Tag Archives: Purple Gallinule

More pics from Wakodahatchee

DSC_4271.jpg

Great Egret at Wakodahatchee.

DSC_4205

Looking down from the boardwalk we could see a Purple Gallinule.

DSC_4208

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.

DSC_4217

Blue frontal shield with a yellow-tipped red bill, very colorful!

DSC_4219

Look for Purple Gallinules in dense freshwater wetlands in the extreme southeastern U.S. and farther south—sites that have both emergent and submerged vegetation such as water lilies, lotus, water hyacinth, and hydrilla. They can be fairly easy to spot as they walk on floating vegetation.

31919331-480px

DSC_4273

Wood Stork on a nest.

DSC_4278

Nice view of nesting birds from this gazebo.

DSC_4285

Birds, the Beast and Blue Cypress

IMG_5053-2

Our sweet ride awaits, the bug-eye green boat that is the Marsh Beast. Birdwatching by airboat, oh yeah! We did that yesterday morning.

Audubon of Martin County organized the trip with Captain Kenny Elkins of Marsh Beast Airboat Tours.

IMG_5082-2

Our trip was in Blue Cypress Conservation Area, west of Vero Beach, an hour north of home. INFO and MAP

IMG_5066.jpg

We could get a really nice view of some birds from the boat, like this Anhinga at rest.

IMG_5086-2

Guys fishing and an osprey nest.

IMG_5090-2

Two juveniles and one adult in this photo.

Captain Kenny said this is one of the few nests with juveniles still in it.

IMG_5094-2

Another airboat coming in for a look.

IMG_5098-2

We saw lots of Ospreys during our trip.

IMG_5101-2

Ma or Pa Osprey.

IMG_5103-2

The Osprey kids’ brown feathers have more white on them than the adult.

IMG_5105-2

That’s a fine young bird!

IMG_5107-2

Osprey at rest. Big wings like a cloak.

IMG_5114-2

Osprey in motion…almost a great photo!

IMG_5121-2

We came upon some small black fuzzy creatures in the floating vegetation.

IMG_5127-2

They are seemingly running on top of the water.

IMG_5129-2

They were Purple Gallinule chicks, we were told.

IMG_5132-2

Long legs and long toes make them look funny if you are more used to hen chicks than swamphen chicks.

IMG_5136-2

Looks like a little wetland roadrunner.

IMG_5139-2

There’s an adult.

A beautifully colored bird of southern and tropical wetlands, the Purple Gallinule can be see walking on top of floating vegetation or clambering through dense shrubs. Its extremely long toes help it walk on lily pads without sinking.

IMG_5143-2

On the move.

IMG_5145-2

Iridescent.

IMG_5146-2

More chicks.

IMG_5151-2

Adult coming in for a landing.

IMG_5153-2

Purple Gallinule chicks.

IMG_5180-2

Coming up on an alligator.

IMG_5186-2

Alligator spotting is an important part of any airboat trip in Florida, right?

IMG_5206-2

A Least Bittern!.. a new bird for me.

A tiny heron, furtive and surpassingly well camouflaged, the Least Bittern is one of the most difficult North American marsh birds to spot.

IMG_5207-2

What a beauty!

IMG_5209-2

Thanks to its habit of straddling reeds, the Least Bittern can feed in water that would be too deep for the wading strategy of other herons.

IMG_5210-2

I think this is a male, because its back and crown are almost black. Females’ crown and back are brown, according to Cornell.

IMG_5211-2

A short flying hop to some new reeds.

IMG_5214-2

Shake it off.

IMG_5220-2

Thank you for posing, little bittern.

IMG_5227-2

Common Gallinule.

IMG_5233-2

We watched one big gator for a while.

IMG_5242-2

And he watched us.

IMG_5244-2

Scenery.

IMG_5248-2

Great Blue Heron in a mat of water hyacinth.

IMG_5255-2

We investigated an area I’ll called Egret Town.

IMG_5259-2

Great Egret.

IMG_5260-2.jpg

Three Greats.

IMG_5262-2

Big wings, big feathers.

IMG_5265-2

Great Egret wingspan is four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half feet.

IMG_5266-2

Another Common Gallinule.

IMG_5268-2

It was nice to have a breeze when we were on the move on a typically warm Florida summer morning.

IMG_5271-2

Nice golden slippers, Snowy Egret. Another one of those just-missed-it action photos, oh well.

IMG_5275-2

Birds and beast.

IMG_5279-2

American Coot.

Captain Kenny said they are normally here in winter, not summer.

IMG_5280-2

Coot relocating.

IMG_5286-2

Decorating the tree a bit early this year, in Egret Town.

IMG_5288-2

Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets.

IMG_5289-2IMG_5292-2IMG_5294-2IMG_5301-2

More gallinule chicks.

IMG_5302-2

An older gallinule chick among the lotus?

IMG_5303-2

These lovely lotus are native plants, we learned.

IMG_5305-2

Lotus blossom.

IMG_5327-2

Anhinga in the treetops, my last bird of the trip.