Thursday, February 21, 2019

Crops & Clips: Mid-February clicks

One of my favorite winter birds here in south Florida is the Yellow-throated Warbler. Their breeding range has expanded from the southeastern US into the northeast and north central states. I have seen and photographed them in NE Illinois.

Although they nest down into central Florida, they are rarely seen south of Lake Okeechobee during spring and early summer. They winter in Florida, the Caribbean and along the Gulf of Mexico coast down into Central America

Their foraging habits make Yellow-throated Warblers difficult to observe and photograph, as they creep along the outer limbs in the treetops. On February 17 I followed two of these beautiful birds as they moved along three Live Oak trees. I took over a hundred photos, nearly all of which provided partial views, poorly exposed against the bright sky. In a stroke of good luck, one of them decided to forage for a few seconds in full sun on the near side of the third tree.

Yellow-throated Warbler 01-20190217

Yellow-throated Warbler 02-20190217

Yellow-throated Warbler 04-20190217

Yellow-throated Warbler 08-20190217

On the morning of February 17, an unusual cloud formation reflected on the still surface of the lake, providing a sort of shadow box picture frame for this view of the opposite shore:

View to northwest 20190217

Later that morning, as I was walking home, I saw the same effect over the canal which separates our subdivision from the wetlands preserve:

195th AV Canal View to south 20190217

The full Snow Moon was setting as we entered the Wounded Wetlands, nearly an hour before sunrise on February 18:

Snow Moon 20190218

Our local pair of Bald Eagles have two eaglets, now just over 5 weeks old. They provided me with my first photo of the entire family together on the nest. Mom and Dad (Pride and Jewel) and P Piney 21 and 22:

Bald Eagle 0843AM 20190216 9731

Bald Eagle 0843AM 2019 0216 9736

After their chicks hatch, the eagles often add to the soft lining of the nest. They bring in fresh grass and leaves. Some say this helps deter parasites. Indeed, they carried in some pods from the Flamboyant tree (AKA Royal Poinciana) which, like many other legumes (such as Lima Beans which are poisonous if not cooked) contain toxic substances and cyanide. I think they are also covering up some of the debris in the nest, "sweeping the dirt under the rug."

We observed a rather humorous interaction. Pride was rearranging some nest lining materials and the younger eaglet, perhaps thinking it was a tasty morsel,  grasped a clump of sod from his beak.

Bald Eagle 0844AM 20190216 9742

Bald Eagle 0845AM 20190216 9743

Pride watched as the eaglet carried it away to the left side of the nest.

Bald Eagle 0847AM 20190216 9747

Bald Eagle 0848AM 20190216 9750

Pride tugged on the sod and retrieved it and finally replaced it on the floor of the nest.

Bald Eagle 0849AM 20190216 9753

He then turned towards the eaglet as if to admonish it:

Bald Eagle 0850AM 20190216 9758

Ever alert, Pride flew up above the nest to drive off an intruding eagle. We could hear it in the trees behind and to the right but never saw it. Perhaps it was one of their progeny from a previous season, or a wandering adult:

Bald Eagle 0855AM 20190216 9821

We are seeing dreadfully few Monarch butterflies this winter. Most of the south Florida population is non-migratory. This one is sipping nectar from Bidens Alba:

Monarch on Bidens alba 20190218

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

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17 comments:

  1. Such beautiful photos! I love the story of the eagles. Just amazing.
    We had a proliferation of monarchs last year, for the first time in years. I hope they rise in population for you.

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  2. Beautiful shots of birds. Love the lake view and reflection in the water. Have a happy day!

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  3. Just love the photos of the bald eagle, they remind me so much of the African Fish Eagle which is one of my favourite birds.

    I think you may be a little confused, although I go under the non-de plume of Rhodesia (where I used to live) we now live in France. The cranes are all flying North, not south and are returning to their breeding grounds in Russia, Sweden etc.

    Have a good day Diane

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  4. Błąd eagle is a great Bird greetings from europe

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  5. Really exciting to get such clear, beautiful shots of such an elusive bird. Wonderful sky shots and Snow Moon capture!

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  6. Awww, even among the avians the young must be taught and admonished!

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  7. The reflection on the water is so amazing. Fabulous shots of nature. Loved the collection.

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  8. I love the story of the family of eagles!

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  9. beautiful selection of photos.

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  10. Great shots! I am jealous of you getting the eagle shots.

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  11. Hello, love the Yellow-throated Warblers. Awesome captures of the eagles. They are beautiful, great collection of photos and birds. Love the moon and your pretty sky reflections. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day. Have a great weekend. PS, thanks so much for leaving me a comment.

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  12. Such beautiful photos!

    Thanks for sharing your day with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin!

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  13. So many gorgeous photos today. I've never seen that beautiful little bird - yellow throated warbler. Wow it's so amazing. Loved the unfolding story of the eagle nest and your reflections on the lake are wonderful. Have a great week.

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  14. Amazing how you have the intuition when to click the camera with these yellow-throated Warblers! The shadowbox in the clouds is intriguing! To take shots of the whole eagle family and their interaction is a sweet reward for your patience! Many thanks for sharing these long-awaited moments with All Seasons. Have a great week:)

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