One of the pleasures of wandering along the boardwalks at Wakodahatchee Wetlands and the Green Cay Nature Center is the chance to see (and, if you are toting a camera, photograph) birds in flight, often at close range. This post presents a gallery of examples from our April 2012 visit to Florida.
The contrasting black-and-white pattern on the wings of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis) is most obvious when the birds are in flight.
Anhingas (Anhinga anhinga) can appear gawky when perched, but they are accomplished flyers and even soarers. The top two birds are females; the lower bird is a male.
Vultures, of course, are supremely good soarers. These are Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus), a bird that appears to be growing commoner in southeastern Florida.
Long lines of White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) flying overhead are a common sight almost anywhere in south Florida, where they frequently drop in to probe for food in people's lawns.
Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), the largest birds in the wetlands, are impressive in flight (like other storks they, too, can soar).
Being harassed by smaller birds is part of a raptor's lot. Here, a male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) pursues a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus).
As long as the blackbird stays above the hawk, out of reach of its talons, there is not much that his undoubtedly annoyed victim can do about it.
Meanwhile, a Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) carries a twig to its nest...
…while a Great Egret (Ardea alba) sails majestically by, its bill agape as it passes overhead.