Roseate Spoonbills (Platalea ajaja) and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) share the limited water in the marsh during this dry period before the monsoon season. They both feed in the shallow marshes but do not compete for the same prey. The Spoon Bills are bottom filter feeders while the Storks pick up insects and small fish. The Spoon Bills spend much more time preening than the Wood Storks. I find this particular group appealing because of the stark difference in the feather colors and behaviors of the two species. The spoonbills are so much more flamboyant than the severe storks. Both are iconic birds of SW FL. The feature image is an overview of the flock of birds including the spoonbills, wood storks as well as snowy egret and maybe a blue heron.
With diminished water and a protracted drought, water dependent birds are crouded together. These conditions make photography interesting. The birds may be more remote and thereby technically more difficult to photograph. The more compact group with more variety improves opportunities to observe bird behavior. The best approach I had for the group image was still at a distance of 150 meters. The image was just at the limit of the hand held 300mm lens that I had in my bag. I casually followed one bird through the afternoon and in the late in the day it sought an isolated area away from the flock. The fill-in-flash picked up the brilliant colors.
Make a comment: Which bird images do you prefer, roseate spoonbills or flamingos?
#roseate spoonbill #wood stork #snowy egret #group behavior #marsh
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