Night (Heron) Watchman

There seems to be a new volunteer security force at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

This young yellow crown night heron kept close watch over a distracted photographer’s car and napping spouse recently.

Click on any image for a larger view.

For more information visit: https://dingdarlingsociety.org/

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Five Flags for July Fourth

Elaine and I have been enthralled by the birds and other wildlife here in Southwest Florida. One Fourth of July I was inspired to pay homage to the flag we love with birds we love. I call this “Flying the Flag.” It consists of three images I took at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

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Note: I did not approach a wild eagle to get the image. It was on display for educational purposes.

I created the piece below to support efforts to restore the Iwo Jima Memorial in Cape Coral. This is a photo of the statue before repairs, superinposed on an image of a flag flying there.

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Life may not be a bed of roses but this Flag of Roses is meant to honor the beauty of our nation’s ideals.

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I saw this flag in the window of a falling down building in rural California. It spoke to me so I captured it.

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And finally, a frangipani flag. Because why not.

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At Home with the American White Ibis

I haven’t been out and about as much as I would like lately, so it is good I can find so much entertainment at home. We live on a lake, which is actually an 11-acre retention pond. Fortunately a lot of wildlife stops by.

This week, the most entertaining guests was a small group of American white ibises. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

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To learn more about the American white ibis, please visit: http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/white-ibis

 

 

 

 

 

ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT DING DARLING NWR

For the second year, Elaine and I were pleased to offer a guided birding/photo tour of our favorite National Wildlife Refuge at our church auction. Four other members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Myers joined us for fun, fellowship and adventure. We saw 25 species of birds in a few hours, and had many photo opportunities.

 

Yellow crown night heron

Yellow crown night heron

Reddish egret preening

Reddish egret preening

One white pelican, many willets

One white pelican, many willets

Little blue posing, no zoom required

Little blue posing, no zoom required

Pileated woodpecker near exit

Pileated woodpecker near exit

White pelican landing, cormorants ignoring

White pelican landing, cormorants ignoring

Osprey taking off

Osprey taking off

Yellow crown night heron watching the watchers

Yellow crown night heron watching the watchers

Here are the 25 bird species we were lucky enough to see:

Reddish egret, great egret, little blue heron, tri-colored heron, white ibis, yellow-crowned night heron, pie-billed grebe, red breasted merganser, double crested cormorant, white pelican, brown pelican (on causeway), willet, spotted sandpiper, bald eagle, shortbilled dowitcher, dunlins, osprey, pileated woodpecker, roseat spoonbills (fly over), royal tern, fish crow, mourning dove, Eurasian collared dove, red-shouldered hawk, northern cardinal.

There were other critters and plants to see as well:

 

Tree Çrab

Tree Çrab

Needle nose fish

Needle nose fish

Flowers by the education center

Flowers by the education center

 

Mangroves, critical to our ecosystem.

Mangroves, critical to our ecosystem.

 

 

 


							

Why Screech Owls are my Favorite Birds

I have been fortunate to be able to share a fair amount of time with this charming screech owl over the past week. He isn’t always out, but when he is he can be rather patient — unless too many admirers show up or become too noisy. I enjoy watching over an extended period. While owls are not very active during the day, the subtle changes in expression can be fascinating, and endearing.

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Screech Owl

Is it any wonder that when I can spend time with a screech owl, it becomes my favorite bird?

To learn more, visit this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Screech-Owl/id

FAVORITE PHOTOS: OCTOBER 2014

Roseate Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbills

Great blue heron, great egret

Great blue heron, great egret

Incoming ibis

Incoming ibis

Tricolor heron

Tricolor heron

Red-necked phalarope

Red-necked phalarope

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Beach, Estero Island

Beach, Estero Island

Ducks on the deck of  the dock

Ducks on the deck of the dock

Little blue heron with fish

Little blue heron with fish

Woodpecker

Woodpecker

Waiting for Eagles, Bayshore Road

Waiting for Eagles, Bayshore Road

Sparkling grackel

Sparkling grackel

Tree

Tree

FAVORITE PHOTOS: SEPTEMBER 2014

Sunset at Fenway South

Sunset at Fenway South

Great Egret

Great Egret

Colorful Kayaks

Colorful Kayaks

Approaching Storm

Approaching Storm

Lighthouse Storm

Lighthouse Storm

Two Dolphins, via Captiva Cruises

Two Dolphins, via Captiva Cruises

Fish houses

Fish houses

Green fish house

Green fish house

Gulls

Gulls

Kayaks

Kayaks

Green Lakes Park, New York State

Green Lakes Park, New York State

Lake Ontario Lookout

Lake Ontario Lookout

Green on Dock

Green on Dock

Anhinga on Dock with Ducks

Anhinga on Dock with Ducks

Sunrise through car window

Sunrise through car window

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Ding Darling Stroll

Ding Darling Stroll

Yellow Crown Portrait

Yellow Crown Portrait

Two spoonbills

Two spoonbills

Great Egret with lunch

Great Egret with lunch

Backyard osprey with catch

Backyard osprey with catch