Serious Bird Shots

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Reconnaissance

Brown Pelicans are impressive low-level fliers.  They can often be seen flying at water level.  When gliding, the breast feathers will almost touch the water.  Then as the bird flaps its wings, it will rise just enough to keep the down-stroke of the wing out of the water..

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Morning

This Brown Pelican was shot from the North Fishing Pier at the Sunshine Skyway; that's the bridge in the background.

Despite the fact that the pelicans seem to have bodies that could never fly, they quite enjoy long glides on air currents near their feeding grounds.

I can't get over how, in even my best quality photos, the feathers never seem to be feathers.  Here is there is a metallic or plastic sheen that I am sure would not be seen on other birds in the same light.

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The Enforcer

This Brown Pelican has bold breeding colours.  In the breeding season, the head is yellower, and the nape of the neck becomes dark brown.

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The Actor

Brown Pelican
(Pelicanus occidentalis)

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Brown Pelican
(Pelicanus occidentalis)

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Brown Pelican
Pelicanus occidentalis

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Heartbreaker

Brown Pelican
(Pelicanus occidentalis)

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You Talkin' to Me?

Brown Pelican

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Brown Pelican


Pelicanus occidentalis

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Brown Pelican
Pelicanus occidentalis

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Speedboat

Brown Pelican (Pelicanis occidentalis).

Notice that this guy has been banded.

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Anhinga
Anhinga anhinga

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Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias

Great Blue Heron posing for profile shot.  Notice how the feathers are swept to the camera-side shoulder.

From any sort of distance, Great Blues look uniformly gray.  I am always surprised by the amount of colour that is actually there.

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Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias

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Great Blue Heron

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Little Blue Heron
Egretta caerulea
The Little Blue is 24" as compared with the Great Blue, which is 46".

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Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret
Egretta rufescens

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Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret
Egretta rufescens

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Tricoloured Heron

Tricoloured Heron
Egretta caerulea

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Juvenile White Ibis


Eudocimus albus

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Great Egret


Ardea alba

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Great Egret

Ardea alba
A Great Egret in the early evening at the Pier.  Great Egrets can be distinguished from Snowy Egrets because they are bigger by a foot or so and have all-black legs and feet.  The bill of a Snowy Egret is all black, while this one clearly has yellow.

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Snowy Egret

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Snow Egret

Snowy Egret
Egretta thula

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Night Heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Nyctanassa violacea

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Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
(Nyctanassa violacea)

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Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill
Platalea ajaja

Not just another pretty face.

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Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

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Osprey

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Osprey

Osprey
Pandion haliaetus

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Osprey


Pandion haliaetus

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Bald Eagle


Haliaeetus leucocephalus

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Bald Eagle

This one of a nesting pair at Honeymoon Island State Park near Dunedin, Florida.

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Piping Plover

Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus

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American Oystercatcher

(Haematopus palliatus)

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American Oystercatcher
(Haematopus palliatus)

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Black-Bellied Plover

Black-Bellied Plover
Pluvialis squatorola

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Willet

Catoptrophorus semipalmatas

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Willet

Willet
Catoptrophorus semipalmatas

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Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpres

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Dunlin

Calidris alpina

The Dunlin is half the size of the similar looking Willet and about 3/4 the size of a Robin.  This would be non-breeding plumage.

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Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla

This tiny sandpiper weighs 20 grams; less than an ounce.  It breeds throughout North America.

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Sanderling

Calidris alba

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Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus

This gull is common on the Atlantic coast, but is quite rare on the Gulf coast, so

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Laughing Gull in Winter colour at sunset.

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Laughing Gull

Dressed up and trying to impress.  Laughing Gull in breeding colours,
Larus atricilla

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Laughing Gull
Larus Atricilla

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Laughing Gull

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Ring-Billed Gull

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Royal Tern
Sterna maxima

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Royal Tern

Sterna maxima

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Royal Tern
Sterna maxima

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Gull at Sunset

Ring-Billed Gull

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Willet

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Barred Owl
Strix varia

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Northern Mockingbird
Mimus polyglottos

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Nanday Parakeet

Nandayus nenday

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Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting
Passerina ciris