Resting birds

Sanderlings on jetty rocks at the Fort Pierce Inlet.

A little further west along the inlet, we found Black Skimmers resting on a narrow white beach along with some Laughing Gulls and Ruddy Turnstones.

A distinctive-looking bird with short legs and a long bill. It’s hard to see their eyes, positioned as they are in the black-feathered part of their heads.

A long-winged bird with stark black-and-white plumage, the Black Skimmer has a unique grace as it forages in flight. Skimmers feed by opening the bill and dropping the long, narrow lower mandible into the water, skimming along until they feel a fish. Then they relax the neck, quickly closing their jaws and whipping the fish out of the water. Because they feed by essentially by touch, they can even forage at night. The world’s three species of skimmers are the only birds on earth that feed in this manner.

Winter turns to spring at Green River

Little Blue Herons are little white herons when they’re young.

They turn “blue” as adults.

These two birds were wading and fishing near each other at Green River in Jensen Beach, Martin County, Florida yesterday.

I saw my second Swallow-tailed Kite of the year there. The first was a couple of miles south at Haney Creek the day before. They are coming back from winter in South America.

The lilting Swallow-tailed Kite has been called “the coolest bird on the planet.” With its deeply forked tail and bold black-and-white plumage, it is unmistakable in the summer skies above swamps of the Southeast. Flying with barely a wingbeat and maneuvering with twists of its incredible tail, it chases dragonflies or plucks frogs, lizards, snakes, and nestling birds from tree branches. After rearing its young in a treetop nest, the kite migrates to wintering grounds in South America.

I spotted an American coot. They are winter birds at Green River, so I guess it’s still “winter” for coots.

We spooked some Cattle Egrets who were plucking insects from the grass on the berm where we were walking.

My dogs were off leash there and the older wiser one was being obedient but the younger one was distracted by all the moving living things and her own zippy energy, so she had to be re-leashed.

Common Gallinules look a bit like coots, but they live and breed in these ponds year round.

White Ibis flyover.

The weather has been beautiful – that’s March for ya.

Pier pigeons

Pigeons on the pier deciding what to think about me.

I am at an acceptable physical distance, yet powered by a zoom lens to spy closer.

I admire this bird’s pretty iridescence.

I gave the pigeons a drink by turning on a faucet to drip some water onto the deck. The pier is at Indian Riverside Park.

Most birds drink by taking a mouthful of water then tipping their heads back to swallow. But pigeons use their beaks like straws to suck up a good long drink.