Saturday, March 10, 2012

Birds of the Everglades National Park, part 1

Wow, what a place is Everglades National Park, and did you know that it's full of birds?  We found so many that we will have to share them in more than one Blog posting.  We would like to dedicate this Blog to our good friends Grant and Kathy Webb, who have followed our blog with lots of comments.

We arrived at the park and found a beautiful campsite at Long Pine Key campground.  It was dry camping (no power, water or septic) but with our full water tank and solar on the roof we can go about 2 weeks off the grid.  We made a visit to the visitors center where we found this "EVERGLADES" sign.

Before heading out and touring the park it was time to sit back and relax in our huge grassy site at the campground.  Jackie enjoying her Kindle Fire with free library books and C C getting a hard earned nap.

While sitting relaxing Dick looked up to find this guy sitting in a tree next to us.  The Northern Cardinal stayed with us for about 2 minutes and then off he went. 

In another area of the park we found this large Wood Stork, a beautiful bird with an ugly head wading around looking for it's next meal.  And it got a big frog.

The Great Blue Heron is about 42" long with a wing span reaching 72".

It was interesting watching this ugly but majestic Black Vulture sharing a meal with ducks (not pictured).

The Great Egret when breeding has long plumes trailing from its back, extending beyond the tail.  Very fine detailed plumage.

We decided that this was a Double-Crested Cormorant,  it has a hook on the bill top.

Not sure if Little Blue Heron is eating a snake or what but it looks to be over a foot long and way too big around to fit, but he kept trying to get it down.  Gave up watching before he finished.

One of Dick's favorite birds, besides Hawks, is the Anhinga because of it's beautiful white over black wings.  Like someone did a pin striping job on them.  The Anhinga can control its buoyancy and often swims with its body submerged and only its head above water.  Regularly dips its eyes below the surface as it hunts.  Spears fish with its long, sharp bill, then tosses them into the air to catch and swallow.

Later while walking the docks in the NP we came across what we thought was an injured bird stretched out next to a Sea Gull.  Dick had to walk over to check it out but as he got closer it slowly stood up and said stay away from me.

Doing some research we found that the Black Skimmer often rests completely prostrate, with the head and neck lying on the ground; who knew?  He was not happy that we woke him up.

Part 2 of Birds of Florida to come and our Slough Slog pictured below.  Note that we are standing in the water next to a gaiter hole.  Such fun!

To be continued...

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Awesome bird pics, Dick!
I never knew the Black Skimmer laid down so low when resting!

Envy your bird watching, but not too fond of being so close to gators! LOL

Happy Trails!
Kathy & Grant