Readers’ wildlife photos

February 13, 2023 • 8:15 am

I will beg no more: we have about four days’ worth of photos left, and when they run out, the feature will end—until readers send more pictures.

Today’s batch, as we circle the drain, comes from Paul Edelman of Vanderbilt University. Paul’s notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Here is the second part of my Florida birding trip [JAC: Part 1 is here] which focuses on marsh birds.  Our first stop was Ocala Wetland Recharge Park where we saw this Sora  (Porzana Carolina) Sora are usually quite shy, but this one was rather cooperative.  We also saw a flock of Hooded Mergansers there (Lophodytes cucullatus).


Hooded Mergansers:

Even shyer than the Sora is the American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus).  I had seen one only once before, and that was a fly-over while in a boat and the only way I knew it was a bittern was my guide’s identification.  But this bittern, which we saw at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary plopped itself down right in front of us.  He was so close, less than 10 feet, that I couldn’t get his whole body into the picture.

American Bittern:

The rest of the photos are from Harns Marsh.  It is common for us to see Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) here as they are year-round residents.  Year-round residents also include Limpkins (Aramus guarauna) and Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus).

Sandhill Crane:


Glossy Ibis:

Less common to see are the Roseate Spoonbills (Platalea ajaja).  The water was quite low at the marsh, which I think is what led to our seeing less common birds, the Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutillaand Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata).  The first two identifications are tentative—it is difficult to tell the difference between the Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, this one has a bit of up-turned beak which I think is a good sign for my guess.  Sandpipers are a nightmare for me to identify, but most things point to it being a Least.  But, if another reader has a better idea, I am certainly open to It!

Roseate Spoonbill:

Greater Yellowlegs:

Wilson’s Snipe:

Least Sandpiper:

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Excellent photos, Professor! The American Bittern especially. I also tussle with sandpiper identifications, but feel you are correct with both calls you made here.

  2. Very nice pictures. I wish we had a few more of those birds in the UK!

    It would be a great shame if this feature had to end because there weren’t enough contributions to post one every day. Surely two or three a week would be better than none at all?

  3. PS It is interesting how the vast majority of these birds are very similar to their Eurasian cousins. I wonder who evolved where?

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