Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Reddish Egret

Weather was the big factor in the photography action, or lack there of today. The rain started about 6:30am and did not stop until almost 10:00am. So I had time to do a leisurely breakfast at my favorite early morning eatery on Sanibel Island, The Light House Café. I highly recommend this place if you visit here. When the sunlight broke through I headed to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to try to get some photography in. The light was getting very harsh and a fast rising tide had chased most of the birds away by the time I arrived. Fortunately I did find two differant Reddish Egrets to photograph. The Reddish Egret is a really fun bird to watch and photograph as they hunt for food.

The Reddish Egret is a coastal species with a limited range. Seldom found inland, it breeds along the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, and around both coasts of Florida. It is also seen in southern California, Mexico, Belize, Cuba, the Bahamas, and other Caribbean islands

The Reddish Egret is considered one of the most active herons, and is often seen on the move. It stalks its prey visually in shallow water far more actively than other herons and egrets, frequently running energetically and using the shadow of its wings to reduce glare on the water once it is in position to spear a fish; the result is a fascinating, graceful dance. It eats fish, frogs, crustaceans, and insects. The bird's usual cry is a low, guttural croak. There is a rarer version of the Reddish Egret. It is a White Morph Phase Reddish Egret. It is not an albino, but a white morph phase of the bird. This photo of a white phase was taken on one of my previous trips to Ding Darling NWR.

The heavy clouds rolled back in and stayed through sunset. The weather prediction for tomorrow is a mix of clouds and sun, but more toward the cloudy side. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for some decent light in the early morning.

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