to beg for fish and stays above the fray :)
This is a Great Egret.  We came upon him while beach combing one day and he just froze.  I was only about 6 feet away from him, but he posed for me for about a minute so I could take a good picture without needing a zoom lens.  Then I quietly sneaked away.  I wonder if he thought I couldn't see him if he didn't move.
The Cormorants - not an attractive bird at all, and I neglected to take a picture of one because we have thousands of them at home.  Now I wish I had taken one because maybe some people have never seen one.  But I did take this photo, because I think they look silly when they do this.  They are divers, so they sit and hold their wings out to dry their wing feathers.  One sunny afternoon we were looking down into the water at some tropical fish swimming around a reef and suddenly a huge dark fish bolted into the school of fish and scattered them in all directions.  But it wasn't a big fish, it was a cormorant.  He wasn't fast enough to catch any of the pretty fish, though.

This was a real treat for me - I have never seen an Ibis before and here was a whole flock of them right on our beach.

But now I am back in the frozen tundra watching my beloved chickadees at the feeder :)


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