Birding in the Everglades
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We went on an airboat ride in the Everglades. It’s a good way to see the birds and I would thoroughly recommend it! Highlights were my first sightings of American White Pelicans, Wood Storks, a White Ibis and the odd Magnificent Frigatebird.

The American White Pelican is huge- the USA’s second largest bird in wingspan (up to 10 feet) - but don’t dive for fish (like the smaller Brown Pelican) but feed from the surface. They are too buoyant apparently. Disturbed by our boat, and being a gregarious bird, the flocks flying low over the water were impressive.

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We got up very close to a juvenile Green Heron (left) still with fluffy hairs on its head – intent on spearing a catch.

An impressive Great Egret (right), was not the least bit bothered by our boat.

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Circling effortlessly above were the occasional Turkey Vulture with its huge 6 foot wingspan, and the more common Black Vulture (4’ 6”). As we approached the visitor centre, large groups of Black vultures lined the waterway – so many that one wonders how they manage to find enough to eat! We saw plenty more of these later,
wherever we went.

Other firsts here for me were the Common Grackle and the larger Boat-tailed Grackle (left)– a Crow-like black bird with a tail as long as its body, held in a V shape like a ship’s keel.

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Perhaps more about other parts of the trip later – watch this page.

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