Wading Birds

The Plant Sowed by Ants

The Plant Sowed by Ants

In dry, sandy clearings from Florida to Canada on the east coast trailing arbutus, an evergreen plant, blooms in the spring. It is visited by bumblebees, a major pollinator for this plant, Once the flowers are pollinated, seed capsules with a fleshy parts develops. Ants find these grains and carry it to their underground bunker. […]

Seafood Dinner for the Birds!

Seafood Dinner for the Birds!

This evening as I walked in the park bordering Lake Tsala Apopka, I spotted two limpkins foraging along the edge of the water. These wading birds plucked snails, crayfish and frogs from the water’s edge. One waded out in the shallow water and pulled up a freshwater shellfish, brought it to the shore, pried open […]

Snowy Egret Goes Surf Fishing

I have observed egrets for decades. I have seen them hunting in saltwater marshes, freshwater wetlands as well as in the shallows of ponds and streams. To my surprise I saw a snowy egret wading in the ocean waves lapping the shore where it ate small fish caught in the surf at Cocoa Beach in […]

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. […]