Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birds of Rainbow River

To read more about our canoe trip down the Rainbow River, see the previous post. The birding down on the river that day did not disappoint. I didn't bring my camera or binoculars, but we were close enough to many of the birds for Joy's camera to get some great pictures. Here you can see an Anhinga in breeding plummage resting on a perch above the river. Joy and I played the classic game Cormorant/Anhinga? for most of the trip. Joy was very good by the end of the day.

We floated up close to a Tri-colored Heron feeding at an in-stream marsh. He was sharing this feeding ground with a Little Blue Heron. We only saw one Tri all day. Common Moorhens (Galinules) and Common Coots were swimming around this stretch, too.

An adult Little Blue Heron at another marsh. We saw two adults and one immature all day. Great Egrets were the most common heron. I think we also saw a couple Snowy's here, too, but no picture.

A Double-crested Cormorant. Both cormorants and anhingas were common along the river.

We had a Swallow-tail Kite fly-over. I love these birds. Shortly afterwards, a Barred Owl called to us from a Cypress grove, sounding like it was only a couple yards away. Speaking of the old Acciptridae family, we saw several Red-shouldered Hawks and Osprey's (now in Pandionidae by some.)

A White Ibis feeds along the shore. These guys were fairly abundant. Around this stretch, we floated right past a gorgeous pair of Wood Ducks. Later in the afternoon, we saw one Limpkin flying up the river past us.

A father Sandhill Crane stands watch by his nest. I first spotted the mother laying down on the nest. We didn't get too close, because I didn't want to disturb her. It was very cool to see them nesting.

A cormorant rookery in an old cypress.

The nestlings and the parents were both making un-earthly noises.

A Great Blue Heron enjoys the afternoon sun. To round out our heron list, we saw a pair of Green Herons shortly after this. What a fun trip.

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