Wednesday, August 18, 2010

feeding frenzy

Four members of the Ardeidae family - great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, and black-crowned night heron - as well as American white pelicans scour our shrinking slough for fish, frogs and insects. The herons and egrets congregate with the pelicans, seemingly eager to get their share of the remaining catch. Thirty or so pelicans arrived like a band of roving marauders late last week. They treat us to an elegant aerial display at dawn and dusk. Although silent, the bird's size and wingspan (8' - 10') create an audible whoosh as they approach, alerting us to look up.

Today's dawn brought another gem - a dozen Caspian terns wheeling and calling high overhead. The Caspian is the world's largest tern and this group was probably in migration to its wintering area in northern South America.
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