Tag Archives: Birds

Bountiful, New York Style

By Vladimir Brezina

The Pigeon Lady, today in Rat Park—

Feeding the pigeons
Feeding the pigeons
... and the squirrels!

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Bountiful. Another contribution is here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

The only way to build up endurance is to endure…

Icy day at the Reservoir
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In response to this week’s Photo Challenge, Endurance. The first response was here.

Chicks on the Beach

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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On a beautiful Sunday morning, Vlad went out to photograph chicks on the beach.

No… it’s not what you’re thinking!

We were staying at the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida, where my company had just finished its annual conference. We tacked on a few days of vacation at the end.

And on the last day we heard about something unusual: a patch of beach where black skimmers (a kind of tern) were hatching their chicks. It was about a half-mile or so up the beach to the north, sandwiched right between hotels, roped off but otherwise out in the open, among the sunbathers and beach joggers.

St. Pete Beach birds 1So not too early on a Sunday morning, Vlad and I ventured out to see the skimmers and their chicks.



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Everybody Loves the Beach

By Vladimir Brezina

Black skimmers on the beach

Click on the photo to enlarge it. Story and more photos here!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Extra, Extra.

You’re fishing! Would you like some extra help?

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This looks like a fair division of labor…

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More photos are here and here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Split-Second Story.

What are the stories here? We can only guess—

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Another Split-Second Story is here.

Birds, Aids to Navigation

By Vladimir Brezina

What’s wrong with this picture? (Click on it to examine it in more detail.)

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There’s a bird standing right where we are headed!

Nigel Foster, in his book on Florida kayaking, tells a humorous story about his researches into the length of various birds’ legs, with a view to using them as a measure of the depth of water in which the birds were standing.

I thought it was just a good story—but that was before we started paddling in Florida. Then I realized that it is actually a very practical measure.

There is so much shallow water in the Florida Everglades—especially in Florida Bay, where it is often just inches deep—and so many birds, that it sometimes seems that all shoals have at least one bird standing on them. You can see the birds from far off.

And if you see a standing bird, you want to keep clear of that spot. The water is too shallow, even for a kayak.

Bird and dolphin

On the other hand, if you see a dolphin, you can probably pass ;-)

A more practiced eye, like Nigel’s, will notice the length of leg immersed. If you don’t see the knees of a large egret or heron, you might be OK.

Heron standing

But if you see gulls standing, you really don’t want to go there!

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This last photo was taken on Long Island, NY—so the rules seem to apply beyond Florida, although more research in the field is clearly required… ;-)