A loop around the pond, and precocious goslings

I watched these two cormorants swimming and diving for fish around the edges of the pond at Indian Riverside Park the other day.

I believe the darker one is an adult and the light brown one is a juvenile. They were staying close together, diving and surfacing at the same time – the young bird mirroring the older bird.

A Blue Jay was keeping an eye on me.

Great Blue Heron at the west side of the pond.

Muscovy Duck heading toward a woman calling for her. “Lily, Lily! I brought you something.”

People feed the birds and ducks here.

Florida Mottled Ducks are closely related to the more familiar mallard. The male has a yellow bill and the female’s is orangey and darker.

Egyptian geese keeping watch over three chicks.

So cute!

Egyptian Geese are native to the Nile River Valley and other parts of the Middle East. They are yet another non-native that is beginning to breed “in the wild” in South Florida.

Oh the tiny wings!

The feathers are all down at this age. So soft.

This one stopped to rest. But not for too long.

Soon it was time to forage again. They eat a variety of plants, seeds, tiny animals and insects. Believe it or not, popcorn and bread are not very good for them.

Egyptian goslings (like the chicks of domestic hens) are precocial, born with downy feathers and ready to start feeding themselves right away, as opposed to altricial birds born naked and helpless, staying in the nest for some time, needing to be fed.

Cormorants are altricial… and so are human babies!

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