Bird Weekly Challenge #18: Birds starting with “A”

A is for Anhinga.

From the Audubon Field Guide: “A long-necked, long-tailed swimmer of southeastern swamps. Often seen perched on a snag above the water, with its wings half-spread to dry. Can vary its buoyancy in water, sometimes swimming with only head and neck above water (earning it the nickname of “Snakebird”). Often solitary when feeding, it roosts in groups and nests in colonies. Looks rather like a cormorant when perched, but not in flight, when the long tail may be spread wide as the Anhinga soars high on outstretched wings. Anhingas are silent at most times, but around nesting colonies they make various croaking and clicking sounds.”

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #18: Birds that begin with the letter “A

Bird Weekly Challenge #17: Macros or Close Ups

For me, getting a closeup of a bird is usually a real challenge. Most of the time, the bird is too far away or it flies away if I get too close. Occasionally, I’ll luck out and come across a bird who is not interested in me and I can get the shot I want.

The Bald Eagle in the above photo was sitting in a low branch of a tree in Chilcoot Lake State Park in Haines, Alaska. As I set up my tripod and aimed the camera at him I kept my fingers crossed that he wouldn’t fly off. He ignored me and I was a happy photographer.

Great Blue Heron, Florida

Most Great Blue Herons I have seen are spooked by humans and will not let me get too near them. This one was hanging around the fishing pier at Ft. Pickens National Seashore in Florida. He was much more interested in getting an easy meal than he was in me.

Nice catch!

This Anhinga was right beside the path in Shark Valley in Everglades National Park. We watched for a while as he struggled to swallow his fish. We didn’t stay around long enough to see if he succeeded in eating it.

Cormorant, Everglades National Park, Florida

This Cormorant was next the trail and didn’t move when I stopped to take his picture.

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #17: Macro/Close Ups.

Bird Weekly Challenge #15: Birds with Green Feathers

Painted Buntings and Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are two of my favorite back yard birds. I’ve seen them daily for the last few days and managed to get a few captures of these gorgeous birds.

Female Painted Bunting in Wax Myrtle
Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #15 – Birds with Green Feathers.

Bird Weekly Challenge #14: Flocks

For this week’s Bird Weekly Challenge Lisa has asked us to show flocks of birds. The above image is of a flock of Roseate Spoonbills on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Flock of Great Egrets with two Spoonbills in Everglades National Park
Flock of Brown Pelicans in Coastal Georgia
Flocks of nesting Egrets and Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

Thanks you Lisa. for this challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #14 – Flocks

Lens-Artists #113: Labor of Love

This week’s photo challenge comes from guest host Rusha Sams of Oh, The Places we See… We are asked to show images that represent a Labor of Love.

Planting my butterfly garden and maintaining it is a labor of love for me. By planting seeds and plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees I am providing a place for them to feast on the nectar. At the same time I have a space in my backyard to relax and enjoy nature.

Here’s a few of the late summer critters that visited the garden recently. You can click on a picture to enlarge it.

Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, and Skipper butterflies have been all over the zinnias and Mexican Sunflower drinking up the nectar. Wasps, bees, and even a tiny grasshopper enjoyed the flowers, too.

It’s been a long, hot, dry summer and hopefully the flowers will continue to attract the butterflies and other critters for a little while longer.

I smile whenever I see these beautiful visitors to the garden. What made you smile this week?

Thanks to guest host Rusha Sams for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #113 – A Labor of Love.

Also shared with Trent’s Weekly Smile.