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Florida Vacation Rental Home
Birding

"OLD BLUE"



This is the Great Blue Heron we call "OLD BLUE" for short.


He is famous for begging for fish. When you are cleaning your catch, he will gladly consume your leftovers.


 

He is a "predator" so he should not be allowed to get too close. His bill is VERY SHARP.
 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is "Whitey", a White Egret.  Some locals call this bird an oyster catcher.

Whitey is also a predator and should not be allowed to get too close because his bill is VERY sharp.
 

He is not interested in eating bread. His is a meat eater and loves fish, fish parts, salami, bologna, turkey, chicken and small dogs (just kidding!).

 

 
 


This is a cormorant. His natural food is fish. He swims underwater and catches the fish in his bill, then comes to the surface and swallows the fish. His feathers absorb water to make him neutrally boyant underwater, just the opposite of a duck, whose feathers repel water to make him float.

In Japan, the cormorant used to be used by fishermen to harvest fish from the sea. The fisherman would have 10 to 20 of these birds and would place a small metal band around their neck.

This metal band would not harm the bird, but it would prevent him from swallowing a "whole fish".. The birds roosted on the sides of the fisherman's small boat and dive into the water. When they caught a fish, they brought it back to the boat. The fisherman would then give the bird a small piece of fish that the bird could swallow as a reward.

The cormorant can often be seen sitting with its wings spread, drying its feathers. This made the bird lighter so it is easier for him to fly home for the night.


  This is a Osprey. 

 Ospreys can be seen swooping over the surface of the water and pulling fish into the air with their talons.

 
Some people call this bird a "fish eagle", which is not technically correct.

 

 

 

 

 




 

This is an IBIS.


If anyone knows a nice story about this kind of bird, please let mk know so I can include it here.

Charley, one of our guests, added  "The Ibis is a juvenile (immature) White Ibis...in adult plumage it is all white"


This is a fine example of a brown pelican.

These pelicans can be seen diving into the water, trying to catch fish by trapping them with the "BAG" of skin that hangs under their "chin"..

These birds hit the water with a good deal of speed, locally we say the hit the water like a sack of "potatoes". It is interesting to note that they are not very good fishermen, being successful once out of 4 or 5 tries..

This is an endangered species and a large percentage of the entire population lives in this area.







Can anyone identify the type of owl this is?


I spotted him sitting on a dock and snapped his picture.

 

Charley offered this description "the Owl, as shown, is the petrified version of the long

 

 


This is the mystery bird. I do not have any idea what type it is. If have not previously stayed at one of our homes, and you correctly identify this bird for me, and rent one of our vacation homes I will give you a $20.00 reward.

Charley also correctly identified the above bird.

 


 


This is a seagull. They are the "great scavangers" of the shore line. They can be seen eating anything and everything from french fries, crackers, to stranded fish on the beach.

Personally, I decided that I did not want to "feed" these birds after one of them "dive bombed" and left a large white gooey spot on the red shirt I was waring one day.

This lead me to figure out how to "catch them" right out of the air as they are in flight. ( I will explain how to do this if you are interested. Almost anyone from age 10 to 60 can catch one "in the air" with my technique using just some crackers and your hands! You must be aware that their bills are sharp and feel like strong pinches when they "bite" you to encourage you to let them free again.)

Charley offered this "the Gull is a Laughing Gull in winter plumage ...(as an aside, there is no such thing as a "seagull"...it is, unfortunately,  a common misnomer)"


Vacation rental homes north of Clearwater Beach between New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs.