Birds of Calf Island: Not just Osprey Anymore

Ok, normally I try not to post about the same thing more than once unless I genuinely have more to add to the story. So while my original plan was to just upload a few more Osprey pictures and be done with it, I’m instead going to go for a more complete look at the local avians on and around Calf island.

Every day we walk the perimeter of the island and record what we see. Its becoming mundane as we see the same six or seven species of shorebird every day. Soon however, that will change. We’re looking forward to the end-of-summer arrivals. They should be showing up any week now.

Unfortunately they aren’t here yet.

Cormorants swim in pursuit of their meals and are (unsurprisingly) remarkably graceful in the water and incredibly clumsy when out of it.

This picture courtesy of the Killdeer’s nest-defense strategy.

Killdeer, for example, are regulars on our survey. There are at least two pairs of Killdeer on the island. One of which has gotten around to the tedious business of preparing a nest and laying an egg. Killdeer nest more-or-less in the open, and their defense lies in superb camouflage and a willingness to put themselves in harms way to protect their unborn chicks. Every day, like clockwork, as we approached the nest we first be buzzed by one of the pair, they’d land a few yards away and would drop a wing as if they were injured, then would run/hop away from where we knew perfectly well their nest was located.

I suppose it works better on actual predators. All it did for us was confirm what we’d already suspected, there was a nest nearby (or a chick, but they’re considerably harder to locate).

So well camouflaged I almost stepped on it.

Cool, right?

Last for now are another few shots of the omnipresent Osprey. Their clacking and squealing wakes me up most mornings and its a rare hour spent on the beach when four or five don’t glide by on their way to or from their nests or hunting grounds.

I’m glad I’m not a fish.

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Posted on July 15, 2012, in Stewart B. McKinney NWR and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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