Jekyll Island – Wilson’s Plovers

May 5, 2014 at 4:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Wilson's Plover chick banded by Abby Sterling in 2012

Wilson’s Plover chick banded by Abby Sterling in May 2012

The above photograph was taken by bander Abby Sterling on Little St. Simons Island two years ago.  Here is the same bird I photographed on April 27, 2014 on Jekyll Island, all grown up:

Wilson's Plover, male, wearing leg bands

Wilson’s Plover, male, wearing leg bands

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jekyll Island – Songbirds

May 3, 2014 at 4:39 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Cape May Warbler, male, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Cape May Warbler, male, Jekyll Island, Georgia

I think the Cape May Warbler is a lifer for me.  At least it’s the first time I’ve ever photographed it.  This guy was foraging in a bottlebrush bush. Read the rest of this entry »

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Laughing Gull – the Seduction

May 2, 2014 at 8:53 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Girl gull seduces boy gull. See what present he gives her before they make whoopie…

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Jekyll Island – Laughing Gulls Go A-courtin’

May 2, 2014 at 8:01 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , )

Laughing Gulls Courting, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Laughing Gulls Courting, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Normally I am not too interested in the doings of gulls, but the rather handsome Laughing Gulls were engaged in an intriguing courtship and I couldn’t help but photograph it.

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I watched the smaller gull (I really didn’t know the sexes were different sizes) seem to flirt with or beg from the larger one.  Since females of many animal species are often larger, and since it’s usually the male trying to charm the reluctant female, I assumed the smaller one was the guy gull.

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Several times I watched as this teasing eventually led to the larger gull doing something curious.

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The larger gull would regurgitate a whole fish!  The smaller gull would then eat it.

A regurgitated fish

A regurgitated fish

Sometimes there would be a tug of war.  Sometimes another gull, familiar with the ritual, would swoop in and steal the gift.

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Now I know males often feed females during courtship and breeding.  Was this a coy female getting her boyfriend to cough up a gift?

Laughing Gulls mating

Laughing Gulls mating

Then I saw the larger gull would always be the one on top, in the dominant position of the male.  So I had to change my entire perspective of this courtship.  Male Laughing Gulls are bigger.  Females are the seducers.

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Happily married!

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For a one-minute video:

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Jekyll Island – Black Skimmers

May 1, 2014 at 10:47 am (Bird photography, Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

Black skimmer taking flight, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Black skimmer taking flight, Jekyll Island, Georgia

From one day’s visit to Jekyll Island, Georgia I will have several blogs to come.  I am moving to my new seasonal job in Colorado and am too busy packing to write, so I will just post the photographs. Read the rest of this entry »

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