Welcome to Week #37 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #37 challenge belongs to the Birds with White Feathers!
The feature image is a Laughing Gull in flight right under my nose.
Is white a color? Crayola sure considered it a color in 1930 when the white crayon was added to a 16 count box. However, technically black and white are not colors and are considered shades. Pure white is the absence of color. Our white feathered friends lack color but when you have other accent colors, the 50 shades of white are quite attractive.
Many of my white feathered birds are left out this week and will be in next week’s blog, Birds beginning with an “E”. No Egrets this week, but stay tuned for next week.
Adult breeding Ring-billed Gulls have a solid white head. This Gull appears to be a non-breeding adult or just on the cusp of complete adulthood. Shorebirds are some of the hardest birds to identify and much harder to determine breeding vs. non-breeding and adult vs. juvenile or first winter. These gulls can be found on beaches, lakes, rivers, pasture land and even the garbage dumps. They like hanging out in parking lots looking for any morsel that has been dropped by a human.
This non-breeding Bonaparte’s Gull was seen at St. Mark’s Wildlife Refuge in January of this year. Did you know that Bonaparte’s Gull is the only gull species that regularly nests in trees?
The Roseate Spoonbill is one of six spoonbill species in the world and the only one found in the America’s. I captured this one feeding in the riparian area between Viera Wetlands and River Lakes Conservation Area yesterday. Interesting fact: Spoonbills are much like humans. Many of us experience hair loss as we get older (me). Roseate Spoonbills loose feathers on top of their head as they age, making them bald in many cases.
The largest woodpecker in North America at 15.8-19.3 inches (40-49 cm) and one of the loudest peckers there is. Other woodpeckers can be heard, but this one echos them all. The bill is long and tapered and is about the length of the head. Makes quick work on a tree that is infested with insects. White stripes on the face and neck blended with the black body and striking red triangular head, makes this an exceptional bird to add to your list. Woody Woodpecker never looked so good!
The Red-headed woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a red head and big chisel-like bill. The back is black with white wing patches with an all white belly. The red head is striking against the shades of black and white.
For the definition of color, the Wood Stork has none. They only have shades of black and white. These are large prehistoric looking birds at just over 3 feet tall (85-115 cm). Wood Storks nest in trees above standing water. They need this water to keep the nest cool. Both male and female gather sticks and build the nest together. It takes the pair 2-3 days to build the nest while they continue to make improvements throughout the nesting period. These Wood Storks, along with other birds (see Snowy Egret below), were frantically building their nests in the bird sanctuary at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida. One of the largest rookeries in Florida.
White Ibis says it all. No color here except the face, bill and legs. Females are smaller than males and they weigh less, have shorter bills and shorter wings. The young have straight bills when they hatch. Their bills will begin to curve downward when they are 14 days old.
This pair came to Florida in a flock migrating south. The Ross’s Goose must have been along for the ride because he isn’t a regular visitor. This was a rare sighting at the University of North Florida a few years ago. Ross’s Goose is similar to Snow Geese with white feathers and black wingtips, however they are smaller with a shorter bill.
The Tricolored Heron should be renamed Multi-colored Heron. The cobalt blue mixed with their dull yellow legs provides them with shades of pink and brown hues in their feathers. This heron is distinguished by its white belly. The breeding adult will have the white feathers at the top of their head.
Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.
Next time…Week #38 – Birds beginning with the letter “E” (if a bird has more than one word of the name, you can use it as long as it begins with a “E”, ie: Egyptian Goose or Bald Eagle).