Showing posts with label Florida Photgraphy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida Photgraphy. Show all posts

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Review of Tips to Photograph Florida Birds

Black Skimmer

Discovering Florida Birds

This past year I have really gotten interested in photographing birds, so it is only natural that when we were planning a trip to Florida I also planned on discovering a new variety of birds to photograph.  I started out by purchasing a good bird book on Florida birds and spent some time reading and studying the different types before our trip.  I found that many of the birds common to my area of the mid-west also resided in Florida.  Many birds that I commonly see in my own backyard such as the: Cardinal,  Robin, Goldfinch, Starling, Robin and several different woodpeckers also call Florida home. Florida, however, also has a wide range of birds that I never see in the mid-west and it was this set of birds that I was interested in photographing.  I started my exploration by going to a pier near where the inlet joins the ocean.  On the first day I saw a lot of Rock Pigeons and several Brown Pelicans.  I was just leaving the pier when the colorful bird in the photo above flew in and landed on the beach.  I thought he was very unusual looking with his distinct black and white coloring and the bright orange at the base of his bill and orange legs.  With his distinct colorings he was easy to identify in the bird book.  My book states that he is 18 inches and has up to a 3 1/2 foot winspan.  We were in Florida a month and this was the only time I saw this bird.  I feel fortunate to have been able to get a good photograph.

Bird Book for Florida

Here is the book that I used to identify the birds I photographed in Florida.  It is laid out with sections on birds of various colors.  That made it easy to find a bird from my photo.  It also has a great index in the back to cross reference various birds.


Birds at the Beach

When taking a walk on the beach I was delighted to see a wide variety of birds.  When I had been to Florida in past years I had noticed the gulls and the little birds that ran in and out of the waves, but I had never really realized how many different varieties there were.
When I took the photographs and then went back to our condo to look them up in the bird book, I found there were several different types of gulls and the little birds could be sanderlings, terns, or perhaps even a Ruddy Turnstone.  I learned to pay attention to the size and shape of their bills, the color of their legs, their basic shapes and their colorings.  Even when I had all these characteristics figured out I learned within each specie there were different colorings for summer vs winter birds, breeding vs non breeding and male vs female birds. Identifing these birds was sure more complicated than it first appeared.
Below are two of the different gulls I photographed and identified.
Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull
The small little birds that seem to run in and out with the waves are always fascinating.  Here are a few I captured in photos.
Royal Tern

Sanderlings

Ruddy Turnstone

Birds by the Lakes

I also took several walks around nearby lakes and found some very interesting varieties of birds.  Some of these I had to work a bit harder at identifying.

This bird is a Little Blue Heron.  It is 24 inches and is a dark slate blue color.

This next bird is a Double-crested Cormorant.  I had a bit of trouble deciding on this bird, but after Looking at both of these photos I narrowed it down to a Double-crested Cormorant.





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