Busy time at the Wetland Preserves ~!

This past week, there was so much activity in our local wetland preserves that I decided to share just a few of my favorites. One highlight was the funny little Great Blue Heron chick featured above, one of several who have not yet fledged.

The nesting Great Egrets that I posted about a few days ago are among the most beautiful residents of late.

Cattle Egret in breeding colors.

Cattle Egret in breeding colors.

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Cattle Egret with tufted peach head feathers, but no change in coloring of beak and lores.

But there were many other special beauties, like these two Cattle Egrets above, at different stages of development, who were standing next to one another one day. They make quite the transformation from being a rather plain-looking, often rather comical bird, to become these stunning creatures glowing in the morning light.

Great Egret surveying the 'pondscape' just after arising to start the day.

Great Egret surveying the ‘pondscape’ just after arising to start the day.

If one goes birding in the early morning, just after sunrise, there may be a cloud cover that has not yet burned off.

Great Egret taking off first thing in the morning.

Great Egret taking off first thing in the morning.

The lighting might not be ideal, but I love the look of the Great Egrets against the sky anyway!

Tri-colored Heron in breeding colors.

Tri-colored Heron in breeding colors.

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Tri-colored Heron in breeding plumage.

Another favorite who has begun to nest again in great numbers is the Tri-colored Heron. These birds somehow look much more imposing and powerful all of a sudden, in their courting plumage!

Female Boat-tailed Grackle

Female Boat-tailed Grackle

Male Boat-tailed Grackle

Male Boat-tailed Grackle

The non-wading birds were also very busy showing off for one another this week, like this pretty female Boat-tailed Grackle above, in soft browns, and her very flashy (and noisy) beau in iridescent blue!

Leucistic female Boat-tailed Grackle.

Leucistic female Boat-tailed Grackle.

An intriguing bird that has returned to nest here for at least the second year is this Leucistic female Boat-tailed Grackle. She is a real anomaly, as you can see when you compare her coloring with that of her female neighbor above. Here is what Sibley says about leucism (and related conditions), a curiosity I first learned about last year after seeing this bird. For more information, see also Cornell’s All About Birds.

I think this is either a Pine Warbler or a Palm Warbler, but I'm not really sure ;-)

I think this is either a Pine Warbler or a Palm Warbler, but I’m not really certain 😉

There are still many Warblers and other small perching birds flitting about, too. I hesitate to label some of them as it would be very easy to be incorrect!

Hope these lovely little creatures help to brighten your day, as they do mine.  I’m feeling blessed to be able to share their world~ Shabbat Shalom!

16 thoughts on “Busy time at the Wetland Preserves ~!

  1. Okay…that settles it…your pictures are too tempting…I must get to Florida. Probably won’t be ’til this time next year, but hey, never too early to start daydreaming about it. 🙂 Love the young heron – a face only a mother could love.

  2. Beautiful photos. We have the Blue Herons here now, but awaiting all the Great Egrets on their way through with the migration. That cattle egret never looked so good. Love that photo.

  3. Where did you take the picture of the leucistic boat tailed grackle? I work at the end of Loxahatchee Road in Parkland I have seen that bird if not its twin out here just curious where you took the photo

    • Hi Christina! How interesting… wonder how many of them there are?
      I took the picture at Wakotahachee Wetlands, on Jog in Boynton Beach, in March 2015. Just curious, how did you happen to see my post?

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