Wading Birds

The Reclusive Green Heron

This small heron keeps to itself in the quiet areas of ponds and wetlands in North, Central and South America. It hunts by wading in shallow water (no more than 4 inches deep) for small fish, tadpoles and insects. It’s population is stable and seems to be spreading northward, possibly due to climate change.

The Black-crowned Night Heron

Although you will often see this heron during the day roosting in trees, this small stocky bird becomes active at dusk and hunts at night. It has found its niche of hunting at a time when most egrets and herons have settled down for the night thereby reducing competition for food. Except for Australia and […]

The American Flamingo

Go to any Florida zoo or amusement park with animals and you will undoubtedly see an exhibit with elegant flamingoes. Flamingoes are not native to Florida although you may see a few in the Everglades that have wandered over from the Caribbean where most live. Flamingoes prefer shallow lakes and lagoons where they wade on […]

The Roseate Spoonbill

Beautiful from a distance, but odd looking up close with its long flat bill, the roseate spoonbill is a bird that was nearly extirpated for its feathers for the millinery industry in the late 1800’s. This species re-colonized the Gulf coast shoreline marshes from Florida to Texas in the early 1900’s and the population rebounded. […]

The Great Egret – Symbol of America’s Conservation Movement

Anyone visiting freshwater wetlands or salt water marshes today are bound to see dozens of great egrets wading in the shallow water hunting for fish, frogs, crayfish and insects. This was not the case in the late 1800’s when plume hunters nearly wiped out this bird, other egret species and numerous wading birds. Egret feathers, […]

The Exquisite Scarlet Ibis

One of the most stunning wading bird is the world is the scarlet ibis, a South American bird of wetlands, shorelines and mud flats in South America’s estuaries, bays and rain forests. It probes the shallow waters, mud and plants with its curved, slender bills eating crayfish, shrimp, insects, frogs, crabs, worms and small fish. […]

Florida Rebuffs Winter

It is mid-December with blizzard conditions in the mid-west, lake effect snows in the Great Lakes and a six-inch blanket of snow on the suburban lawns of Long Island, New York. A polar vortex powers its way south into the U.S causing temperatures in the teens with highs in the 20s. Many birds have fled […]