Jekyll Island Shorebirds

May 4, 2014 at 4:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Royal Tern in courtship pose

Royal Tern in courtship pose

This is the time of year that the royal terns have their best caps on, and strut their stuff with panache.  The males weren’t bringing little fish to seduce the females like they did last year.  Perhaps there weren’t any of their favored kind?  Or perhaps it was too early or too late in the courtship?

Royal terns courting

Royal terns courting

At any rate, a few pairs were doing their endearing pas de deux as a preliminary to mating.

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I don’t know how they tell the sexes apart, but last year I remember noticing a slightly more red tinge in the male’s bill.

Willet

Willet

In the dunes behind the Wilson’s Plover nesting area, a willet screeched and chased a fish crow away from her nest.

Eggshell

Eggshell

Perhaps her eggs had just hatched?  This shell was found under the rope at the Wilson’s Plover nesting area.  It seemed a little large for a plover’s egg, and the plovers weren’t giving the “stay away” whistle, so it was probably the Willet’s.

Forster's Tern, non-breeding plumage

Forster’s Tern, non-breeding plumage

Several Forster’s Terns were present in breeding colors, and a couple who hadn’t discarded their winter duds.

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Forster’s Tern, breeding plumage

Royal Tern in flight

Royal Tern in flight

Common Tern

Common Tern

At the observation tower at the Welcome Center, there were several types of birds feeding during high tide and in the mudflats.

Dunlin changing into breeding plumage

Dunlin changing into breeding plumage

Short-billed dowitcher

Short-billed dowitcher

Semipalmated plover

Semipalmated plover

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

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1 Comment

  1. Angie. Tillman said,

    When you return to the south, how about doing a birding/photo class? A Jekyll Island weekend of learning from you would be awesome!

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