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 !
Just love the Roseate Spoonbills so beautiful to watch and fly. And The Sandhill cranes making their home in around Lockport Texas as well.. It =s been few years since we went that way soon time to head on back again.ReplyDelete
This is definitely the spot for winter birding!Delete
The first time we saw sandhill cranes was on our first stop in Bushnell, FL when we started fulltiming. I looked out our window and there were these two huge birds. I later learned they were Sandhills and hung around the park. They were great fun to watch. Beautiful photos of the Roseate Spoonbill, my favorite bird:) Love that photo of the one looking at camera with that perfect spoon bill.ReplyDelete
Thanks Pam...the Spoonbills are my favorite too!Delete
I've never seen a spoonbill before. Beautiful, thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
My pictures don’t do the Spoonbills jusrice...they are truly a sight to see in person Jeff!Delete
Yeah, you just made my day! I missed these birds, its been three long years since I last saw them. Thank you for your great photos, Gay. There is a short movie about the flood in Galveston, which you might be interstested in.ReplyDelete
My pleasure MonaLiza! I was so excited!Delete
It's pretty amazing the range the cranes have. We enjoyed seeing hundreds of them in southeastern AZ last winter! I love that gorgeous pink of the spoonbills. They look like strawberry ice cream :-) It really is a wonderful life that we can stop to follow some birds!!ReplyDelete
I agree Jodee! I hope to get to the pasture where the Sandhill Cranes hang out for better pictures. I have been reading all about them...Delete
Sandhills are everywhere it seems! We have thousands of cranes flying over every day and roosting for the night at Whitewater Draw. Loved the spoonbill photos--even though we spent seven months in Aransas Pass, TX we never saw a spoonbill and it wasn't for lack of looking!ReplyDelete
I hope you get to see the Spoonbills one day Janna...It sure made my day!Delete
Love! I've never seen a spoonbill, they are so neat looking! It's going to be a great stay in Galveston!ReplyDelete
So far we have enjoyed every second of our stay here Lisa! The Spoonbills are amazing!Delete
Don't we all just love seeing the pink birds...ReplyDelete
YES! So much fun to watch!Delete
Glad you finally managed to photograph those pink beauties. I've enjoyed following your Gulf travels. I've managed to spot some birds here in Lake Havasu, but it isn't the same as the Gulf.ReplyDelete
Thanks Ingrid...wish you were here!Delete