Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Big white birds

I used to think that heron and egret-like birds were easy, then I moved to the South.

It used to be that all tall white birds were Great Egrets and the short ones, with golden slippers, were Snowy Egrets. Once, very far away in a scope, I saw a white morph Great Blue Heron. That was something of an anomaly.

But in South Florida... all bets are off!

White Ibis are pretty distinctive and easy to see... in small flocks along roadways and even perched on telephone wires (imagine!) like so many Starlings.

I love their crazy blue eyes!

Now the confusion starts...

Immature Little Blue Heron which can be confused with Snowy Egret, but for the feet and bill.


Snowy Egret, showing off his pretty golden foot. Their whole demeanor is somehow different than Little Blues and they're much more active feeders, too. Except for this one, who was begging shrimp off the dockhand at the place we were staying on Sanibel Island.

: )

I fell in love with Cattle Egrets on this trip!

I'd seen one a couple times in Cape May, but I'd never really had a good long look at them or had the chance to study their behavior much.

They're a very stocky bird and I guess habitat is the main clue if you're confused. These birds have an attitude about them that just makes me chuckle!

The oh-so-familiar Great Egret... tall and stately with yellow bill and black legs. We saw them doing odd things in Florida, like hunting anoles along the roadside...

Another big white bird we saw is the white morph Reddish Egret...

I might also include the American White Pelican and the Wood Stork... both of which we saw on this trip.

Confused yet?

: )

Any favorites among you?

6 comments:

Sara Rall said...

love your great egret photo, makes me smile. Ibises were my favorite on our last FL trip, mostly because they are easiest. Makes me appreciate easy Jersey birds.

LauraHinNJ said...

That pic makes me smile, too Sara!

Floridacracker said...

Partial to snowy's and our winter visiting white pelicans.

Webtoad said...

I like the juvenile Little Blues and the little surprise when I realize that they aren't Snowys!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Nothing like them here. So many there!

robin andrea said...

Wow! Such a fantastic variety of beautiful white birds!