Very quiet morning

It’s hard to believe that these very same tree islands were bustling with noisy (and sometimes smelly 😏) nesting wood storks, herons, and egrets of all shapes and sizes just two months ago. Almost everyone has moved on. This morning the boardwalks were empty and quiet and the ponds were utterly still. What a tranquil time to […]

A very special Sanctuary

Are you familiar with the infamous plume trade that supplied the millinery industry just over 100 years ago? This sign at the entrance to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, near Naples, Florida, provides a glimpse into the history behind this practice . . . and, this incredible place. I cringe to think about it, but literally millions of […]

White Ibis color transformation

The White Ibis is ubiquitous here in Florida, a coastal wading bird that is seen from the Carolinas to Florida and up the Gulf Coast into Texas.Although the White Ibis is mostly found foraging for small crustaceans and amphibians in freshwater marshes, wetlands, and mangrove swamps, this graceful bird is equally at home strolling in urban parks […]

Black-necked Stilts – very protective parents

This delicate adult Black-necked Stilt strolls around the shallow pond, keeping an eye on his last remaining chick. As I watched, this little one keep toddling off while his watchful parent kept ‘herding’ him back to a safer space.The Stilts build their nests in what would seem to be the most vulnerable of places, on ‘bare […]

Young Rosies out for a leisurely breakfast

This pair of young Roseate Spoonbills looked quite relaxed as they strolled through the marsh at Merritt Island NWR. These unique pink wading birds use their spatula-shaped bills for foraging in the shallow water, catching their prey by tactolocation.Audubon.org calls Roseate Spoonbills “Gorgeous at a distance and bizarre up close.” The young Rosies are distinguished from older […]

‘An enterprising woodpecker . . .’

We saw and heard many beautiful woodpeckers at Corkscrew Swamp on a recent visit – Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, and this beauty above. The vertical white wing patch (along with the yellow belly :-D) is a key distinguishing feature that tells me this is a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.   Tree trunks lined with ‘distinctive, neatly […]