Tag Archives: birdwatching

Gallinules among the lilies

I love this photo, I love this bird.

This is a Purple Gallinule, in bright morning sun.

Lurking in the marshes of the extreme southeastern U.S. lives one of the most vividly colored birds in all of North America. Purple Gallinules combine cherry red, sky blue, moss green, aquamarine, indigo, violet, and school-bus yellow, a color palette that blends surprisingly well with tropical and subtropical wetlands. Watch for these long-legged, long-toed birds stepping gingerly across water lilies and other floating vegetation as they hunt frogs and invertebrates or pick at tubers.https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purple_Gallinule/overview

We saw this bird and others at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Florida yesterday morning. It’s a piece of the northern Everglades that has been preserved for wildlife and lovers of wild places. The main entrance is in Boynton Beach.

It’s cool how a bird this colorful can also appear camouflaged.

Also notable: the amazing feet.

Related: the Common Gallinule.

The Common Gallinule swims like a duck and walks atop floating vegetation like a rail with its long and slender toes. This boldly marked rail has a brilliant red shield over the bill and a white racing stripe down its side. It squawks and whinnies from thick cover in marshes and ponds from Canada to Chile, peeking in and out of vegetation. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Gallinule/overview

This one was noisy, with its “squawks and whinnies.”

We also observed Florida’s most famous large reptile.

We stared at the alligator and he didn’t blink an eye, move, or even look back at us. “Whatever,” is the motto of the gator at rest.

A few more birds from the causeway park

IMG_5897-2

One of the fishing piers at the west causeway under Jensen Beach bridge, looking north at the Indian River Lagoon. Guys were netting fish. A couple of members of the heron family were lurking nearby.

IMG_5901-2

Little Blue Heron on a light post.

IMG_5902-2

LBH.

IMG_5904-2

Great Egret near the boat ramp.

IMG_5908-2

Both heron and egret appear to have breeding plumage still.

IMG_5926-2

Looking toward the mainland, I spotted an Anhinga drying its feathers, its back to the sun, in classic Anhinga pose.

IMG_5928-2

Feathers and palm fronds.

IMG_5932-2

An Osprey was fishing the Indian River Lagoon. That’s the Florida Power & Light nuke plant in the distance.

IMG_5938-2

Osprey, boat traffic on the Intracoastal, and Nettles Island.

IMG_5942-2

Anhinga was not happy with the dog and me being so close. We gave it some room to keep sunning.

IMG_5945-2

You can almost count its feathers from this angle!

Bird Island from a boat

IMG_1026-2

Roseate Spoonbill on Bird Island yesterday.

IMG_1027-2

Must look good for breeding season.

IMG_1031-2

Great Blue Heron.

IMG_1033-2

Big feet on that bird.

IMG_1034-2

We borrowed a boat from our boat club in Manatee Pocket yesterday and took a ride up the Indian River Lagoon to the rookery just off Sewall’s Point known as Bird Island.

IMG_1035-2

It is Wood Stork nesting season. They appear to still be building nests. I have not seen chicks yet.

IMG_1039-2

The Snowy Egrets are in breeding plumage and acting flirty.

IMG_1041-2

Showing off.

IMG_1042-2

I have never seen them like this.

IMG_1045-2

Always surprising the variety of breeds sharing space on this island.

IMG_1049-2

My sister and brother-in-law were in town and we all watched birds from the boat.

IMG_1052-2

Incoming Wood Stork.

IMG_1054-2

A rather skull-like head.

IMG_1055-2

Wood Stork with wings up.

IMG_1058-2

Roseate Spoonbill again.

IMG_1060-2

Lots of Brown Pelicans on the island now too.

Twelve 2017 birds

A few of the many birds I saw in 2017…

january

A cuteness of peeps, at Santa Lucea Beach on Hutchinson Island.

february

Amazing feather colors! Living with a few other macaws and lots of rescued wildlife at the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center.

March

Sometimes I see random cool birds on a walk around the neighborhood.

april

Fishing the easy way, at Sandsprit Park in Stuart.

May

Sexy spoonbills on Bird Island, as seen from a small boat.

june

A little pal in the backyard.

july

Lizard lunch in Sewall’s Point.

august

Warblers passing through our little peninsula between the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie River.

september

Woodland hunter in Snug Harbor, Stuart.

october

Noisy neighbor.

SONY DSC

Raptor at the Stuart Airshow.

december

The ubiquitous waterbird.