Migratory path of two Denver Snow Birds Part 6 (A 2023 travelogue of Denise & Gary Flanders)

Snowy Egret. Egretta thula

I don’t consider myself a birder. I do enjoy seeing and photographing birds. As we travel we are privileged to observe quite a few different species of our winged sisters and brothers. The few facts I know about our avian friends is built on my training to be a Docent at the Denver Zoo. The instructor said, with birds look at beaks, wings and shape when flying. The beak tells you what it eats. The wings tell you things like distance and altitude. The shape is a quick visual for identifying species. I generally use a guide to common and notable species as we hike around wherever we are. Here are a few of the birds we have spotted so far here in Central Florida.

Ring-billed Gull. Larus delawarensis. Perhaps the most common shore bird here in Central Florida. You often think of this guy with a pure white body. But, many of the Ring-bills are speckled like this one.
Killdear Charadrius vociferus. When we lived in Big Bear California it was in the direct path of the Pacific Flyway – the route west coast birds took when they migrated. Here in this part of Central Florida it is the route of the Atlantic Flyway. East Coast birds fly through when they migrate. The Killdear is not usually found along seashores. This guy stopped by for lunch.
Another Snowy Egret
Laughing Gull Leucopobaeus atricilla. Another common gull in the area. Often with a solid black head.
(The taller fella): Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis. A fun sight is a group of Brown Pelicans swooping over the waves then diving for food, a fish.
Brown Pelican in action
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus. These fellers often hang around the flocks of Ring-billed gulls, especially if they think there is food around.
Great Blue Heron Ardea heodias. We took a short drive to The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and saw a number of fantastic birds.
Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor.
Tricolor Dance
Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja.
American Coot Fulica americana.
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus. Not unusual for Central Florida, just not always found on the seashore.
I will continue to find birds to photograph and Denise will continue to play catch with the Gulls.

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