24 August 2007

Everyday birds

Often I forget about the common, everyday birds that frequent Green Cay. I like seeing all the wading birds but there are days that I walk by them without even a second glance. Great Blue Herons with all their majesty linger around the nature center. I love how they stand at attention completely still waiting for their prey. Great Blues are normally solitary creatures but in the past few weeks we have had 3-4 in one small area. This is probably not unusual since we have had a huge influx of all the waders congregating nearby.

The White Ibises come here by the dozens. Our water levels are lower than normal and this has caused huge groups to accumulate and feed in the shallows. I found out today that some locals know them only by the name Florida Chicken. This probably comes from the fact that they were often shot for food here in Florida.
Here is a normal day at the park. We had about 50 White Ibis with egrets mixed in that all of a sudden decided to leave the water and perch on the railing. They lined the whole park and after about 30 minutes most of them flew away. Usually this happens when an alligator gets too close to their feeding grounds.

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