Welcome to Week #39 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #39 challenge is birds that eat fish as their primary diet such as birds of prey and shorebirds.
NOTE: I’ve done a little rearranging of the themes for the next couple of weeks. I changed the monochrome (black & white | sepia) challenge to Week #40 to go in line with Cee’s Anything in Flight Black and White Challenge. See my Bird Weekly page for the changes. I am also taking the week of March 28th off, so no Bird Weekly on April 2nd. Frank and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary that week and will likely be out birding since we are not getting on an airplane anytime soon.
The feature image is a Black Skimmer going in for the kill. I watched him scoop of a fish but I didn’t get the fish in the photo. They are fast eaters.
Some of my photos this week have been in other blogs, not necessarily Bird Weekly, but some are being recycled specifically for this challenge. Not all my birds were caught eating fish, but they are fish eaters. You do not have to show your fish eating birds in the act.
Anhingas are experts at catching fish. They glide through shallow freshwater with only their heads sticking up, resembling a snake. They will dip below the water’s surface after stalking unaware fish, stabbing the fish with their razor sharp bill. Sometimes they are seen drying their wings and one fish gets a little too close and gets plucked out of the water like the fish in the photo above. The wing drying can wait!
Ospreys can be found near open water. Freshwater, brackish and saltwater may be a hunting ground for Osprey. Anywhere fish is plentiful. They can be seen circling high in the sky before diving feet first to grab a fish out of the water. They nest high on poles and or manmade platforms near water. The Osprey in this photo was multitasking. Guess he needed to relieve himself before indulging in lunch.
This Great Egret adorns my Bird Weekly badge. This was a little over a year ago at Fort Desoto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida. This egret decided to raid the bait bucket of a nearby fisherman. Smart! I patiently watched as he slyly pranced up to the bucket. Slowly, methodically, looking around and bam!
Similar to the Anhinga, Cormorants have an S-shaped neck and stalk their prey the same way as they glide through the water with only their head up until the right moment for them to snatch their fish. These are new photos that I got a couple of weeks ago at Viera Wetlands. I was so excited because I knew this topic was coming up. Thank you for the cooperation!
This cunning Green Heron will crouch patiently to surprise fish. They are great at camouflaging themselves within their environment and will sometimes lure the fish in with a twig or insects as bait. With that sharp pointed bill, they stab their prey.
This Great Blue Heron waits patiently for fish to pop up out of this pipe at Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida. I waited and watched for a while, but never caught him in action. It must be plentiful because he was there in the morning and later when we made another pass through 5 hours later in the afternoon.
Royal Terns fly slowly along coastlines, diving for small fish. A swift daggerlike movement with their sharp bill will yield them a meal. Many times you will see them in large flocks, however, this lone tern was doing things on its own. I watched it come in, snag the fish and play with it for a bit before gulping it down.
The Belted Kingfisher can be seen patrolling rivers and shorelines. Their food source is primarily aquatic prey. Their loud high-pitched call is distinguishable and often times will be heard before they dive to catch their fish. They are fast flyers and difficult to photograph.
Two Black Skimmers searching for fish along the shore at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida. These birds fish by feel, not by site. When they feel a fish in their open beaks, they relax the neck and quickly close their jaws by whipping the fish out of the water. Because they fish like this, they can fish at night as well.
American White Pelicans are larger than the Brown Pelicans but when it comes to fishing, they have different styles. The American White Pelican will land on the water’s surface, dipping their head into the water catching fish and other aquatic prey. The Brown Pelicans plunge dive from high above the sky to catch their fish.
Bald Eagles are opportunists. They will hunt for fish and small mammals, but they are more likely to steal already captured fish from an Osprey or smaller Hawk than to go fishing the hard way. They are the National bird of the United States and can be considered the most beautiful pirates in the sky, stealing from those more vulnerable than themselves. Politics!!!! Left this one in here just because it worked perfectly for the challenge.
Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.
Next time…Week #40 – Black and White or Sepia toned photos. Your choice of birds.