Not quite white yet

I find it interesting to see young birds who don’t have the adult coloring fully in yet.  This is an immature white ibis.  It is easy to identify the overall shape, the curved bill and the blue eyes but here, the iconic white feathers are not displayed.  I imagine the mottled brownish colors would have been a good disguise for the chick to hide it from predators.

It does challenge me to be able to correctly identify birds when they aren’t showing the adult form.  I find it hard to distinguish if they are an immature version of the adult or if it is a different bird all together.  I suppose, as I spend more time learning about these beautiful animals it will be easier.  At this point, I will just keep looking and ask the experts when I’m stumped.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
300mm @ f/10 – 1/25 sec – ISO 640

#BirdWatching #birds #WhiteIbis #immature #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron


Right face

While in Sarasota, the birds that most fascinated me were these whistling ducks.  Besides the odd little sounds they make, they are interesting to watch as they move around and interact with each other.  You could see the patterns they followed through the day, moving from one spot to another.  Always in a good-sized group, they would fly in in squads, maybe a dozen or so at a time.  It was usually 3 or 4 groups that would come in a little bit apart.  Once they were on the ground, they would mingle but they still stayed in the sub-groups for the most part.

When startled, they would take to the sky quickly but would not leave right away.  There was always a circling pattern where they went out and then came back around to see if the perceived threat was still there before flying off another direction.  It was a lot of fun to watch them come and go.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Dendrocygna autumnalis

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
500mm @ f/9 – 1/640 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #BlackBelliedWhistlingDuck #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron

Florida heron

Herons have such amazing feathers.  I love the long, trailing strands that flow from the head and body.  This is certainly one of the most handsome and graceful of the water birds that I have ever seen.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/9 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #GreatBlueHeron #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron

Hawk eyes

This is one area of bird identification where I am not at all experienced.  I know when I see a hawk but don’t know how to identify what kind exactly.  My guess is that this is a red-tailed hawk but I’m sure others can tell me if this is correct or not.

I think it is so interesting to see birds of prey as the fly about and hunt for their food sources.  I spotted this specimen perched in a bottle-brush tree at the edge of a lake.  This gave him (or her) a clear view of the surrounding area.  Squirrels beware!

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/1600 sec – ISO 640

#BirdWatching #birds #RedTailedHawk #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron

Golden hour birds

I am always amazed at how much the quality of light affects how an image turns out.  I have seen ibises many times and tried to take shots of them at different times of day.  In the mid-day sun, they get washed out and seem two-dimensional.  When you have the low on the horizon, golden hues of early evening, it is a totally different look.

The yellows reflected off the water here is all from the setting sun.  Just goes to show, you can get a good image by having the focus and exposure right but it is the lighting that really makes things pop!

White Ibis

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/50 sec – ISO 200

#BirdWatching #birds #Ibis #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron

Sunset on Siesta Key beach

Sarasota, Florida has one of the most spectacular beaches you would ever want to see.  Siesta Key is widely regarded as one of the top beaches in Florida, if not world-wide.  The white sands cover a huge expanse and give many people great access to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

We were at the beach a little late in the sunset process but it was still beautiful.  Even with the wind kicking up and the temperatures a little lower than normal, it was nice to get some time with surf and sand.

Siesta Key Beach
Sarasota, Florida

Nikon 7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/5 – 1/50 sec – ISO 400

#SiestaKeyBeach #Sarasota #Florida #sunset #WithMyTamron

Master fisherman

Florida is full of many variety of birds that get their food from the wetlands that are widespread over the state.  One of the largest wading birds is the Wood Stork, shown here.

It was very interesting to watch this big bird’s fishing habits.  Walking slowly through the wet areas, it would lower its beak into the water and troll along.  Occaisionally, it would stop and raise one wing.  It seems that they are shading a section of the water’s surface either to help them see better or to make the fish think they are in a different position.

Every bird I have observed here has its own method of catching fish or other aquatic creatures.  I am truly amazed at how nature is adapted to match every different environment and situation.

Wood Stork
Mycteria americana

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/9 – 1/320 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #WoodStork #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron