|I didn't do much dedicated bird
watching but just took pictures of what I came across so many of these
"wild" animals are actually in a sanctuary or similar. EG this bald
eagle that had just taken a bath was at the Audubon
Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland just North of Orlando in
Florida. They are open most days (not Monday or public holidays) and
they charge for entry. The birds they have are either for eventual
release after medical treatment and "training" or if that is not an
option then they keep them for display and education.
It does mean you can see the birds up close. They had several owls, American kestrel, osprey, merlin, snail kite, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, caracara, plus black and turkey vultures... I've put a link to there website at the bottom of this page.
|Merlin at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.|
|I could claim this was in the
wild but three sandhill cranes came into my hotel car park most
mornings and were very tame. I think it was parents with one young as
one of the birds was a little smaller with a dull red patch.
|I enjoyed seeing these large wild birds so close on several mornings and it was a pleasure to see them flying around and calling to each other. Not sure if a diet of white sliced bread is good for them but I didn't feed them.|
|I went to Disney Celebration
"planned community" where I snapped this red-shouldered hawk close to
the downtown area. they are a common bird but good to see in an urban
area. As the Florida population rises wildlife that can adapt will do
well but I worry about the rest.
|At Disney Celebration I also got
this shot which I love. It was only about 50 yards from downtown across
the street from the town hall. I'm not sure which bird it is but maybe
a sharp-shinned hawk? My impression was that it was smaller than a
red-shouldered or red-tailed hawk. Sharp-shinned hawks are often seen
in urban areas as they will wait near a bird table to grab a smaller
I went back a couple of days later and it was sitting on a house roof close to downtown but when I stopped to try and get another photo it flew off.
|Double-crested cormorant also in downtown Celebration.|
|Male boat-tailed grackle at downtown Celebration. They are very tame as they are fed by the locals. I like this picture because I got the reflection of the bird.|
|Black swan nesting in downtown Orlando right by the cafe and near the open air stage at Lake Eola. Nice urban wildlife shot with the buildings in the background.|
|Also at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando where these white ibis. I assume this is winter or immature plumage as they have a bright red bill in the summer.|
|Red cardinal at the bird table
by the hide at Bok Tower Gardens. They also had red-winged blackbirds,
common grackle, rufus-sided towhee, a wren (but I don't know which
species), anhinga, blue jay, etc. I could hear a woodpecker but
didn't see it.
|Blue jay at Bok Tower Gardens. I
have seen a Florida scrub jay on a previous visit but not this time.
|Osprey on post at the lakeside
near historic downtown
Kissimmee (this is not the same place as Old Town Kissimmee.) Osprey
are very common in Florida but I still like to see them.
|This was also at the lake shore
in historic downtown
Kissimmee. Not worked out which egret it is yet but just like the
focused way it is hunting just a few feet away from me.
|Another egret or is it a heron seen at lakeside in historic downtown Kissimmee.|
|Roseate spoonbill in Florida
Aquarium (in Tampa) where they also had black-necked stilt, American
oyster catcher, ruddy ducks, green-winged teal, white ibis, great
owl, hooded merganser, various egrets and herons... Think they were
mostly rescue birds
that were not fit enough to release.
|Yellow-crowned night heron at
the Florida Aquarium. I'm not sure if I have ever seen one of these
before. Again I could claim it was in the wild as you can not see
anything man made in the shot.
|Flock of black skimmers on Cocoa Beach where they also had various gulls, royal terns, sanderlings, ruddy turnstone, brown pelican, willet, etc. All birds I've seen before but still enjoy.|
|Black skimmers on Cocoa Beach.
|Sanderling on Cocoa Beach. I like the reflection in this shot.|
|Ruddy Turnstone on Cocoa Beach.|
|Willet on Cocoa Beach.|
|Royal terns and gulls on Cocoa
|Male anhinga at Disney Marketplace by the Lego shop. I like this shot as you can see the Lego in the background and it shows how easy it can be to see wildlife in Florida.|
|Raccoon in Lori Wilson Park
behind Cocoa Beach. I know they are common but you usually see them at
|Look out for these signs. This
one was at Bok Tower Gardens notice the oranges in the background.
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