January 23, 2018
Early Tuesday morning, we heard them approaching...the Sandhill Cranes that is. I grabbed my camera and ran out the door. It's such a treat to see these grand birds over head...hundreds of them...filling the air with trumpeting calls. There is a pasture just down the street where the Sandhills like to hang out searching for lizards, snakes, grains, etc. Imagine my delight when three of these grand birds decided to stop in the field behind our home. It's a big field and I couldn't get close enough for really good pictures...even so, my first Sandhill Crane sighting had to posted.
After breakfast and puppy time at the doggie park, we were off to the Tree Sculpture Tour (It's a walking tour in Historic Galveston with tree sculptures made from trees blown down in 2008 when Hurricane Ike passed over...more on that later.) As we were heading east on San Luis Pass Road I happened to see pink fly by. "Follow the pink birds" I shouted (several times) which Joe did...down a side street to a small pond. I jumped out running with camera in hand determined to get pictures.
Thrilled by our first sighting of the Spoonbills, it was hard to stop taking pictures. But, sometimes the camera gets in the way of just enjoying the moment so I did manage to simply watch for a long while...captivated by their beauty, gracefulness and individuality.
Being full-time residents of the Gulf in Florida, Texas, and Mexico they forage in shallow muddy water sweeping their bill from side to side detecting dinner by feel.
Spoonbills eat a lot of shrimp. Shrimp eat a lot of algae and algae make their own red and yellow pigments.
Some scientists believe that the pink coloration that Roseate Spoonbills acquire as they mature is due to their diet. The more they eat, the pinker they get.
these slow moving birds use their long curved bills to probe muddy bottoms for crustaceans and insects.
The brown Ibis in the picture below is an immature White Ibis. Juvenile White Ibis are brown and creamy white from July through December. During December, white feathers begin to appear on their backs and by August they will be completely white.
Eventually the Roseate Spoonbills flew away and we left. What an exciting Tuesday and such a special time that we can take to enjoy the little things that fly into our lives. We did continue on to the Tree Sculpture Walking Tour...more on that later. Until then,
HAPPY TRAILS !