Before leaving the west coast of Florida I went to Coral Gables in search of Burrowing Owls. I was shocked to find that many of the burrows that I’d visited in previous years were no longer there. Instead, houses were built or being built. In some cases one or two burrows were roped off and surrounded by black plastic with construction going on right next to them. It was disheartening to see, but volunteers who work to protect these owls have reported some 2300 burrows in the city so I assume these very adaptable birds have found other places to nest.
A number of titles could be given to the first image. Many of my usual locations had disappeared but I was happy to find a few burrows with chicks. The second image is one of an older chick standing with dad close to the burrow entrance. The third is a nesting pair. The female is the larger of the two.
(Click on an image for an enlarged version)
The East Coast
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is one of the many wildlife sanctuaries in Florida. The wetlands here host a number of nesting birds seen throughout most of the southern part of the state. A road that winds through it allows for up close viewing.
I sighted quite a few Great Blue Herons, the largest heron in North America. One was fishing very close to the road and I was able to photograph the last one in flight. A very impressive bird.
A Snowy Egret perched in the Mangroves provided a good photo op. Another gave me my first opportunity to capture one flying.
Although birds are the main attraction for me, there are many other things to appreciate in the preserves. A pretty water lily caught my eye. And, I’m always attracted to reflections. In this case, that of the clouds in the sky reflected in the water.
There are a number of different types of Ibis to be found in Florida. This one is a White-faced Ibis. The second image is of a Black-necked Stilt, a tiny wading bird. A very cute little bird with his red legs.
I counted twenty-one American Coots in this group. Although in many ways they look like ducks when they’re on the water, they are not related. Their feet aren’t webbed and when on land they resemble chickens. These fairly common water birds feed on vegetation.
Two other birds seen frequently in Florida were represented. The Tri-colored Heron and the Reddish Egret were there looking for fish.
Just as I was leaving the preserve I spotted this rather dejected looking Osprey perched in a tree.
Photographing wildlife is always dependent on the whims of Mother Nature. The next stop on my itinerary, however, has consistently been a great place to photograph a number of different birds.
Thanks for joining me for this experience and be sure to sign up at the top of this page to be notified of images from my next stop. Cheryl