Two royal terns took flight as we approached.
They crossed directly in front of our boat.
Royal terns are only found along ocean beaches.
They feed almost entirely on small fish caught by diving into the water.
They nest in large colonies on sandy islands and beaches.
The nest is an unlined shallow depression in the sand.
A beautiful sight!
As we stood in the boat near Shamrock Island a pelican took flight and headed towards us.
It did not seem at all concerned about our presence.
Full wing spread, to ...
Wings in! Right as it came directly between us and the Island, a really different angle.
Wings out, and away. One of my very favorite birds of all time, I love to watch them in flight!
In flight right in front of the bow of our boat.
Now with full legal protection from hunting the species is beginning to rebound.
Tricolored heron takes flight just opposite our boat.
It has a long, pointed yellow bill that turns blue during breeding season.
The term "tricolored" refers to the dark bluish upperparts, the white underparts, and the reddish brown stripes found on its upper neck.
Males and females look alike.
Both the male and female build the nest and incubate the eggs.
The chicks hatch in about three weeks.
Francie Stoutamire Photography