Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trash Birds

The Citrus County Landfill may seem like a strange place to go birding - but we spent over two hours watching trash birds. The landfill is very public friendly - especially for birders - and gave us maps, bright orange vests and instructions to stay near our car and away from the heavy machinery.

There was lots of trash and the odor wasn't always pleasant, but we were rewarded with some fabulous birds. There were more Bald Eagles then I've ever seen in one place. Vultures, both Turkey and Black, were everywhere and there were huge flocks of Gulls, Grackles, Cowbirds and Blackbirds.

King of the hill.

I'm still working on action shots.

This is a juvenile Bald Eagle - and we must have seen a dozen.

Another juvenile. They don't get their white heads and tails for almost 5 years.

I love this shot. He was sparring with another juvenile.

He took off and landed a couple of times.

Three Wild Turkeys crossing the road in front of the porta-pottie. I usually like nicer background for my pictures - but this WAS the nicer background!

There are two varieties of vulture here in Florida - the more common Turkey Vultures and this one - a Black Vulture. They have white on their wing tips - and ugly black heads.

On our way home we stopped to check on our celebrity bird - little miss Whooping Crane #16-10 (one of only 500). She is still keeping company with several Sandhill Cranes just up the road from OTOW.

In the next month or so she should head north - probably to Wisconsin. I hope she meets up with more of her own kind along the way. I'll be keeping track of her via Operation Migration.

This Barred Owl isn't from today's trip - in fact, it isn't even from this year. It was on the camera disk and I thought it was worth posting.

1 comment:

Bob Pelkey said...

Hi Gale,

There are great birds at landfills indeed. When driving near the Venice area, be sure to visit Pinelands Preserve/ landfill at exit 195 on I-75. Your flight shots of the eagles are super sharp. Don't forget to increase your exposure bias when photographing dark birds against a bright background. The opposite applies when photographing white birds against a dark background.