Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Florida Birds - Part 6

If you're a Tern fan, you can find them all over the gulf coast of Florida this time of year. Royal, Sandwich, Forster's, Common, Caspian, and others all hang out together alongside gulls and shorebirds. The Royal terns are easiest to spot in a crowd as they have those giant bright orange bills (see below). The others can easily be identified as compared to the Royals.

Royal and Sandwich terns.

The beaches are used my many types of birds, including Snowy Egrets. This one tried its luck foraging in the shallow waves just before sunset.

Snowy Egret.

Snowy Egret.

On another beach, a Little Blue Heron hunted for breakfast at sunrise.

Little Blue Heron.

The heron was joined by several Ruddy Turnstones.

Ruddy Turnstone.

I like that these birds don't lose all of their coloring during the non-breeding season, so they are easy to identify in a mixed flock of shorebirds.

Ruddy Turnstone.

Most wintertime shorebirds look more like this (below). Cornell University offers an online self-study Shorebird Identification course, which I recommend taking.

Shorebird in the waves.

There is no mistaking the Roseate Spoonbill for anything else! I posted some photos of this bird previously, but it deserves more.

Just look at it!

Roseate Spoonbill.

Spoonbill with White Ibises.

A Spoonbill flying at sunrise:

Roseate Spoonbill.

Another one later in the morning:

Roseate Spoonbill.

Early one morning, we found a couple of Sandhill Cranes foraging in a wetland area.

Sandhill Cranes.

They were joined by several Gray-Headed Swamphens. This was my first time seeing both species in the wild, so they made my day.

Sandhill Cranes with Gray-Headed Swamphens.

I previously posted a photo of Sandhill Cranes flying, but they're so awesome, here is another one.

Sandhill Cranes.

This is a Glossy Ibis in flight.

Glossy Ibis.

And a Wood Stork in flight:

Wood Stork.

Double-Crested Cormorant - we have these year-round in NYC.

Double-Crested Cormorant.

Bald Eagles can also be found year-round all along the East Coast, but we don't see them as often in the NYC area. When we do, it's usually a big deal.

Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle.

Next up:  Pelicans!

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