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05/31/09
Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Bald Eagle Nest
Posted by: Ken @ 5:42 pm

On May 25th, an adult eagle was eating unidentified prey on the nest…

Adult At Nest 20090525

…while a second roosted nearby:

Adult Roosting 2-20090525

Our time back in Florida has sped by so quickly. Since we had a house guest,we went sightseeing at several of the popular tourist destinations. It rained regularly every afternoon, so there were morning jaunts to Butterfly World, Fort Lauderdale river front and harbor cruise, and other points along the Atlantic coast and out Alligator Alley. There was little time for birding, though we took the tram ride at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park, and got out very early to visit our local Bald Eagle nest a couple of times.

The two chicks produced by the eagle pair have been flying freely for eight weeks. We were surprised to find that the parents continued to bring food to the nest right into this past week. The older chick, named Hope, was last seen on Saturday, May 23, the eighteenth week after she hatched. Her younger brother, Justice is still returning to the nest, and was possibly fed a small meal by a lingering adult only this morning. The feedings have been progressively smaller and infrequent.

This morning, while I found only one eaglet at the nest, Mike Fossler saw and photographed one adult. It was being harassed by a mockingbird. His dramatic photos may be viewed in the slide show at the end of this post.

This Anhinga, resting on our back lawn, scolded me when I disturbed it:

Angry Anhinga 20090527

The rains had greatly increased water levels in the Everglades. This was good for the wildlife, but limited viewing opportunites, as they were no longer concentrated in the small pools. Yet, I was able to capture a remarkable sequence as one bird failed to heed my mother’s admonition, to not eat anything larger than my head.

Great Blue Heron hunting along the canal at Shark Valley Visitors Center:

Great Blue Heron Hunting 20090528

The heron bags a good-sized tilapia:

Great Blue Heron Catches Tilapia 20090528

He’s not going to try to swallow that big thing alive, is he?

Great Blue Heron Ready to Swallow 20090528

I can’t believe this!

Great Blue Heron Swallows Tilapia 20090528

Down it goes!

Great Blue Heron Swallows Tilapia 2-20090528

Limpkins can be hard to find, but this one posed cooperatively:

Limpkin Portrait 20090528

An immature Little Blue Heron, in its temporary white plumage, stalks along the water’s edge:

Little Blue Heron Immature 3-20090529

At Butterfly World in Coral Springs, a pair of lorikeets engages in mutual preening:

Lorikeets 20090530

A haughty macaw eyes me with suspicion:

Macaws 20090530

This is one of many varieties of passionflower hybrids that have been developed at Butterfly World:

Passionflower 20090530

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

One Response to “Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head”

  1. Smith Says:
    Wow Ken nice shots of heron chomping down Smith

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