Anhinga Perches on a Car

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I passed a female Anhinga perched on a branch within a mangrove.

Being very shy and skittish, I was shocked when she flew out of the mangrove, pass me, and then land before me on a car parked alongside the pond of water.  😲

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Anhinga (female) lands on a car

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With a leary eye on me, the female Anhinga then preceded to spread and dry her wings.

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“Excuse me please, while I dry off!”

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I’m very glad to say, it wasn’t my car!  😉

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Great Blue Heron in the Mangroves

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This Great Blue Heron was moving slowly through the dark waters, looking for fish at the roots within the shaded mangroves.  A couple times s/he came into an opening where natural lighting filtered through, giving me two wonderful image opportunities.

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Great Blue Heron

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Great Blue Heron

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A Tricolored Heron’s Two Profiles

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I came upon this gorgeous Tricolored Heron standing in some cool spikey-looking grass.

A watchful red eye was already on me.

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Tricolored Heron – Profile #1

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After a couple photos, I did a slow, wide walk around the heron without looking it.  When I got to a certain spot, I slowly turned around with my camera already raised and took the next photo.

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Tricolored Heron – Profile #2

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Hehe, is someone flirting with me?  😉

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Great Egret Reflections During Take-Off

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I’m glad I looked in the direction again at two Great Egrets, to see one preparing to launch.

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Great Egrets

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Great Egrets

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Who doesn’t love a windless, wetland reflection morning!

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Five On The Wing – #1

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This is the start of another post series to share photos of five different bird species in flight and ask which is your favored shot if you wish to share.  I hope you enjoy them!

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Which of these birds on the wing do you favor the most?  😊

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Spotted Sandpiper

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I’ve seen Spotted Sandpipers several times on the docks and bulkheads along Barron River.

It’s hard to work with the ugliness of docks, and I finally felt lucky with this photogenic opportunity.

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Spotted Sandpiper

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The Spotted Sandpiper’s name insinuates it has spots, but where are they?

The above Spotted Sandpiper is in nonbreeding plumage, so it lacks its spots.

For comparison, below is a Spotted Sandpiper in breeding plumage I took last Spring.

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Spotted Sandpiper (breeding plumage)

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Series: Take A Moment and Enjoy A Sunset

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Sunset over Chokoloskee Bay at Everglades National Park Gulf Coast Visitors Center

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“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.”
— Pamela Hansford Johnson

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Red-bellied Woodpecker in Hot Pursuit

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I shared a post of a male Pileated Woodpecker in hot pursuit of a female a few weeks ago.

The Red-bellied Woodpeckers are playing the same games!

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Female Red-bellied Woodpecker on a dock piling

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Everywhere the female flew and landed, her suitor was quick to follow.

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“Hey, where did she go?”
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

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The female allowed the male to catch her, and he was quick to impress by flaring his crest feathers.

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Female Red-bellied Woodpecker evaluating the male’s bonding display of crest feathers…..
Was she impressed?  😉

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Love is in the air with birds in Florida!

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Stalking with Elegance

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When it’s low tide at the Everglades NP Gulf Coast location, a small beach exposes at the far end of the bulkhead.

While I was sitting on the bulkhead by that beach a mid-afternoon, a Snowy Egret came around the bend and towards me along the beach, stalking for fish in the small incoming waves.

Sitting very still, I waited; and not for long.  The Snowy Egret was on the move and was quickly right in front of me.

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“The Elegant Snowy Egret”

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I know the egret had to see me, but it didn’t give any indication acknowledging my presence.  It just continued it’s stalking.

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“Ready to Strike”

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“Super Quick Strike”

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“Tiny Tasty Snack”

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Not missing a beat, the Snowy Egret continued on past me, searching for more.

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“The Elegant Snowy Egret”

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I think this is when I started breathing again. 😉

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White Pelicans Riding Thermals

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Have you ever seen birds fly in a spiral, going higher and higher?  They have discovered a weather phenomenon known as thermals.

A couple weeks ago, I was lucky to notice White Pelicans riding thermals for several days above Everglades City.

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White Pelicans and single Anhinga (far right) riding a thermal

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Thermals are updrafts of warm air that rise from the ground into the sky.  Birds will fly in a circular path within these columns of rising air and “ride” the currents to climb to higher altitudes while expending very little energy in the process.

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White Pelicans riding a thermal

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Some thermals may only last for a few seconds, others can last up to 10-20 minutes.  As thermals rise, they cool, eventually reaching the same temperature as the surrounding air.  Suddenly the thermal dissipates, and you’ll see the birds lose their momentum and form of flight.

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White Pelicans riding a thermal

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Each day that I saw them, it was in the afternoon.

Some close-ups….

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White Pelicans riding a thermal

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White Pelicans riding a thermal

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Watching these huge birds gracefully spiral up high in the sky was such a delight!

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