Herons of North America

Photos by Donna

We have six heron species in the United States.  While in Florida where they vast in numbers, I was able to photograph five of them with little difficulty, and I’m still going through my photos.

The one that eluded me during those three months was the adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron.  So I’ve included a photo courtesy of Eric Lipton to show for comparisons.

I thought a great way to share more heron photos would be to see them side-by-side in one post.

Do you know them by sight?

Sharing some shots in their habitats…..

As with many young birds, it gets a little trickier with some of the heron juveniles, especially the juvenile Little Blue Heron that is surprisingly all white.  I actually heard people ID it as a Snowy Egret on several occasions.  You can see the similarities (and differences) in the right photo below.

Little Blue Heron adult…

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Common Gallinule

Photos by Donna

The Common Gallinule is a unique looking bird with it’s long toes (allowing it to walk on vegetation), red facial shield, and their “candy corn” looking beak.

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Common Gallinule

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Common Gallinule

As with other birds, the functionality of the facial shield appears to relate to protection of the Gallinule’s face while feeding in or moving through dense vegetation, as well as courtship display and territorial defense.

According to Hawaiian mythology, the Gallinule brought fire from the volcano gods to the Hawaiian people and its white forehead was scorched in the process.  The Common Gallinule’s Hawaiian name is “Alae Ula” which means “burnt forehead.”

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Fox Squirrel

Photos by Donna

For sure they get a bad rap for raiding bird feeders, but I can’t help but think how cute squirrels are when you photograph them, especially this Momma Fox Squirrel who I watched off and on for a few days when she’d appear for a meal break from her nest (which its location I never did figure out).

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Fox Squirrel (female)

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Fox Squirrel (female)

Interesting fact:   Fox squirrels possess flexible joints in their ankles, allowing them to turn their feet 180 degrees so they can scale up and down trees with ease.

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Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

Photos by Donna

I slowly approached a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk from behind while it intently scanned around the grounds below its perch.

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Red-shouldered Hawk (juvenile)

I circled to its left and was noticed.

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Red-shouldered Hawk (juvenile)

A closer look at the hawk as it focused on me.

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Red-shouldered Hawk close-up (juvenile)

Apparently I wasn’t a concern, as the Red-shouldered Hawk returned to watching the grounds below.

Getting comfortable enough to lift and rest a leg!  🙂

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Red-shouldered Hawk (juvenile)

What the Red-shouldered Hawk was hunting I didn’t stay to find out, but it was most likely a lizard.

I will say, the young hawk looked quite comfortable sitting there, making me think this was a successful hunting perch; and s/he was just waiting for the day’s next meal to come by.

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Double-crested Cormorant Goes Fishing

Photos by Donna

I watched this Double-crested Cormorant surface with fish, one after another, for 30 minutes.

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Double-crested Cormorant

It became a fun challenge, anticipating where s/he’d pop up with a possible fish.

And there were a lot of fish, I’d never seen a cormorant catch so many so quickly.

I missed many of them either completely or out-of-focus, but here’s four of the cormorant’s nice catches and my lucky shots.

Double-crested Cormorant

Cormorants can be flashy with their toss & flip to swallow the fish, but this one would just do a quick gulp.

No time for dramatics, there were more fish to be had!

As much as I tried, here’s the only sequence I lucked out on with that quick gulp.

Double-crested Cormorant

That belly had to be quite full!  😉

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You’re The Star – July Summer Garden

Decor Craft Design

Hi and welcome to You’re The Star Blog Hop – July Summer Garden! It’s summer time and great chance to grow some summer plants! Bright up your summer garden on this July with these fantastic features of this week! Fruitful garden features! You also can link up your gardening post to share with others. And moreover, get more and link up more of DIYs, home decor, wonderful recipes, family tips, gardening, and creative projects on this party!

Congratulations to all the featured bloggers, very inspiring posts! If you want your inspiring posts to be featured too, please join the link up! Old and new post as long as it’s new in You’re The Star Blog Hop. Find the link up button at the end of this post! Your linked posts will be visible to all hosts / co-hosts’ blog and each week will be a themed feature which selected by…

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