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. ✅
Most hummingbirds have already begun their migration south, but this one spent time enjoying the morning glories.
Sleeping on a rock
morning swim over for now
enjoying the sun
Sunrise means breakfast
hummingbirds seeking sweetness
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.
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.
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!