Anhingas are a waterfowl that is found primarily around fresh water swamps and marshes. In the U.S. they breed around the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas, with he populations in Florida staying year round. They are more common in the coastal areas of Mexico and Central America as well as the northeastern half of South America. Their primary food source is fish, which they hunt by swimming under the water and stalking their prey though the aquatic vegetation and then stabbing them with their pointy beaks.Unfortunately anhingas do not produce the oils that ducks and other waterfowls use to waterproof their feathers, so after each swim the anhinga will look for a safe place where they can perch with their wings stretched out so that their feathers can dry. I took this photo at the Everglades National Park in south Florida.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Friday, November 25, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The golden-fronted woodpecker is one of the most colorful woodpeckers found in North America. Their range extends from southern Oklahoma, through Texas and eastern Mexico and down into Central America. There are four different subspecies that vary slightly in color that were once considered different species. They are closely related to the more common red-bellied woodpecker and where their ranges cross the golden-fronted will aggressively defend their territory against the red-bellies.
Golden-fronted woodpeckers are found in open to semi-open woodlands. In the U.S. this includes mesquite brush land, orchards, groves, along rivers, and second growth forests. They are omnivores with a diet consisting partially of insects (grasshoppers, ants,beetles and other insects) and the rest of fruits, seeds and nuts. This female was eating some of the fruit from a prickly pair cactus. These shots were taken earlier this year down in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Like many predators hunting for prey there are many more failures then successes. But when a brown pelican fails it gets back up into the air and gets ready for another dive. These pelicans were photographed in south Texas near Brownsville.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Snowy egrets look very similar to great egret except that they are smaller. Sometimes size is tough to gauge, especially from a distance, so there are other a couple other field markings that you can look for to help determine whether a bird is a snowy or great egret. First of all snowy egrets have bright yellow feet where great egrets have black feet. Unfortunately their feet are often not visible in the water. Snowy egrets also have lacy plumes on the back of their head and tail. Great egrets have no plumes on their head and long plumes on their tail. Finally snowy egrets have a black beak with yellow lores, the area around the beak and eyes. Great egrets have a yellow bill with yellow lores.
I apologize for my neglect of the blog over the past couple months. Between work, volunteering, building two websites and several other projects my time has been limited. Summer usually is a busy time also, but I will try and post more often again
Friday, April 22, 2016
That's right! Nine years ago, Earthday 2007, the Ecobirder blog began. So to celebrate I give you a 2015 Year in Review.
I photographed this barred owl at the Minnehaha Falls dog park early in the year.
While photographing the barred owl at the dog park I ran into a small flock of cedar waxwings.
In the fall I often travel to the southeast corner of Minnesota, near Brownsville, to photograph migrating tundra swans and bald eagles.
While photographing great horned owls early in spring bluebirds migated back into the area.
I got this white pelican taking off while I was photographing swans and eagles near Brownsville.
There is a lot of old growth near where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers converge. This is perfect habitat for the pileated woodpecker.
During the summer I usually spend a good deal of time at Crex Meadows in Wisconsin. They usually have several pairs of nesting trumpeter swans which are fun to photograph when they have cygnets.
While photographing dragonflies at the Ridges Sanctuary in Door County Wisconsin I found this yellow lady slipper. This is the only lady slipper that I have found in the wild.
Our big trip of the year in 2015 was to Yellowstone in May. We photographed this big horn ram near the North Entrance
We like to go to Yellowstone in May because it gives us the opportunity to photograph a lot of babies. In 2015 we saw a lot of black bear cubs of the year, which had only recently come out of the den.
Spotted this coyote moving parallel to the road on our way north in the park one morning.
In years past we have had the opportunity to photograph red fox at their den with pups. This year we did not get to photograph a den but we did get to watch this spectacular beauty hunt.
Marmots are very common in Yellowstone and will often pose for you.
On our way home from Yellowstone we stopped at Bowdoin NWR and Medicine Lake NWR. These are great places to photograph prairie birds and waterfowl. Every now and again you find something a bit larger to photograph. Such as this pronghorn antelope.
I hope you enjoyed some of my best pics from 2015.