Homosassa Springs State Park, Florida

February 22, 2014 at 7:03 am (Birds- Florida, Florida State Parks, Great Florida Birding Trail, Nature, Wildlife, Zoos) (, , , , , , )

Bald Eagle - Angry Bird?

Bald Eagle – Angry Bird?

I don’t usually like photographing captive animals, but Homosassa Springs State Park in Florida has birds in an outdoor exhibit without obstructing bars or mesh.   That gives a more intimate experience, and most of them are native species.  Some of these birds have been injured in some way, so they cannot fly.  Others, like the brown pelicans, are completely wild and have chosen to make nests and raise a family amid the non-native flamingos  and the native ibis, egrets, herons, ducks.

Patriot

Patriot

It’s hard to find a captive bald eagle exhibit that doesn’t have an American flag draped in the background. Read the rest of this entry »

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Space Coast Birding Festival a Blast (mostly)

February 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm (Birds- Florida, Great Florida Birding Trail, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Photography) (, , , , , )

Brown Pelican at sunset

Brown Pelican at sunset

I was hooked on birds at age 9, thanks to Mr. Percy O. Turner of Harahan, Louisiana.  He and his gray-haired wife lived across the street, and as kids did in those days, I went over to say hello.  I think I wanted to know about the noisy guinea hens caged in the front yard, and somehow we got to talking about birds.  You see, Mr. Turner was a hunter, of which I did not approve, but he had many beautiful feathers – iridescent greens and blues of mallards, a mourning dove’s soft browns, even the cerulean of a blue jay tail feather that he found in the yard. He also had some bird calls he used for hunting, and he told me that instead of being “horse crazy” (aren’t all little girls?) I should learn to like birds.

Whooping Crane, Homosassa Springs State Park (captive)

Whooping Crane, Homosassa Springs State Park (captive)

You never know what kind of influence for good or evil you will have on a young child, but that one encounter changed my life.  Even though we moved away soon after, I had tried several times as I grew up to let him know how much I appreciated that advice.  My nickname in school was “Birdbrain” because I studied birds, brought bird books to school, drew birds, and watched them in the schoolyard.  It was a moniker I wore with pride. Read the rest of this entry »

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