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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cool Sanibel Birds today!

White-crowned Pigeon was out in the open today, roosting on the Shell Mound trail in Ding Darling NWR. Listed as threatened in FL, this bird is finding the hardwood fruits it needs in this upland hammock habitat.

White-crowned Pigeon

Short-tailed Hawk, flew over us on Sanibel, this hawk is rarely seen here.

American Kestrel hunting from a low shrub on the beach today because of high winds.

Some cool birds seen on Sanibel Island today. You never know what you'll find that's the fun of birding.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

White-crowned Pigeon, Again, Sanibel, FL!

We saw a White-crowned Pigeon on the Shell Mound Trail, Ding Darling NWR this morning. We had also seen this bird there last year. Maybe it is the same bird. Such a treat to see as it is listed as threatened in FL.
This is a very unusual bird for here, although there have been a very few sightings previously on Sanibel. Research has indicated that the total distribution of this bird occurs in the Caribbean Basin, the Bahamas and extreme southern Florida, but they make long over-water flights between breeding and wintering areas within this region. They are threatened due to loss of habitat and hunting and poaching in their range. White-crowned Pigeons feed mainly on fruits of hardwood trees and they are an important dispersal agent for these trees. It was nice to see this bird on the Shell Mound trail, which had a lot of fruiting hardwood trees, thus providing the type of habitat crucial for this bird species. What a special bird for us to see!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hooded Merganser reflections

Hooded Merganser, male at Ding Darling NWR. Hunting for fish, diving, surfacing, such interesting water colors and patterns. What a treat to photograph.
Lillian Stokes

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sanibel Raptors

Peregrine Falcon in a tree next to our backyard this morning.

Bald Eagle sitting in the same tree that the peregrine sat in, drying its wings that were wet from mist.

Bald Eagle, 2nd year, flying over Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel.

Here are a few of the raptors we have seen this winter on Sanibel Island, FL. There are at least 3 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles on the island, plus their young from previous years can be seen flying around sometimes. There are can be up to 100 nesting Ospreys. It's a great place to see raptors.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Wonderful Sandhill Cranes!

Sandhill Cranes are elegant and  amazing birds. Photos from Harnes Marsh, FL. Some live in FL year round, most are migratory and breed in the West, Midwest and up through Canada and AK. Many winter in large numbers, sometimes in the tens of thousands, in the lower western part of the country in places like Bosque del Apache, NM. Cranes forage in prairies, marshes and grasslands for grains and insects. At night they may sleep in deeper water to stay safe. They remain paired throughout the year. Their vocalizations include wonderful bugling calls. Great birds, hope you get to see some

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! and Lots of Good Birding in 2015

Happy New Year from both of us! Hope you see lots of incredible birds in 2015! 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird. 

Pine Grosbeak

Blackpoll Warbler

Black Guillemot

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
May you see wonderful birds in 2015!
Good Birding,
Lillian and Don