Manual told me the other day (and he’s lived here all of his life), that all the birds on the shore look the same to him. “The big ones are older and the little ones are babies”. I asked him to watch for our next blog. Maybe he will look a little closer, next time.
How often have I heard something like “ugly as a Coot!”, especially from duck hunters, which I used to be. Me, myself, I don’t see anything “ugly” in this photo my darling Debbie took.
Sometimes I’ll be walking along the sandy beach without a bird in sight. I’ll take a look behind me and, as if by magic, a flock of Snowy Plovers will appear. These tiny, little birds blend in with the color of the sand so well they are easily overlooked.
Snowy plovers are small shorebirds that dash in and out of waves at the beach. While it looks like they are playing, these chunky little white birds are actually chasing after a meal of small insects and crustaceans.
Manual, if you are reading this blog, please pay attention. The Snowy Plover is not a baby of the following bird just because it’s smaller.
The Tri-colored Heron visits local shores, especially estuaries in Baja Sur from time to time.
The tricolored heron wades in the water in search of prey. Most of its diet is made up of fish, but it also will eat amphibians, insects and crustaceans. Not to be confused with the Little Blue Heron-
A small, dark heron colored in blues and purples, the Little Blue Heron is a common but inconspicuous resident of marshes and estuaries in the Southeast and sometimes visits Baja Sur. They stalk shallow waters for small fish and amphibians, using a quiet, methodical approach that can make these gorgeous herons surprisingly easy to overlook at first glance. Little Blue Herons build stick nests in trees alongside other colonial waterbirds. In the U.S., their populations have been in a gradual decline since the mid-twentieth century. How sad!
The Solitary Sandpiper is not a “baby” of the big birds either. I haven’t seen many of these sandpipers here so it’s always a pleasant surprise to come across one.
Almost all sandpipers migrate in flocks and nest on the ground, but the Solitary Sandpiper breaks both rules. In migration, as its name implies, it is usually encountered alone, along the bank of some shady creek. If approached, it bobs nervously, then flies away with sharp whistled cries. In summer in the northern spruce bogs, rather than nesting on the wet ground, the Solitary Sandpiper lays its eggs in old songbird nests placed high in trees.
The Snowy Egret, a strikingly-beautiful bird, was probably saved from extinction by the Audubon Society. In the early 1900’s, these birds were killed in great numbers for their feathers. As I understand it, the Society lobbied congress for a moratorium on the taking of these creatures and their numbers have recovered.
Snowy Egrets wade in shallow water to spear fish and other small aquatic animals. While they may employ a sit-and-wait technique to capture their food, sometimes they are much more animated, running back and forth through the water with their wings spread, chasing their prey.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog—Happy Birding from Chris and Debbie and…If you like us, then like us on facebook.