Two Small Herons

Over the years watching birds has become a meditation. Something that draws us out of ourselves into the embrace of a larger sacred world and a heightened awareness of the importance of, and kinship with, all life.

A canoe is a useful tool for birding in Florida.

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Two birds that have enchanted us, ever since we started our yearly winter pilgrimage from central Ohio to Florida, are the Tricolored and Little Blue Heron. These similarly sized birds are considerably smaller than their larger cousin the more majestic Great Blue Heron. The Tricolored, with it’s running, hopping, and crouching behavior, is the more active and comical of the two and it can be found foraging anywhere the water depth permits. Generally the Little Blue, with it’s slower movements, is a quiet stalker as it works it’s way along shoreline grasses and overhanging branches looking above and below the water’s surface for edible items.

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Tricolored Heron:

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Little Blue Heron:

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Immature Little Blue Heron with a Tricolored.

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Not long after this picture was taken, high in a tree near waters edge, an anole became a midmorning snack.

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The Tricolored and Little Blue Heron can be found throughout Florida and fortunately for bird lovers are not hard to find. During our recent travels in that state we were blessed with numerous opportunities to observe and enjoy these birds.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

A Feast For The Gulls

Usually this time of the year in central Ohio we’re busy looking for the earliest spring wildflowers such as the uncommon Snow Trillium.

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But we also walk along the local reservoirs (Griggs and O’Shaughnessy Reservoir) hoping to see migrating waterfowl. Recently we weren’t disappointed when three inches of rain shocked area waterways resulting in thousands of dead or dying shad. It was a banquet for Bonaparte’s Gulls passing through the area and an excellent opportunity to observe these beautiful birds.

Immature, non-breeding and breeding Bonaparte’s Gulls.

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Bonaparte’s Gull, (Donna)

Adult breeding Bonaparte’s Gull.

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A few larger Ring-billed Gulls were also getting into the act.

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Not to miss out on the easy meal Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons were also present.

Great Egret, (Donna).

Great Blue Heron, (Donna)

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Fish die-offs, particularly shad, are not that uncommon in reservoirs. However, this is the first time we’ve happened upon such a feeding frenzy.

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We hope this post finds everyone doing well. Thanks for stopping by.

Black-necked Stilt

The winters in central Ohio are usually not harsh but their dreariness more than makes up for it. Now, being in a position where we don’t have to, we see little reason to endure the gray dampness so we look to sunnier and warmer climes. Florida is usually our destination and the two months spent in the various state parks end up being a true celebration of nature. 

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Myakka River

Whether on foot or in the canoe most days are filled with anticipation at what we might experience or see. Some days are more rewarding than others but we’re never disappointed. One bird that never fails to enchant us with it’s whimsical behavior is the Black-necked Stilt. We’ve found them to be fairly common in the fresh water areas we frequent, particularly as we travel further south in Florida. The pictures below were taken at Myakka River SP walking along the river or from the canoe.

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With all that’s going on in the world right now it was nice to have an opportunity to look back at pictures of such a beautiful bird. It’s hoped that, after a brief visit, followers of this blog will leave with a smile.

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We go through our lives with the illusion of control when all we can ever do is celebrate the moment.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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