March 19, 2014 2nd Post from Goose Island, Texas

Brown pelican
Brown pelican

Spring Must Be Here!

As I drove wandered about the campground this evening, I couldn’t help but notice all the signs of spring in the air around here.

Brown pelican
Brown pelican

Brown pelican
Brown pelican

The back of the Atlantic brown pelican’s neck turns a reddish brown during mating season and these shots show that that change has now started. In the Pacific brown pelican, the throat pouch turns a bright red, so it appears that both versions of the brown pelican inhabit Goose Island this spring!

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

White pelican
White pelican
Extra horny white pelican
Extra horny white pelican

The white pelican grows a “horn” on it’s upper beak during breeding season that drops off after mating. The fellow in the 2nd image obviously must be extra horny!

Reddish egret
Reddish egret
Reddish egret
Reddish egret

I apologize for the quality of these shots of the reddish egret, it was late in the day and I was forced to shoot into the bright light coming from the west, behind the bird. This is the first reddish egret I have encountered here so I wanted to get some shots of it’s unusual feeding behavior. Unlike other egrets that stealthily stalk their prey and often remain motionless for minutes at a time, this egret dashes around madly with it’s wings outspread, looking like he is having some kind of manic fit. It is a very unique style, quite amusing to observe. During breeding season, part of the beak turns pink and his legs a bright blue.

Laughing gull
Laughing gull

Laughing gulls
Laughing gulls