Sunday, April 26, 2009
Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Blue Heron, Anhinga, Vulture, Pileated Woodpecker
This Bald Eagle stood watch over us while we anchored on the St Johns River, FL. You can usually spot one most any place on the river but the section between Lake Jessup and Lake Harney seem to have a large number.
The Blue Herons nest in the tops of trees. This is another large bird, that can be over 3' from head to tail. It looks so unusual to see them sitting on a nest in the flimsy branchs instead of in the crotch of a tree like an Osprey or Eagle's nest would be.We've seen half a dozen nests in the same tree. There were several in Govenor's Cut on the E end of Lake Monroe and near Green Marker 109 behind the island. ( G 109 is a marker listed on the charts of the river)
This Anhinga is drying his wings after diving for his breakfast. They swim with their bodies submerged. You'll normally see just their long graceful neck above the water, and are also called "snake" birds for that reason. I never get tired of looking at them. The silver on their wings is striking.
This Black Vulture didn't seem very happy when I rowed in to shore, for the dog's morning walk. You can see many of these birds soaring high in the air as they ride the thermals. Nature's clean up crew. It could get to be a very smelly place without them to take care of the dead birds and animals.
We have several pair of Pileated Woodpeckers in the hammock, but I took this photo at Silver Glen Springs. It's a fairly large bird, about the size of a crow and can make a lot of noise banging away at a dead tree. This was the inspiration for Woody the Woodpecker.
These photos were taken in Feb '09.