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boat-tailed grackle, Quiscalus major

Loxahatchee, March 2011

A brief walk in the sun on a day that most Floridians would call cold, but that had me sweating and tired in no time.
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loxahatchee Welcome to Florida! It's flat except for those moving speed-bumps.
loxahatchee alligator Another member of the welcoming committee.
loxahatchee phalacrocorax auritus Some of the animals we saw were familiar, like this double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
loxahatchee gallina chloropus I'd also seen common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) before, in Texas.
loxahatchee Podilymbus podiceps And I've seen a few pied-billed grebes (Podilymbus podiceps) in New England...
loxahatchee grebe But the ones here seemed particularly unafraid of me.
loxahatchee danaus I think this is a Soldier Butterfly, Danaus erisimus
loxahatchee aramus Next we encountered a family of Limpkins (Aramus guarauna)
loxahatchee limpkin One of the youngsters had a broken bill.
loxahatchee limpkin They kept an eye on us, but kept moving closer.
loxahatchee limpkin Close-up on a limpkin.
loxahatchee limpkin It's hard to be sure from the photo, but I think this is one of the two adults.
loxahatchee limpkin Limpkin crossing the trail. You can see the delicate construction of the beak.
loxahatchee limpkin This shot shows the feathers more clearly (the limpkin wasn't moving except for one leg).
loxahatchee limpkin This youngster seemed to have an eye infection.
loxahatchee limpkin Another view of the youngster with the broken bill.
loxahatchee limpkin One of the adults, scratching its back with its bill.
loxahatchee limpkin Then scratching its neck with its talons.
loxahatchee limpkin Standing guard over the broken-billed youngster, who tended to lag behind (probably going hungry).
loxahatchee Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)
loxahatchee gallinule This is a Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica), a relative of moorhens.
loxahatchee gallinule Another shot of the gallinule.
loxahatchee A turtle.
loxahatchee Another pied-billed grebe. Grebes have tiny bodies in relation to their heads.
loxahatchee Very common in the Everglades: a Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
loxahatchee anartia A White Peacock butterfly, Anartia jatrophae.
loxahatchee anhinga An anhinga, Anhinga anhinga.
loxahatchee Two turtles sharing a dead tree with the anhinga.
loxahatchee Back to the anhinga: a series of photos showing that long neck in use.
loxahatchee Anhingas have an unusual skull shape for a bird:
loxahatchee a very small head with protruding eyes.
loxahatchee A small alligator approaching the anhinga.
loxahatchee The anhinga is keeping an eye on the 'gator.
loxahatchee A cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
loxahatchee Cardinals are common back home, but these are my best shots of one yet.
loxahatchee cardinal This one is my favorite.
loxahatchee Back to deeper water to photograph some more alligators.
loxahatchee This was a big one - we called him "Fred."
loxahatchee Fred got bored of having his picture taken after a while.
loxahatchee heron A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) perched on the sign where the cormorant used to be.
loxahatchee heron The photo didn't quite capture it, but a flurry of dandelion-like seeds was passing by.
loxahatchee grackle This male boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major) was obviously hoping for a hand-out.
loxahatchee grackle It can be hard to identify the species of a grackle, but brown eyes are unique to boat-tailed grackles of Florida and the Gulf coast.
loxahatchee grackle See the eyes? (Did I mention he was unafraid of us?)
loxahatchee A nearly-adult purple gallinule under our feet (the "forehead" hasn't turned white yet).
loxahatchee This gar was an unintended catch - it snatched at the bait as the hook was being reeled in after a missed cast.
loxahatchee Having briefly flown elsewhere, the great blue heron returns.
loxahatchee A short series of in-flight shots.
loxahatchee Heron in flight
loxahatchee Trading speed for height as it approaches its perch.
loxahatchee Nearly hovering now.
loxahatchee Great blue heron making a landing. I like this shot because it shows the spread feathers of the alulas (thumbs).
loxahatchee gallinule I'll end with some more photos of the sub-adult purple gallinule.
loxahatchee gallinule Gallinule with ruffled feathers.
loxahatchee gallinule Gallinule showing white undertail while walking on floating leaves.
loxahatchee gallinule Look at the size of those feet!