Friday, November 26, 2010

Camera Critters

I found these beautiful birds in the same area as the flamingos when I visited Sea World on my San Diego trip. If you would like to look at any of those photos you can click on "San Diego Trip - Sept 2010 - in the selection of labels below this post.

Many of you will recognize the Snowy Egret (Egretta Thula), which can be identified by its black bill and golden feet. These small shorebirds often congregate in groups of five to twenty and can often be seen along shorelines and shallow water mudflats, hanging out with great egrets, roseate spoonbills and ibises.

In the breeding season, long plumes of feathers, called aigrates, grow from their heads which in the past almost caused their demise. At the beginning of the 19th century these airgrettes were used as a fashion accessory in Europe and America and were worth their weight in gold. Every year more than a million of these birds were killed for their ornaments. Thankfully, nowadays the snowy egrets are protected and have healthy and abundant populations along the coasts of inland waters of North and South America and in parts of Europe.

This is a Scarlet Ibis. It is the most colorful of all ibis species and is native to South America. Chicks are born gray and gradually turn pink during their first year of life. Just like flamingos, adults require carotene in their diet to maintain their color.

The Scarlet Ibis is a wading bird that belongs to the same order as herons, spoonbills and storks and like the flamingo, adults eat a diet of shrimp and other crustaceans which helps to maintain that color. Both males and females exhibit the same coloration, but young scarlet ibises are a shadow of what they will become, with gray-brown upper parts and white underbellies.

Scarlet Ibises form large colonies and build their nests in close proximity to each other in trees that are close to water.

Camera Critters is a wonderful meme created by Misty Dawn. Thank you Misty!

You can find other critter photos by clicking here.

23 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Denise...these are stunning. I love all kinds of critters and these birds are awesome.

Gill - That British Woman said...

what lovely birdies, great shots,

Gill in Canada

Cloudia said...

Scarlet took my breath away!




Aloha from Waikiki

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diane said...

What stunning colours for an ibis.

Kay said...

Fabulous action shots, Denise. Gorgeous birds, all of them.

Cezar and Léia said...

His colour is fantastic, and you have captured wonderful moments there!
Thanks for sharing!
hugs
Léia

Valerie said...

Magnificent birds. Would that I could see them in the wild ... sigh.

http://graceolsson.com/blog said...

the second is grat and the last 2 are simply....so...marvelous
congrats
http://graceolsson.com/blog/2010/11/one-day-in-your-life/

Out on the prairie said...

Like your shots and ifo. We get the egrets through the summer here in SE Iowa. I enjoy trying to get close to them.Camping near a nest was hilarious, the young are loud.

Abraham Lincoln said...

The closest birds we have here where I live that could be misconstrued as a snowy egret is the bittern and that isn't very close.

eileeninmd said...

Just beautiful Denise. I would love the see the Scarlet Ibis in person.

gigihawaii said...

Beautiful photography as usual, Denise. Love the colors!

Lois Evensen said...

What absolutely gorgeous images! Just beautiful!

Michelle said...

Ooh snowy egrets are one of my favorite birds. Used to enjoy watching them near the canals in south Florida.

Wonderful shot!

Margaret Cloud said...

Very pretty birds, love their color. Have a nice Sunday.

Melissa B. said...

Can you believe the unreal colors of those flamingoes? Thanks so much for sharing these Superior Snaps!

mawardi said...

Nice ficture

magiceye said...

gorgeous captures!!

Francisca said...

White is always elegant, but the scarlet is no extraordinary in nature! Nice bird shots, Denise.

lina@happy family said...

Amazing shots :)

Y. Ikeda said...

Hi Denise,
Thank you for commenting on my blog. Scarlet Ibises are sooo beautiful. That's incredible. Maybe I should eat more shrimps to look better!
Have a nice day.

Kathiesbirds said...

Very well written post Denise! You know me, I love those birds!

JM said...

The Egret close-up is fantastic! As to the red Ibis, I've never seen them in the wild and would love to although I'm not planning any trip to Guiana... at least in a near future! :-)