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Monday, February 27, 2017

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, fast little bird!

Blue-gray Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Faster than a warbler on caffeine. Sanibel, FL has lots of them wintering right now. They breed across much of the U.S. Look for them in spring.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rare White-crowned Pigeon is at Ding Darling NWR, FL

Saw the rare White-crowned Pigeon yesterday at J. N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel ,FL. This is a very unusual bird for here, although there have been a very few sightings previously on Sanibel. Their status is listed as Threatened in FL. They live in the very southern tip of FL. 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!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yellow-throated Warbler beauty, J. N. Ding Darling NWR

This Yellow-throated Warbler was at J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, FL yesterday, gleaning tidbits off the Sea Grape leaves. Such a beautiful warbler!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Canon SX 50 Sports Mode

Tri-colored Heron

White Pelican

Tri-colored Heron and Pied-billed Grebes

White Pelicans 

Anhinga male

Brown Pelican

Don and I did a Birding and Photography fundraiser tour yesterday through Ding Darling Wildlife Society for the J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, FL. We had a lot of great participants. We took two trams through the refuge on Friday, a day the refuge is closed. Many people on my tram were using the Canon SX 50 super zoom point-and-shoot camera and I was teaching them how to use it. There was bright sunlight and wind, making photography challenging in some cases. These photos of mine were taken with my Canon SX 50 mostly in Sports Mode, which is a great way to photograph moving birds with this camera.  I give tips on how to use this camera here. Thanks to all of you for coming on my tour!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Mega Rare Great White Pelican More Photos

Here are some more photos of the Great White Pelican which showed up 2/1/17 at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel, FL. She (we know by her plumage) only stayed at the refuge for about two hours, but what was thrilling was this may be the same bird that showed up here last Feb. and stayed at the refuge for three days. This is a bird usually found in Africa, Asia and Europe, so it is amazing to think she may have made it here across the Atlantic Ocean. She hung out with the large group of American White Pelicans which are common in the refuge, then flew. We do not know where she is now, but we are still looking. You should too!! 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Great White Pelican Rare Bird Returns to Ding Darling NWR!

Amazingly a Great White Pelican, a very rare bird found in Africa, Asia and Europe, has returned again to J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, FL. This potential mega rarity show up last year in the same place at the end of Feb. and stayed three days. It is an adult female bird. If the record is accepted by the FL Ornithological Society Records Committee it would be a first N.A. record. They are still deliberating whether it could be a captive bird. Investigations last year had shown no birds were missing from captivity in U.S. See my post and photos of this species from last year here.