Monthly Archives: December 2018

Peace and quiet

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White Ibis in the mangroves.

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We walked out on a new boardwalk though mangroves to the Indian River Lagoon, at the Clifton S. Perry Beach on Hutchinson Island. This park opened very recently, just south of Santa Lucea Beach and north of the House of Refuge.

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Bird on a board.

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Grubby ibis.

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I would never have seen these birds without boardwalk access to this spot that is otherwise inhospitable to humans. The birds did seem a bit surprised to see us there. They can be quite bold beggars at Indian RiverSide Park, walking right up to people and looking for a handout.

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But maybe sometimes they like a people-free place. I tried not to disturb them too much!

Duck, duck, goose?

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I visited some Egyptian Geese chicks yesterday, at a pond next to Ocean Blvd in Stuart.

Or should I call them goslings even though Egyptian “geese” are really ducks?

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The Egyptian goose is believed to be most closely related to the shelducks (genus Tadorna) and their relatives, and is placed with them in the subfamily Tadorninae. It is the only extant member of the genus Alopochen, which also contains closely related prehistoric and recently extinct species.

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Ma and Pa and two of the five young ones.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife says that the nonnative Egyptian Geese are present in Florida but not confirmed to be breeding. I think it’s time to update that assessment.

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I guess these chicks are really closer to “juveniles” or “immatures” as their feathers are changing from fluffy down to real adult feathers.

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After nibbling green grass they launched onto the water to nibble some pond weeds.

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My Florida birdwatching Christmas carol would include “five geese a-swimming.”

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I watched these birds for about 15 minutes. They tolerated my presence and even came closer, though the adults chased off the ibises that came near. I guess they have probably been fed by people and competed for that food with ibises.

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Scruffy little molting bird.

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Splendid plumage, shining in the sun.

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Proud-looking goose.

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I’m fascinated by the beautiful feathers.

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