~Birding in Texas, Neotropic Cormorant

High Island, TX, Smith Oaks Rookery, April, 2017

Neotropic Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant Pair
A pair
A proud Mom taking a break.
Mom, taking a break
“Any eggs in there?”

A few facts about this bird:

oOo Found on ponds, rivers and lakes

oOo White filoplumes on sides of head and neck

oOo Grayish black with black legs

oOo Hooked bill tip

oOo Bill has orange base and black tip

oOo Light sky blue eggs, on average three

oOo Chicks begin swimming and diving near colony by 8 weeks

oOo Life span 12 years

Happy Birding!

~Out of “bits” and going into an internet black out

We are currently “bit” poor. New cycle starts in two days; oh joy! Just how many times a month can one purchase extra bits?

On Sunday, with lots of bits, we are headed to an area for four night where we won’t have internet service (lots of bits, no service), unless we drive to town and sit in McDonold’s to use their “bits”.

We have done this before and feel so bad about using their bits we just have to purchase an ice cream cone. Yeah, just horrible!

I have many more photos to post and will when I can. Here is an American Coot that we saw on High Island.

American Coot
American Coot

Up next: Alligators and Cormorants.

 

~Birding in Texas, Snowy Egrets

High Island, Texas, Smith Oaks Rookery, April, 2017

Could the Snowy Egret be my favorite Egret. Possibly! They are beautiful with long white plumes on their head and neck. Their facial color, during breeding, is mostly yellow. And, they have bright yellow feet! They are fun to watch being both silly and elegant. Their babies began to fly after 20 days and their life span is at least 16 years.

Snowy Egret
oOo
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Watching

I didn’t notice a lot of them, perhaps I was focused on the Great Egret babies.

Snowy Egret fishing
Snowy Egret fishing

 

Happy Birding!

~Birding in Texas, Roseate Spoonbills

High Island, Texas, Smith Oats Rookery, April, 2017

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill

The Egrets were ahead of the Spoonbills in nesting and raising chicks. They were still gathering sticks to add to their nests, sitting on the nests to hatch more chicks, and hunting for food to feed the chicks they had. Not sure how many chicks are hatched during a breeding season, but probably not very many of them make it to adults. 😦

The Spoonbills were chasing each other, mating, and vocal. Howard captured the sounds at this amazing place, which I will share in a future post.

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A pair
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oOo
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oOo
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Sweet
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A funny photo, mirror images!
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Hunting
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Bird Hotel

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It would have been a treat to see Spoonbill chicks!

~Birding in Texas, Little Fuzzy Heads

High Island, Texas, Smith Oak Rookery, April, 2017

Very excited to see babies in the nests; a first for us.

Great Egret Baby
A very young chick
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Notice the different sizes of the chicks.
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“How can I feed you if you are going to hold my beak?”
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A lovely Egret family.

Happy Birding!

Shared this with Eileen at Viewing Nature with Eileen

~Birding in Texas, Find the Blue Eggs

High Island, Texas, Smith Oaks Rookery.

It must be a real drag to sit on the nest for hours at a time.

Nesting Great Egret
Nesting Great Egret
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Stand up, stretch, lay back down. Poor girl!
"Did I just lay these?"
“Did I just lay these?”
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“Hey, I need a break!”
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“Okay, its your turn.”
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Day Dreaming and looking pretty.
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“Hurry up and hatch!”
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“Looking good”
Smith Oaks Santuary, High Island, TX - 2017
A small section of the rookery.

Up next, the fuzzies!

 

 

~Birding in Texas

~April 7, 2017 near Beaumont, Texas

Birding, one of my favorite hobbies, can be enjoyed just about anywhere. All you need is a pair of binoculars and if you like a birding book to help you identify what birds you are spotting. It is a good way to get in some hiking as well.

When traveling across Texas it isn’t difficult to find interesting, diverse and beautiful, birding spots.

Great Egret (flyover with nesting material)

High Island, Texas not far from Beaumont, is world renowned for its birding especially during migration periods. I love to visit Smith Oaks Santuary to see what is going on. And, this time of year it is a busy place!

You can read about the birding opportunities in this area at the web-site below.

Birdinghighisland

I was able to capture this Great Egret flying over the rookery carrying nesting material. His nest sitting mate was patiently waiting for him to bring her this gift.

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A pretty big stick.

 

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Notice he has the main branch of the stick and the smaller branch in his bill. Doesn’t want to drop it after all his work on finding it.

 

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I didn’t see where he finally landed with his prize.

 

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What a beauty, with his colorful, breeding face.

I was using my Tamron 600mm lens, Canon 70D camera on a tripod. These two birds are males.

We are staying at Hidden Lake RV Park. It is a very nice RV park located off of I-10 on the west side of Beaumont. We have enjoyed walks around the lake several times. From here we can easily drive to High Island and are just 4 miles from Cattail Marsh (more on this lovely birding spot later).

Happy Birding!

Gorgeous mail Great Egret
Gorgeous mail Great Egret

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home