A Few Florida Wading Birds

It’s nesting season for Florida’s water birds spring and summer.  If you come to a Florida beach during these times, please take a few simple steps  to not disturb the birds and their chicks.  This increases their chance of survival.  Shorebirds and seabirds build shallow nests out of sand and shells on beaches and are difficult to see.  Wading birds nest on mangroves and tree islands around the states. Both types are easily disturbed which can cause them to abandon their nesting sites exposing eggs and chicks to predators. Many are facing conservation challenges.  If you see a Critical Wildlife Area designation, avoid that area and keep your distance. Keep the beach clean and do not feed wildlife. Food scraps attract predators such as raccoons and crows which prey on shorebirds eggs and chicks.  Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.


This is a rare post for me – I do not get great photos of birds and butterflies.  I don’t have the equipment nor knowledge to do a great bird post.  Birds are smart and even when they’re in my backyard, they will fly if they see me. That even means seeing me through my window.  They don’t know it’s glass.  They see me in the sliding glass doors and they’re gone.  I can’t tell you how many blurry photos I’ve taken of birds in my yard or elsewhere. The above photo inspired me to do a little bird post. Those are ibis.








Most of the “water birds” I see (that’s what I call wading birds with long legs) are egrets. They periodically come to the yard or neighborhood to dine in the yard. I must look up most birds in the bird guide. (Not counting birds I know from childhood like sparrows, cardinals, blue jays, and robins.)  There are 3 kinds of white egrets in Florida – cattle egret, great white egret and something else. Do I know the difference? Not really. I just say there’s an egret. When I moved to Miami in the 1970’s, there were fields of cattle and I saw my first cattle egrets sitting on their backs and eating bugs. Occasionally I see ibis. Egrets have a straight beak, ibis have a curved beak and red legs with a touch of black on the ends of their wings. That makes it easy.   Herons are more like egrets with straight beaks. Storks are more like ibis with a curve to the beak.







Sometimes I’ve met a few birds who hang around parking lots, strip malls, or other places where people will feed them. It’s a little easier to get a photo, but I really don’t like birds losing their fear of humans. Sorry there are too many bad folks out there.





See this fellow above? This photo was taken outside a restaurant. I can’t believe he came this close and then he was gone.  I’ve looked at all kinds of photos online – I’m guessing he is a wood stork with a dark head and legs, and a white body.  Any bird enthusiasts out there? Does that sound right?










Another funny guy was looking for breakfast one morning in my friend’s backyard on the water.  I envy her daily view; I lived on a canal 20 years ago and spent hours looking at birds.  I only have this one photo of him. After looking at dozens of photos online, I’m guessing a tri-colored heron.  Does that sound right to you my birding friends?



Thanks for the visit. Have a lovely day!





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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

35 thoughts to “A Few Florida Wading Birds”

    1. We have lots of ducks and geese in winter flying south. I’ve only seen swans in certain large parks. Don’t know if swans are native to Florida.

  1. Hi Carol, it’s so important to give wildlife it’s space to do what it has to do in breeding season and I am totally with you about birds and animals becoming to comfortable around people. People can be so cruel at times. We used to see black and white ibis on the plains in South Africa, and I must admit that the birds we saw there were far more exciting than anything I’ve seen here,apart from the HooPoo. I’m no expert either but I would say that is a type of stork for sure. #MySundayPhoto


      1. Hi Carol, as you can imagine I was fascinated by all the wild life in South Africa (we saw all sorts), but I never had a camera back then. I was too self aware to use one. These days everyone has one so it’s no biggy anymore.

        Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal


  2. Very cool shots, Carol. I know nothing about birds. I get enthused when I’m among by birding friends, but then lose the desire to ID precisely when I’m not with any, but not ever my joy of seeing the lovely creatures. 🙂

    1. I certainly feel joy when I see birds and I agree I don’t really feel the need to identify them. Then when I start to write the post, I’m thinking people will want to know. Ah, well.

  3. That’s definitely a woodstork at the door there in that one picture. The ‘other egret’ (the third Florida egret) is called a snowy egret and it has yellow legs. Old-timers called it ‘yellow slippers’ and it is a really nice bird to see, but definitely rarer than the other two (in my experience anyway). The ibis are always fun (and I miss them when we’re away) …. i’m not sure about the heron in the last picture, it might be a juvenile …. sometimes they are really hard to identifiy. It doesn’t exactly look like any i’ve seen.

    1. I knew there was a 3rd white egret but I don’t think I’ve seen a snowy egret in person. I’ve seen photos and think they’re gorgeous. I forget the name….really I just love seeing birds, but I know others would like the name when I post. Thanks so much for the info!

  4. Am the wrong person to ask about bird names:):) Am totally uneducated about birds! You got some great shots – I particularly like the water reflection with the bird in the sun! Many thanks for sharing this bird time of year with All Seasons! Have a great week, Carol!

  5. Well you have lots of input there Carol. I’m sure that Sallie is correct but in the UK I don’t see any of those Florida species except Cattle Egret and that our Little Egret is much like you Snowy Egret but not the same species.

    1. Thanks for the input Phil. Now you know how I feel when I visit your blog and don’t know most of the birds – there all gorgeous by the way. Sometimes I visit your blog or another birder in UK and then start looking forone of your birds online. Where does it live? Somehow in the last few years – I’m 70 now – I don’t retain names like I used to. It’s very irritating so I’ll just enjoy the bird shots and not worry about names.

  6. I think you know more about birds than what you let on. I like birds, I really do. I am just don’t have the patience that it takes to get good bird shots. I like to take a photo and keep on moving. I don’t think that works with most birds. Plus I don’t have the patience or the interest to research them. I admire people who take great bird shots and know all about birds. I am just not one of them.
    In the 70’s I moved from New Mexico to the Texas Gulf Coast and saw cattle egrets. They really interested me. I found out later that they came from Africa. I found that interesting.
    My favorite bird is the great blue heron. They are everywhere. Every state I have been in has lots of them. I stopped on a back road in Oklahoma years ago and saw a whole field of them.

    I love your post.

    Have a great week.

    1. Alan, I really appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me. I understand about patience and I am not really that patient either. That’s one reason I photograph flowers a lot. They don’t run or fly away! I can try from all angles and get close. I didn’t know cattle egrets were from Africa. It makes sense. Birds fly all over the world. I’m surprised to hear the great blue heron is everywhere. That’s amazing. They’re so beautiful.

  7. Birds do move a lot, making them hard to photograph. I’ve only gotten two bird photos myself that I was pleased with. One was a hawk that just had a bite to eat right in front of my car, and the other was on a tour of Mesa Verde – I looked over in one of the windows, and there was a raven. Everyone though I Photoshopped the Raven in. Nope! I think you captured the birds really well!

  8. We have many Ibis here where I live. Flocks. They are beautiful. Another rarer bird that we have had the pleasure of seeing is Egyptian Geese! Apparently they were brought to beautify the golf courses in the 70’s here and they just bred and stayed, I guess.
    Some day, you must take a long weekend trip to Sanibel/Captiva and go visit the Ding Darling Sanctuary there. The flocks of Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills will amaze you!

    Thanks for sharing!

    – Lisa

    1. It’s been many years since I was on Sanibel and I don’t remember going to the sanctuary. I really need to go again. Thanks Lisa!

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