Cormorants, Ahingas, Wood Storks, Great Herons, and Great Blue Herons
December is the beginning of breeding season in South Florida. Hence, many birds had brilliant eyes and plumage. Note the brilliant eye on
this cormorant.
When we got to Sanibel, I was frustrated by the backlighting of sunset. But then I made lemonade with my lemons by getting these backlit
photos of cormorants.
The Anhinga, sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. The
word anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird. When swimming the origin of the name snakebird is
apparent as: only the colored neck appears above water so the bird looks like a snake ready to strike.
Once again notice the brilliant eye of this bird reflecting the fact that it is breeding season.
The Wood Stork is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "wood ibis", though it is not an ibis. As
of June 26, 2014 it is classified as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Wood Storks roosting at sunset.
Great Herons are large birds with impressive wingspans. They hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to
capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill. Great Egrets were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century,
sparking  conservation movements and some of the first laws to protect birds.
In the morning these herons were usually standing next to the water looking for breakfast. Later in the day they tended to hang out on
branches.
In the Big Cypress, we drove along dirt roads like this one and often shot our pictures from the car window. The car often makes a great bird
blind.
Curiously, we only saw a modest number of Great Blue Heron.