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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