US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7/22

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AsydaBass
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US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7/22

Post by AsydaBass » July 17th, 2013, 7:35 pm

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share a couple of photos of a flamingo that has been hanging around Florida Bay. Last week I saw a flock of 31 in one of the more remote parts of the park, but this loner likes to hang around the slightly more accessible area during low tide. I was out photographing from the kayak the other day when I saw the flamingo in the distance. Being low tide, I wasn't going to be able to make it all the way out to the bird for at least a couple of hours. All of a sudden while clicking away, the bird took off and starting flying right towards us! It flew overhead so close that the whole body didn't fit in the frame at only 300mm! It landed not far in front of us and remained there until we had our share of shots and paddled away. It was certainly one of my more interesting encounters out there.

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Here are some of the Black-necked Stilt photos. There are all sizes of young on the mudflats, from unhatched to almost full sized.

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These are from the day before, when the nest was unattended.

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Some young stilts

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Watch out little ones, it's a big world out there

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That's it for the long-legged birds. I'll try to get some other bird photos up soon. Summer birding in Florida can be a treat if you know where to go.

-Don
http://www.RainforestDon.com

Tamara D. McConnell
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » July 17th, 2013, 8:31 pm

LOVE that flamingo! The baby stilts are wonderful, as well.

AsydaBass
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt

Post by AsydaBass » July 18th, 2013, 5:44 am

Thanks, Tamara. It was a wonderful week out on the bay. With the exception of the Least terns, the other shore birds aren't nesting out there yet, but many species are now donning their beautiful summer plumage.

-Don
www.RainforestDon.com

VICtort
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt

Post by VICtort » July 18th, 2013, 7:11 am

Stilts in your area make impressive , conspicuous nests apparently. In California's Imperial Valley, they often nest on parched, barren canal banks, devoid of any vegetation and the nesting stilts endure 105-115 + f temps (air temp). I suspect coyote and raccoon and egret/heron predation is high, perhaps that is why the minimal nest...also tides are not a factor. Interesting photos, kayaks are a wonderful way to access wildlife habitat.

Happy yaking, Vic

J-Miz
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt

Post by J-Miz » July 21st, 2013, 5:07 pm

As per usual, absolutely fabulous photos, Don.

AsydaBass
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt

Post by AsydaBass » July 22nd, 2013, 8:55 am

Quick update: I'm still seeing the flamingo hanging around at low tide, but not the whole flock, only the individual pictured.
There appears to be around six families of Black-necked Stilts on this particular stretch of mud flat. Here's a photo of a different chick from yesterday's paddle. The stilt nest from the original post hasn't hatched yet.

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Here's a typical nest with an atypical egg count. You can see a bit more of the habitat here. The nests are made on top of semi-solid floating mats made of vegetation and mud. While they're still too unstable to support a person's weight, they are firmer than the surrounding exposed mud.

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Thanks again for looking!

-Don
http://www.rainforestdon.com

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chrish
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by chrish » July 22nd, 2013, 7:30 pm

Neat photos, neat story.

Where do the FL Flamingos nest? Are they Cuban birds?

AsydaBass
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by AsydaBass » July 22nd, 2013, 8:21 pm

Hey Chris,

Last Sept. we got photos of a banded flamingo, only the second to be recorded in the park. We called it in and turns out that it was banded two years earlier in the Yucatan, Mexico. Pretty neat!

-Don
www.rainforestdon.com

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Andy Avram
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by Andy Avram » July 26th, 2013, 4:47 am

I have always wanted to see a wild Flamingo - any species, anywhere. Very cool to see some pictures of Florida birds. Do you know if they are present every year in the Everglades? I know they aren't easy to get to much of the time (like kayak/canoe out to where they are), but with a little bit of effort can you expect to see them yearly?

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chrish
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by chrish » July 26th, 2013, 6:44 am

There was a banded flamingo (from the Yucatan) along the Texas coast for a number of years (2005-2007ish) then that same bird showed up in 2011 in Louisiana, IIRC. It apparently has been hanging out on the gulf coast between corpus christi, tx and somewhere in western LA for years. It showed up as a juvenile right after a big tropical storm went across the Yucatan and blew it to Texas. I don't remember its tag number, but it was definitely a first year bird (in 2005) that was banded in the Yucatan.

Interestingly, "Pinkie" as it got named started hanging out with another American Flamingo that showed up on the coast and was later traced to an escaped zoo animal from Missouri or Kansas or somewhere like that. Pinkie is still out there somewhere wearing here tag from Celestun. I never bothered to chase Pinkie because I'd seen a lot of American Flamingos in their normal range. And somehow, after the first few months of being out of its normal range, it didn't feel like a wild "vagrant" any more to me and somehow doesn't feel countable.

I was birding at Laguna Atascosa NWR (lower Rio Grande Valley, TX) in the early 90s with some friends from grad school. We were scanning with binos and one of the least experienced birders in our party took the scope to scan the salt flats. She said "Hey, this looks like a flamingo". We all chuckled and said "No, that's a Roseate Spoonbill". She said "Wow, I didn't know they looked so much like Flamingos!". So I went to the scope and looked. It was a Flamingo. Turned out (later) to be identified as the African Race of Greater Flamingo and clearly an escaped bird. So I guess I can say I have seen a "wild" flamingo in the US.

Reptiluvr
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by Reptiluvr » July 29th, 2013, 5:10 pm

Awesome pics! You're lucky to get to see Flamingos so close!

reptileexperts
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by reptileexperts » August 2nd, 2013, 12:34 am

chrish wrote:There was a banded flamingo (from the Yucatan) along the Texas coast for a number of years (2005-2007ish) then that same bird showed up in 2011 in Louisiana, IIRC. It apparently has been hanging out on the gulf coast between corpus christi, tx and somewhere in western LA for years. It showed up as a juvenile right after a big tropical storm went across the Yucatan and blew it to Texas. I don't remember its tag number, but it was definitely a first year bird (in 2005) that was banded in the Yucatan.

Interestingly, "Pinkie" as it got named started hanging out with another American Flamingo that showed up on the coast and was later traced to an escaped zoo animal from Missouri or Kansas or somewhere like that. Pinkie is still out there somewhere wearing here tag from Celestun. I never bothered to chase Pinkie because I'd seen a lot of American Flamingos in their normal range. And somehow, after the first few months of being out of its normal range, it didn't feel like a wild "vagrant" any more to me and somehow doesn't feel countable.

I was birding at Laguna Atascosa NWR (lower Rio Grande Valley, TX) in the early 90s with some friends from grad school. We were scanning with binos and one of the least experienced birders in our party took the scope to scan the salt flats. She said "Hey, this looks like a flamingo". We all chuckled and said "No, that's a Roseate Spoonbill". She said "Wow, I didn't know they looked so much like Flamingos!". So I went to the scope and looked. It was a Flamingo. Turned out (later) to be identified as the African Race of Greater Flamingo and clearly an escaped bird. So I guess I can say I have seen a "wild" flamingo in the US.
Heh, yep I remember those two flamingos very well from 2009-2011, they have been traveling around together, and already have a report of our friend from the yucatan this year down near south padre per Jon M. ;-), I chased them in LA, but missed out by about 48 hours.

AsydaBass
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Re: US Flamingo and nesting stilt- UPDATED with new photos 7

Post by AsydaBass » August 2nd, 2013, 7:00 am

That's great info, Chris. I'm still seeing this guy on a near daily basis down here. There are other sighting from last week from the Dry Tortugas, but that really quite a ways off from here.

All f the stilt nests in this area have hatched now, as have the Least Terns.

-Don
www.rainforestdon.com

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