Tag Archives: birds

Identifying Birds

When you’re trying to learn about native animals ….

On a bluebird sky day, hiking on a serene trail, I saw this beautiful bird. Trying to identify birds is a challenge for me. Colors, bill size and shape, and geography are all useful in identification.

I returned home with clear photos thinking it was a Gray Jay. But the bill was too long. Fortunately, with an excellent search engine and websites that show similar looking species, I was able to learn about Clark’s Nutcrackers today.

They live in the mountains. ✅

Gray overall with black wings. ✅

Long daggerlike bill. ✅

Fishing at Sunset

Just as the sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico, the pelicans glide over the water near the shore. Back and forth they fly, as they swoop like an acrobat when they spot fish below. With precise skill, diving when they spot fish below. I’m not sure if they enjoy their dinner as much as I enjoy watching them. As they sky darkens, they fly away from the beach, returning the next morning for “the catch of the day.”

Learning inside and outside

Muscovy duck above and ibis below

I’m in St Petersburg Florida this week at a writers conference working on craft, hearing accomplished authors share their personal stories, and attending readings of their work. As expected, I’m learning a variety of things that will inform my own writing.

What I hadn’t expected is how much I’m learning about birds.

Osprey

Atop a building adjacent to the pond is an osprey nest. I’m not typically good at capturing birds in flight so I’m especially proud of this photo.

Three facts about osprey:

1. They are also known as sea or river hawks.

2. They are diurnal.

3. They can be found on 6 of the 7 continents; not found on Antarctica.

The ponds at Eckerd College

On a conference break, I walked by the ponds that attract a variety of water fowl. Above, a pelican swims near the shoreline.

Below are a cormorant, mallards, and an unidentifiable by me bird that I think is a duck. If you can identify it, please let me know in the comments. And as Dory says, Keep Swimming!