Springtime in Florida

Spring 2016











































I am very fortunate to be able to visit family in Florida. This fortune is magnified by the close proximity of two outstanding sanctuaries for wildlife - the Wakodahatchee Wetlands and the Green Cay Wetlands. I have been to both locations multiple times, but this year I was able to visit in April and see the breeding season for the first time in over a decade..

Common Moorhen

Upon my arrival at the Wakodahatchee wetlands it was instantly apparent that I was wandering into a situation that I hadn't seen in a great long while. The waterbirds, normally a blur of activity, were actually somewhat quieter than I had come to expect. The reason? They were no longer worried about finding mates. Instead, they were worried about raising their offspring and it doesn't pay to draw lots of attention to flightless babies..

Tricolored Heron Chick

The common moorhens weren't the only birds with chicks. The myriad herons were also fully underway in their reproductive efforts and I was very lucky to find a nest with a freshly-hatched chick not much more than ten feet away from the boardwalk. If you look closely at this photo you will see that the egg on the left is actually in the process of hatching; the chick inside having already managed to break a small hole in the shell..


Red-shouldered Hawks

I was completely (and wonderfully) surprised when I stumbled upon a pair of red-shouldered hawks at Green Cay. These birds are occasionally seen and hear in the vicinity of my home in upstate New York, but to find a pair of birds standing side by side in a palm tree was really something totally unexpected. I wasn't so stunned tha I forgot to take photos, however. :)

My Best Photo of 2016!

I was at Green Cay, minding my own business, and sort of wondering where all the birds were. The water levels were a little low and other visitors who had the luxury of living nearby explained that the birds were acting "funny" this spring. I was actually getting a little bored when all of a sudden I caught sight of a great egret standing in the shallows not 20 feet from the boardwalk. The bird's head flashed out and when it came back up the bird was holding a gorgeous little fish.

This is the best photo I took in 2016 and is also one of the best photos that I have ever taken!

Copyright 2017 William Danielson