Florida Birds Go Fishing

By Vladimir Brezina

In February, we spent a few days kayaking on the Gulf Coast of Florida, in the St. Petersburg area. While Johna was edging into artistry at the Sweetwater Kayak Symposium, I rented a kayak and paddled around taking photos of birds.

There were birds everywhere. And while not exactly tame, they were not shy at all. In fact, they had clearly found that in some ways living beak-to-cheek with humans was to their advantage.

While some of the birds still did their own fishing in the old-fashioned way…

… others had found that there was a better way. Every human fisherman—and there were many—had at least one or two birds looking over his shoulder. Of course, it’s possible that they were just being friendly

Pelicans mobbed the fishing docks

This man had to fight to keep his fish

Expectant birds stood everywhere

And this man harvesting some critters or other along the shore had very attentive company

that moved in as soon as his back was turned

Many more bird photos from that trip still to come!

44 responses to “Florida Birds Go Fishing

  1. These birds are all around us all the time; funny to see them waiting for the fishermen to catch something. Normally they just dive in for their meals. LOL!


  2. Nice shots! And the birds are lovely


  3. Pingback: Florida Birds Go Fishing | Wind Against Current | Kemah Kayak Fishing

  4. Reblogged this on Versatile Blogger Award and commented:
    Take a look at the photographs of the birds in this post! Very nice!


  5. Great birds, thanks for sharing MJ


  6. Amazing! We have all these birds here in Jamaica, but I have never seen them being so bold – they are a little more shy and don’t go fishing with humans!


  7. Love this! I’m from Florida and this is a familiar experience. They’re beautiful birds; but can be oh so annoying when you’re trying to fish. Thanks for sharing. You Matter! Smiles, Nancy


  8. Imagine just how many people must go fishing in Florida for the birds to have learned its far more rewarding hanging about for a handout/missed one, than going fishing themselves!
    They’re fantastic shots Vlad. I especially love the first …


  9. Great photos. Amazing how unafraid herons and egrets are along the Gulf. I always take tons of bird shots when I’m in that area. The blue herons where I live are very secretive and take flight when te see you from several yards away.


    • Here in NYC they also fly away if you try to approach too closely. To be fair, so did the herons in Florida—except the ones that were clearly hanging around people. And it was interesting how different bird species had different comfort zones—the blue herons were actually relatively shy, whereas some night herons allowed me to come so close I could almost pet them…


  10. Sounds like a birders paradise! Great photos! I just love that the heron is so close to the fisherman.


  11. Love the first shot! Looks like it could be in National Geographic.


  12. Stunning .. They look so curious …


  13. The herons look quite comical, particularly the one hiding behind the wall :)


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  15. I love our birds in Florida! I’m actually in the Tampa Bay Area. Next time you are here, you should kayak Weeki Wachee Spings River, if you haven’t already. I have blogged about it a few times already. Not an avid kayaker, like you, but I enjoyed it! The views are stunning and the water crystal clear!


  16. Nice pics, lovely birds, may they live long and reproduce themselves a lot so we can always have them fly high and low over land and over the sea.


  17. is fantastic blog!!!!!!


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  20. These are wonderful shots, and you’re so right – they really are opportunistic birds. On the one hand, it is a bit worrisome when wild creatures become so easily habituated to humans, but on the other hand, it’s an adaptability that helps ensure their survival. That, and it’s very entertaining to behold.


    • Very entertaining! These birds in Florida are not exactly tame, but they are very bold. They come right up to you—still keeping a minimal distance, but that distance can be very small. Great for bird photography! :-)


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