Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bill Chill




I was out at Cedar Key last week on that windiest, coldest day of our little cold snap. The highs that day stayed in the low to mid 40's and strong steady winds made it feel a lot cooler. The temperature wasn't the only thing that was low. The tide had "left the building", pushed out by following winds that emptied the marsh of water.

I was cozy in my 20 year old NPS Northface parka and vest, but most of the birds looked pretty uncomfortable. For one thing, there just weren't any visible LGB types around. I think the wind was too much for them and they were hunkered down in the woods.

The easiest birds to find were the waders and waterfowl. There was a lot of bill tucking going on. The blue heron sheltering in the mangroves had his bill tucked away for warmth and a good sheltered spot. I lingered in that area for a while and even came back later, but he had not moved.


Up on a powerpole, a flock of ....(what are these?) ... were nestled together. There must have been about a dozen of these large birds ... (doves of some kind?) ... fluffed against the windchill.

Out on the cold water, rafts of scaup were alternately resting and feeding. Lots of bills tucked in there too.

They get a separate post.

11 comments:

Suze said...

Yup - those are doves. Can't tell if they're ground doves, white winged doves or ring necked doves - but one thing's for sure - they're doves.

Deb said...

I checked my Sibley's field guide, and they look like Inca doves although I could not see all of the field marks. The scaly looking feathers were the best clue. We had one of those in Minnesota this fall (first ever record of one) but apparently it finally wised up and headed south.

threecollie said...

Alas winter has returned to NY too...but we had a mockingbird this morning. Don't know what's up with that. Don't know your doves either, but they are pretty.

Knoxcounty said...

The look like the European colored doves that have become a bit of a nuisance in NE Missouri. The like to sit on power lines and repeat a monotonous coo-a coo-a coo-a many times and often. Did you hear their call?

The Troll said...

Eurasian Collared Dove or Mourning Dove would be my guesses. If you look up their habitat habits, you'll probably get the correct answer.

pablo said...

I thought mourning dove as well, but I'd defer to the others.

My boy was down there for the Orange Bowl. The cold surprised him.

Deb said...

oops, I may have to retract my first comment. I hadn't looked at the map, and Inca doves aren't "supposed" to be in Florida. Not that birds always do what they're supposed to, but they are more likely Eurasian collared doves.

rick said...

cat food

Floridacracker said...

Thanks all.
Too big for mourning doves in my opinion so I was leaning to the Eurasian collared dove category too, but I didn't have time to search properly this morn.
I knew y'all would have good ideas.

amarkonmywall said...

I still think mourning doves. I can't say I was sorry to be in warmer climes although it's been beautiful back here yesterday and today. GREAT Kingfisher pix and I would have thought he was getting tangled if you hadn't said no. And- thanks for the duck stamp link!

I probably missed it (I'll go back to older posts) but I hope the girls got back to school without a hitch. We did watch the Bulls and Ducks- I figure Hoss was just beside himself.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Weather is in the 40s here too, but birds still coming to the feeder. No bill tucking here.