Birds of West Coast Florida

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Driving in Cape Coral, we noticed three people with big cameras on bigger tripods just standing around staring at a distant tree.  Since I had my camera with a big lens handy, we stopped and found them staking out this eagles nest, waiting for great light.  I didn’t have all day to wait for the great light; this was the best I could get on short notice.  The giant eagle’s nest is a local landmark, and this mating couple are well known to the local birding community.

We were heading to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, a marvelous part of the national park system right in the area of Cape Coral. Fortunately, the government foolishness had ended the day before, and the park was re-opened.

(J.N. “Ding” Darling was a nationally known, Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist whose love of birds and nature was the driving force behind the creation of this park.)

There is a 4-mile long one-way road through the park, where you can drive on the left and park anytime on the right, to stop and see the multitude of wildlife available.  We cruised slowly down, and i was able to get pictures of some of the birds that pass through here.

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Roseate Spoonbill and great egrets

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Roseate spoonbill

 

This is a brown pelican taking off.

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Here are white pelicans–they are considerably smaller than the brown.

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I don’t know what this guy is:

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These are, I believe, great egrets.

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Here’s a gallery I can’t all identify.  My cousin Nick will know all of them.

Two more:

As you can tell, I’m not much of a birder.  I like looking at them and taking their pictures, I just don’t know which is which.  Fortunately, that isn’t required to enjoy this magnificent national park.

Last one, this time for the composition and the reflection.

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