Thursday, April 30, 2015

Little blue reflection, Bunche Beach Preserve

Little blue heron with prey at the water's edge

I had a lot of fun last month watching the wading birds in the tidal pools of a low tide at Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida. One of the benefits of getting low next to the water's edge is the fun reflections that develop in the still water.

Little blue heron reflected in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach

It was exciting enough when this little blue heron was working the edge of the pool, but it got even better when it started strolling across the shallows.

Little blue heron looks like its walking on water in southwest Florida

View more of my photographs of herons and egrets

Saturday, April 25, 2015

White ibis eating a crab, Bunche Beach Preserve

White ibis eating a crab at Bunche Beach Preserve, Florida

Continuing my run of posts on wading birds capturing prey from tidal pools, here is a white ibis preparing to swallow a crab. These were perhaps the most interesting feedings to watch, as the crabs had a chance to fight back. With a fish, the birds would very quickly go from capturing to consumption, but it would take a little while to get the crab in the right orientation to swallow it. Especially when the crab used its claws to attempt to hang on to the bill, as is evident in the image below of a different ibis.

Crab hangs on for dear life before being eaten by an ibis

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Snowy egret swallows a shrimp, Bunche Beach Preserve

Snowy egret catches a shrimp in Florida

As I commented in my previous post, it was really incredible to see how many different types of prey the wading birds were able to pull from the tidal pools. This snowy egret pulled out a good sized shrimp, then swallowed it whole.

Snowy egret swallowing a shrimp at Bunche Beach

View more of my photographs of herons and egrets.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tricolored heron with a small striped fish, Bunche Beach Preserve

Tricolored heron with small striped fish

I was really amazed at the volume and diversity of prey I saw the wading birds pulling from the tidal pools at Bunche Beach Preserve. Coming from a northern climate, when I see a pool of water in the sand along a beach, I tend to think that there isn't much caught inside. But down along the Gulf Coast, it seemed like there was an endless supply of fish, crabs, and shrimp for the birds to capture. This tricolored heron pulled a small striped silver fish from the pond, flipped it around to drop out the plants, and then quickly tossed it down the hatch.

Tricolored heron tossing small fish in Fort Myers, Florida

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

White ibis feeding in a tidal pool, Bunche Beach Preserve

White ibis feeding in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach Preserve, Florida

Continuing my tour through the bird species I saw in Florida last month, here's another favorite that I was excited to photograph -- the white ibis. Even though they are fairly common and have relatively plain plumage, their long bill, blue eyes, and bright facial mask really add some photographic flare. This particular ibis is feeding in a tidal pool at the Bunche Beach Preserve in Fort Myers.

View more of my photographs of white ibis and other wading birds.