Showing posts with label florida birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label florida birds. Show all posts

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review of Photographing and Identifying Birds in Florida Wilderness Reserve

I enjoy watching and photographing birds and most of the year I do that in my own backyard in Missouri.  During  March we travel to Florida and this year we stayed in Palm Beach Gardens where there was a nature reserve just steps away from our condo.  Every day I would walk back to the reserve and was rewarded with some wonderful sights.  There were a wide variety of birds and ducks and I saw several turtles and an alligator. 

Identifying Birds

I like to know the kinds of birds I am photographing so I spend a bit of time online finding the names and species of the different birds.  I find the website for Florida Audubon at  to be very helpful in identifying the birds I photograph.  Here are the varieties I have photographed in the nature reserve.
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Red-winged blackbirds
  • Doves
  • White Ibis
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Anhinga
  • Blue Heron
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Tri-colored Heron
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Roseta Spoonbill
  • Whistling Duck
  • Wood Duck
  • Cormorant
  • Wood Stork


Ducks in the Wilderness Reserve

The first day I walked into the reserve I noticed some interesting looking ducks.  They stood tall and had rather long necks for a duck.  I found out that these were called Whistling Ducks.

Whistling Ducks Flameless Candle

During the next weeks, I observed these ducks each time I visited the reserve.  Sometimes they would sit very still, but one day I heard them making a loud racket and then a pair of them would fly up off the ground.  This scenario would be repeated by several different pairs of ducks.  I'm not sure what they were doing but it was sure interesting to watch.

I also saw some Wood Ducks at the reserve.  They are such colorful ducks.


Roseate Spoonbill

One bird that I had never seen before was the Roseate Spoonbill.  This bird is easily identified by it's rosy color and flat spoon-like bill.  It stood still often so it was easy for me to photograph.


Wood Stork

One day I noticed these rather large white birds in the distance.  When they flew the underside of their wings were lined in black.  They were quite impressive in flight, but when they settled down they looked quite unusual.  I took a photo and went back to my computer to identify them.  I easily found a photo and determined them to be a Wood Stork, they are the only stork that breeds in the USA.


The Anhinga is a large water bird found in the warmer waters of the southern Americas.  It is sometimes called by several other names: snakebird, darter and water turkey.  

I found these birds to be very interesting.  They are able to stay underwater for quite some time and I observed them diving for their prey and then resurfacing quite a ways down the stream.  At that time only their head and neck would appear above the water before they took another dive into the water.  After a while I would see them on the bank drying out their feathers as in the photo above.

I believe the bird in the photo above to be a male anhinga and the one in the photo below to be a female.  Males have a black neck and white at the tip of the tail and the female has a beige colored neck and breast.

Sandhill Crane

I saw several sandhill cranes during my visits to the reserve and I even saw one walking down the center of the roadway near our condo.  They are tall birds and quite tame.  They were easy to take photos of since they did not frighten easily.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review of Florida Beauty

Florida Seascape
Forida has always been one of my favorite states to visit.  As a child my family would often take a trip to Florida in the summer.  Living in the midwest, I found Florida to be wonderful.  I loved everything about it from the beaches to the palm trees to all the wonderful sights to see.   Swimming in the ocean was a special treat for my siblings and me.  

Now, as a senior adult, I still love Florida, although I am now fond of going in the wintertime to escape the midwest cold.  

With Florida in the news so much because of hurricane Irma, I thought I would write an article on the beauty that is Florida.  My heart and prayers go with the people in Florida as they recover from this latest tragedy.

Facts about Florida

  • Nickname- Sunshine State
  • Capital- Tallahassee
  • State Flower- Orange Blossom
  • Third most populous state
  • Flattest State
  • Tourism biggest money earning sector
  • Known for juicy oranges
  • Golf paradise

What I love about Florida

I am an avid photographer and Florida is a wonderful place to take photographs.  On the rest of this page I will tell you about my favorite things about Florida and show you the photographs to illustrate my points. I will also share links to different articles that I have written on Florida.

Palm Trees

Palm trees are one of my favorite things in Florida.  Each year as we enter the state, I look for my first palm trees.  Usually I find them at the Florida Welcome Center.  Here is an article I wrote on photographing Palms. Palm Trees in Paradise


Florida has some wonderful tropical birds along with many that we also see in the midwest in the summer. During our visit in 2017 I worked on photographing as many different birds as possible.  Here is an article I wrote for Review This on photographing birds. Photographing Florida Birds

The Ocean

Did you know that no matter where you go in Florida you are never further than 60 miles from the nearest beach?  For someone who loves the ocean that fact alone would make Florida a favorite place.  In my younger days I loved to play in the surf, now I enjoy a nice long walk on the beach.  There is something so calming just watching the waves come and go.

Here is an article on photographing at the seaside.Seascape Photography

Seashells on the Beach

I'm not sure why, but I find it fascinating to look for seashells at the beach.  I never tire of looking for a new kind of shell.  Here are some seashells at Coral Cove beach on Jupiter Island.

Sunrise over the Ocean

There is something quite amazing to watch the sun rise over the ocean.  Each day in Florida I wake up early to catch the sunrise and each day it is different.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from past years.

Here is an article I wrote on photographing sunrises. Photographing Sunrises


I am a really enjoy visiting lighthouses and Florida has several that I have visited.  We stay in Jupiter each March and they have a wonderful historic red lighthouse that I love to visit.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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


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.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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