Tricolored Herons are one of those birds I never tire of, they are simply too good looking. Check out that glowing purple nape. I'm glad I lifered with this bird at a young age...if I did it now, the shock could be too much for me to take.
After a week of Key West, Booby Brittany and I struck out for Everglades National Park for a change of scenery. As with my last trip there (also in October), the park was mildly to moderately birdy...because of abundant water within the park, concentrations of birds were few and far between. However, I did up pick up a substantial number of year birds, including a number of species I did not expect to get (i.e. Northern Bobwhite, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Barred Owl). Luckily, I did not relive the death march out to Snake Bight to scan for flamingos...if you ever want to experience a place that makes you long for death, you should try that trail out during the wet season. It is Florida's own Trail of Tears...completely brutal.
All photos in this post are from Everglades National Park.
I like how this Great Egret is slightly backlit...it makes that big bill glow like an avian jack-o-lantern, and makes the nape appear deceptively fuzzy.
An adult Green Heron along the Anhinga Trail; this skulker is just as approachable in parts as Florida as its bigger, flashier relatives.
An immature White Ibis. I don't know how Floridians chose Northern Mockingbird as their state bird, I would have gone the ibis route.
White Ibis stretch and shake.
Immature Broad-winged Hawk. Note the stubbier and (ironically?) narrower wings, which help separate it from the very similar immature Red-shouldered Hawk.
There be dragons...everywhere in Florida. This is a Halloween Pennant (Thanks to ABQbirding for the ID). I can see the appeal in getting into dragonfly listing, although I'm still holding off on that.
Ah, the Anhinga (year bird). This is another one of those classic southern species that really seem to liven up any place they occupy. Although superficially designed like a cormorant, they do their best to set themselves apart. On this trip, they were constantly croaking and bellowing from their mangrove perches.
This stately Little Blue Heron was one of several misidentified birds given on the boat tour that leaves from Flamingo. Aside from bird problems, the dude giving the tour was corny as hell but had a lot of information on the park's recent history and mangrove forests. I also saw hundreds of White-crowned Pigeons from the boat, which left me in a state of shock and awe.
This Cattle Egret had a gimpy (maybe dislocated?) leg. I'm always impressed by handicapped wildlife that manage to beat the odds and keep on living...reminds me of the stubby Snowy Plover I saw earlier this year that had no feet.